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The Hobbit Discussion Chapter II "Roast Mutton"

SirDennisC
Half-elven


Jul 17 2012, 3:50am


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The Hobbit Discussion Chapter II "Roast Mutton" Can't Post

I thought we might start the week's discussion of "Roast Mutton" with a sustained look at its opening paragraph. The language in this paragraph seems slightly off to me. As usual I believe Tolkien was going for something here that is not immediately apparent, least ways on the surface. Let us consider the text in small bites (the rest of the chapter will not receive such scrutiny, in case it matters) to see if there are any literary special effects in play:


Quote
Up jumped Bilbo, and putting on his dressing-gown went into the dining-room.



What is the effect of the precision or, if you will, miserliness of this line?


Quote
There he saw nobody, but all the signs of a large and hurried breakfast.


Anything strange here?


Quote
There was a fearful mess in the room, and piles of unwashed crocks in the kitchen. Nearly every pot and pan he possessed seemed to have been used.



Are we sure of what we are seeing here?


Quote
The washing-up was so dismally real that Bilbo was forced to believe the party of the night before had not been part of his bad dreams, as he had rather hoped.


Why did Bilbo have to be forced to believe what he remembered and what he was now seeing was real?


Quote
Indeed he was really relieved after all to think that they had all gone without him, and without bothering to wake him up (but with never a thank-you he thought);


In the final analysis, what was important to Bilbo?


Quote
and yet in a way he could not help feeling just a trifle disappointed. The feeling surprised him.


Just a trifle? Then why does the feeling surprise him?

I don't know about you (though I hope to soon enough) but I detect in this paragraph a vibe that Tolkien does not describe overtly. It is literally embedded in the text because of the way he strung words together. I suppose because it is noticeable that it might mean he (as a relatively new writer) was just learning how to evoke something without naming it directly. So what is this effect that Tolkien achieves through word choice and/or the way he presents the scene?


(This post was edited by SirDennisC on Jul 17 2012, 3:51am)

Subject User Time
The Hobbit Discussion Chapter II "Roast Mutton" SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Jul 17 2012, 3:50am
    "He wouldn't make above a mouthful... not when he was skinned and boned." sador Send a private message to sador Jul 17 2012, 6:30am
        LOL! Finding Frodo Send a private message to Finding Frodo Jul 18 2012, 5:12am
    In the cold light of day the Dwarves pass the reality test Mim Send a private message to Mim Jul 17 2012, 10:10am
    Thoughts. Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 17 2012, 6:34pm
        "...if only you could see what I've seen with your eyes!" SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Jul 18 2012, 3:22am
            Well, if he were really in a hurry he wouldn't have slept late. Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 18 2012, 1:44pm
    Without a choice One Ringer Send a private message to One Ringer Jul 17 2012, 8:26pm
    New and experienced writers Modtheow Send a private message to Modtheow Jul 18 2012, 5:59pm
        Excellent SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Jul 18 2012, 7:49pm
            I'm the queen of "might" and "perhaps"!! Modtheow Send a private message to Modtheow Jul 18 2012, 9:40pm
            `I only wish I had such eyes,' sador Send a private message to sador Jul 19 2012, 2:05pm
            Seeing through Bilbo's eyes FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Jul 20 2012, 11:49am
                It is even more hobbitcentric than LotR, Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 20 2012, 2:40pm

 
 
 

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