Babbit Vs. The Hobbit Essay

842 words - 3 pages

Babbitt vs. The Hobbit Sinclair Lewis' character of George Babbitt is similar to J.R.R Tolkien's character of Bilbo Baggins, but they are also very different. These two characters are alike in two different ways: in personality and the heroic journey. However, on every other subject these two characters are extraordinarily different. The most basic of these differences being that George Babbitt is an anti-hero and Bilbo Baggins is a hero. In the beginning both characters seem very much alike in the way that they are portrayed. Babbitt is shown as a well to do middle aged man enjoying an afternoon nap. He is also shown to be extremely average. Bilbo too is shown enjoying a pleasant afternoon in a very average way. Both personalities are basically the same: neither will take major risks and both would rather stay at home rather than go off on some kind of "adventure". Both are what are considered prominent, wealthy, normal, conforming members of their communities. However, both Babbitt and Bilbo show inner turmoil with their need to be "free". Here is where the differences start to appear. The hobbit refers to something as simple as climbing a tree as an adventure. The prominent business man thinks that spending a weekend away from his wife and family is an adventure. To set forth upon an adventure of any kind a person needs to be free again, both characters define freedom in different ways. Bilbo simply needs to be away from the influence of his friends and family to find out what he really wants for himself and what he wants to do about it. Bilbo finds freedom when he makes the choice to follow the dwarves into the unknown. When Babbitt is finally given freedom when he is able to go camping alone with his friends for a week he is suddenly terrified about what he is going to do with himself. Babbitt's friends seem to bring out his inner-self when he is finally pulled away from home and on a train going to Maine. Once up in Maine the men say that they are going to "loaf by ourselves and smoke and cuss and be natural". In other words they are going to be free from the rules imposed on them by their wives, families and the community itself. Each character is also tested in a different...

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