For a merrier world

The Hobbit tells a story of Bilbo and the dwarves who are on a journey to recover the treasure of the dwarves which has been stolen by a dragon. The dwarves “are not heroes, but calculating folk with a great idea of the value of money; some are tricky and treacherous and pretty bad lots; some are not, but are decent enough people like Thorin and Company, if you don’t expect too much.” (220) The whole point of the journey is to get the treasure back, and thus it comes as an irony that Thorin only realizes the real value of the treasure when he is on his death-bed at the end of the book, when he said to Bilbo,

“Farewell, good thief… I go now to the halls of waiting to sit beside my fathers, until the world is renewed. Since I leave now all gold and silver, and go where it is of little worth, I wish to part in friendship with you…” (290)

It is perhaps one of the things that Tolkien wants us to learn from the book, that is “if more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” (294) It would be a much merrier world, indeed.

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