The Hidden Femininity of The Hobbit
: the Gendering of Bilbo Baggins

  • Josefina Hansson

Student thesis: Bachelor


This essay argues that the protagonist of The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins can be considered to be a female character in a male form. By applying feminist literary criticism this essay map out the traditional gender roles in society along with the traditional gender roles in Middle Earth in order to investigate Bilbo’s female characteristics, the similarities between him and women in patriarchal society as well as the female imagery present in The Hobbit. The results show that Bilbo Baggins’ characteristics such as emotionality, sensitivity and compassion corresponds more to the traditional female gender norms than that of the male gender norms. The results also indicate the similarities between Bilbo’s experiences and that of women in a patriarchal society, such as the attention to being respectable and difficulties working in a male-dominated field.

Date of Award2020-Jun-18
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorMaria Freij (Supervisor) & Lena Ahlin (Examiner)

Courses and Subjects

  • English

University credits

  • 15 HE credits

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Specific Literatures (60204)
  • General Literary studies (60203)


  • gender
  • gender roles
  • gender norms
  • bilbo
  • the hobbit
  • femininity
  • masculinity

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