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***A glance back at "Not at Home"***


Oct 9 2012, 12:20am

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***A glance back at "Not at Home"*** Can't Post

I thought that before venturing into the “Fire and Water” chapter this week, I’d make a few comments on “Not at Home,” since a regular discussion of it didn’t appear last week. Aside from the fascinating speculations about tunnel smells and dwarvish latrines (I’m convinced by the carving-plumbing argument!) there are a few moments in that chapter that deserve attention – or at least, they’re moments that I enjoy and I’m wondering what everyone else thinks about them. In this chapter, Bilbo takes the Arkenstone without telling anyone and receives his gift of a mithril coat. Please feel free to comment on these incidents, or the ones I outline below, or anything else you like in this chapter. And if I’m repeating something that has been discussed in the past few weeks, my apologies – I’m reading back into the discussions that I’ve missed, but I haven’t seen all the posts yet.

Bilbo’s proverbs

The first time Bilbo agrees to go into the tunnel, he is angry that he’s already managed to get the dwarves out of two predicaments and they still want him to confront the dragon. However, he agrees to go, recalling one of his father’s sayings, “third time pays for all.” We are told that going forward into the tunnel was one of the bravest things Bilbo had ever done. The second time he goes into the tunnel, he volunteers on his own, recalling his father’s saying, “Every worm has his weak spot.” In the “Not at Home” chapter, the dwarves are in despair and feeling trapped, but “Bilbo felt a strange lightening of the heart”; this time, he seems to be cheering up the dwarves and recalls once again that his father used to say “While there’s life there’s hope!” and “Third time pays for all.”

Are such proverbial sayings just things people say, like clichés, without thinking much about their meaning? Do they have any special significance in Bilbo’s situations? Why is it always his father’s sayings that he remembers? How is Bilbo’s character developing in these adventures?

The Arkenstone

“Ever as he climbed, the same white gleam had shone before him and drawn his feet towards it. Slowly it grew to a little globe of pallid light. Now as he came near, it was tinged with a flickering sparkle of many colours at the surface, reflected and splintered from the wavering light of his torch. At last he looked down upon it, and he caught his breath. The great jewel shone before his feet of its own inner light, and yet, cut and fashioned by the dwarves, who had dug it form the heart of the mountain long ago, it took all light that fell upon it and changed it into ten thousand sparks of white radiance shot with glints of the rainbow.”

Wow! That is all I can say. Splintered light...great jewel...no such gem in all the world....Comments?

“that nasty, clockless, timeless hole”

Given that the company finds itself in the lair of a dragon, they’re in no hurry to leave. Of course, we can attribute that to the bewitchment of the hoard, and they do pull themselves out of it eventually (Bilbo sooner than the others) to think about getting out of there before Smaug returns.

Where on earth do they think Smaug is – or are they thinking clearly? The next chapter will burst into action; this one seems to have a quiet tension. Do you remember your feelings at this point in your first reading? What are your views on the mood of “Not at Home” and its juxtapositioning with the “Fire and Water” chapter?

Tomorrow, some questions about Chapter XIV, “Fire and Water.”

Subject User Time
***A glance back at "Not at Home"*** Modtheow Send a private message to Modtheow Oct 9 2012, 12:20am
    Proverbs Finding Frodo Send a private message to Finding Frodo Oct 9 2012, 3:37am
        That dropped torch! dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Oct 10 2012, 2:14am
        Keep calm and carry on telain Send a private message to telain Oct 10 2012, 4:07pm
    The Stone and the Ring justbennett Send a private message to justbennett Oct 9 2012, 4:57am
        What about his mother's wisdom? Modtheow Send a private message to Modtheow Oct 10 2012, 3:10am
            Tolkien hates women (just kidding!) CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Oct 10 2012, 11:34pm
        I know what you mean... telain Send a private message to telain Oct 10 2012, 3:59pm
    What a great idea! sador Send a private message to sador Oct 10 2012, 8:48am
        In Bilbo's Defense justbennett Send a private message to justbennett Oct 10 2012, 5:31pm
        one link not working Modtheow Send a private message to Modtheow Oct 14 2012, 8:21pm
            Is it supposed to be this one? dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Oct 14 2012, 11:43pm
                Yes, that's it. sador Send a private message to sador Oct 15 2012, 7:51am
                    You're welcome! dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Oct 17 2012, 1:55am


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