1. What factors define a person’s identity in The Hobbit? Do individuals have any power over who they become, or are their characters entirely determined by static factors such as family and race?
2. What is the role of wealth in The Hobbit? Discuss various characters’ attitude toward property and material goods. Whose viewpoint does the novel seem to endorse, if any?
3. Describe Tolkien’s use of humor in The Hobbit. From what authorial techniques and sources does the book draw much of its wit? How does Tolkien’s lighthearted tone impact the portrayal of the more serious elements of the plot? Is The Hobbit primarily a comedy?