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Anderson 1Ashleigh AndersonMrs. LuddenBritish Literature 14 December 2012The Lack of Women and Gender Roles in The HobbitIn J.R.R Tolkien’s masterpiece, The Hobbit, there is but one woman mentioned by name. Belladonna Took is Bilbo’s mother- and she’s dead before the book even begins. Faceless women are primarily used to bridge generation gaps, and to make associations between characters. For example, Thorin’s sister was mother to Fili and Kili, and thus Thorin is their uncle. An army marches from the Lake-town, leaving behind the cowardly town master "with the women and the children, the old and the unfit" (216). This line, dismissively associating women with weakness, is the sole reference to living women existing in the story. Oddly enough, there is evidence that Tolkien valued traits commonly associated with women. This becomes apparent once Bilbo’s “Tookish” background is illustrated. Belladonna Took is the daughter of “Old Took, head of the hobbits who lived across the water”(12). It can be assumed that she held heroic traits- traits for which the term “Tookish” was originally coined.