In Homer’s The Odyssey, the main focus is not the Trojan War, but the main character’s, Odysseus’, journey back to Ithaca. The journey shows how Odysseus develops many skills, and becomes more wise and understanding. He swallows his pride and arrogance because those traits are what have caused his cursed journey from Poseidon.
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His journey is both physically and mentally demanding, and the main focus of a journey is what caused these character developments. In many other works of literature, a journey is the central focus and helps develop the character in certain ways. In J. R. R. Tolkien’s, The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins is presented a journey to retrieve the dwarves’ treasure from Smaug. When Baggins accomplished the quest, his character had developed in many ways. The journey was what developed his character, and it was what added to the story as a whole.
Bilbo shows traits of cowardice and reluctancy, but shows traces of adventurousness. Later in the story, when Bilbo finds the ring of invisibility, he also meets Gollum who presents a sort of test. Gollum challenges Bilbo with riddles, and Bilbo is shown to be clever with riddles as well. As Bilbo escapes with the ring, he leaves Gollum alive instead of killing him because he believes it is unfair. This shows that Bilbo is both clever and kind. This character development shapes the character that Bilbo becomes, and alters people’s views of him in the story.
Later when Bilbo kills the giants spider without the help of his travel mates, he states that he feels,[Like] a different person, and much fiercer and bolder in spite of an empty stomach, as he wiped his sword on the grass and put it back into its sheath. Because this happened, Bilbo shows more bravery and heroism. He feels that he himself is heroic, because after killing the spider, he names his dagger Sting. This event leads to a change of mind and heart in Bilbo, giving him the confidence to accomplish much greater acts.
Nearing the end of Bilbo’s journey, Bilbo uses his cunning to steal a golden cup and the Arkenstone from the fearsome dragon, Smaug. This shows Bilbo’s bravery from stealing two precious items from something extremely dangerous. Though he is reluctant to face the sleeping dragon, he goes anyway. Even after he stole the precious items, he was also able to identify Smaug’s weak spot. Because of his courage, he was able to inform Bard about Smaug’s vulnerability, which eventually lead to Smaug’s demise.
Because of Bilbo’s decision to go on the journey, Smaug was killed and brought peace to middle-earth. The dwarves treasure was retrieved, and Bilbo returned home with riches. Apart from those, Bilbo had gone through a sort of maturing, becoming more brave and courageous. His journey allowed him to overcome things that before his journey, he couldn’t have ever imagined completing. Bilbo’s journey developed his character, and so the same with Odysseus’ journey back to Ithaca from Troy. Bilbo’s journey throughout the land followed a path that the the Odyssey portrayed; the goal doesn’t shape you, the journey does.
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