I know Tolkien didn’t allegorize. But I can’t help but see a metaphor here. It’s probably just me, but hey.
The Hobbits are us. In particular, they are us who don’t know or care to know about the wider world, the world outside of our little culture’s scope—the world of Lewis prior to Mythopoeia. Ted Sandyman is the hobbit par excellence, and even the more pleasant ones want nothing to do with news of Mordor and of Dwarves and Elves and adventures and magic. They just want to eat and drink and party, to gossip, to be comfortable, to live small lives within the Shire. Simple, petty lives. And they live in holes in the ground—another metaphor for being somewhere that separates you from the wider world, like living under a rock.
(2/28/2017 Is Ted Sandyman really the premier hobbit? Later on, his sourness is revealed to come from hobbit-external influences, like Saruman. He has the mind of the machine, which comes from Saruman. But I wonder at his receptivity toward Saruman’s philosophy, that perhaps his being the hobbit par excellence made him the best candidate for such. I’d really need to go read all that he says more before deciding. But if I remember correctly, he’s the first to dismiss Sam’s attachment to the dark rumors from the east—something altogether hobbitish of him. And the idea that this attitude makes someone the most susceptible to his later adherence to Sharky plays well with C.S. Lewis’s idea that the greatest lie Satan ever told was that he doesn’t exist. Thus, it is those who care for nothing other than themselves who become the first to dominate all others toward that same end.)
And it is a hobbit whom Illuvatar uses to defeat Sauron, even in spite of the nature of hobbits. And God uses us for like things.
Tolkien was so brilliant.