Our Sponsor Sideshow Collectibles Send us News
Lord of the Rings Tolkien
Search Tolkien
Lord of The RingsTheOneRing.net - Forged By And For Fans Of JRR Tolkien
Lord of The Rings Serving Middle-Earth Since The First Age

Lord of the Rings Movie News - J.R.R. Tolkien
Do you enjoy the 100% volunteer, not for profit services of TheOneRing.net?
Consider a donation!

  Main Index   Search Posts   Who's Online   Log in
The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Hobbit Book Discussion Roast Mutton 2

SirDennisC
Half-elven


Jul 18 2012, 6:37pm


Views: 959
Shortcut
Hobbit Book Discussion Roast Mutton 2 Can't Post

Continuing our discussion of chapter 2…

Bilbo has completed the washing upfrom the night before (or so he thought) and was just sitting down to a second breakfast by an open window in his dining room, when in walks Gandalf.


Quote
"My dear fellow, whenever are you going to come? What about an early start? – and here you are having breakfast, or whatever you call it, at half past ten! They left you the message because they could not wait."


Gandalf then calls attention to the missed note on the mantelpiece which Bilbo has “never dusted.”

What is Gandalf playing at? What “magic” does he employ to get Bilbo out the door?

…yes “magic,” otherwise why would Tolkien tell us, “To the end of his days, Bilbo could never remember how he found himself outside, without a hat, a walking-stick or any money, or anything he usually took when he went out;” (Hint: I don’t think Gandalf actually used magic here. But he is relentless the way he toys with and makes use of a couple of Bilbo’s character traits.) By the way, what are those character traits? (Actually one is more of a tendency than it is a trait. It is highlighted twice in the passage above, has been previously, and will be in future.)

Before moving on, are the dwarfs quite as inconsiderate as Bilbo thought? Though he doesn’t comment on it here, what effect might such a realization have had on Bilbo?

Bilbo arrives at Bywater just at the stroke of eleven to find Balin at the inn door looking out for him. At that moment the rest of the company appears from around the corner, riding ponies laden with provisions for the journey. Bilbo and Balin mount ponies and they are off.
Why was Balin at the door rather than astride a pony with the rest of them?

My memory of the party setting off from Bywater is far more expansive than the text (in this chapter) warrants. What did Tolkien do to cause the reader to remember the affair, with the forgotten pocket- handkerchiefs and all, as grander than originally rendered?

The troupe underway, we are treated to Tolkien’s first description of the lands about the Shire, Middle-earth:


Quote
At first they had passed through hobbit-lands, a wide respectable country inhabited by decent folk, with good roads, an inn or two, and now and then a dwarf or a farmer ambling by on business.


In this sparse description of the countryside, what are its important features?

We know, or at least have come to know through his other works, that Tolkien has no difficulty writing descriptive paragraphs. What’s going on here?
Also, do you find anything odd about the construction “a dwarf or a farmer?”


The description continues:


Quote
Then they came to lands where people spoke strangely and sang songs Bilbo had never heard before [oh yeah, from the outset the travelers had been singing as they rode]. Now they had gone on far into the Lone-lands, where there were no people left, no inns, and the roads grew steadily worse. Not far ahead were dreary hills, rising higher and higher, dark with trees.


Two shifts occur in the passage above. What are they and why did Tolkien use them?

And just a little bit further for today…


Quote
On some of them were old castles with an evil look, as if they had been built by wicked people. Everything seemed gloomy, for the weather that day had taken a nasty turn…


Do castles seem out of place in Middle-earth? Are they an anachronism or did Tolkien use them as he would, say a dragon?

With an eye now to the works of Malory or Chretien de Troyes for instance, is this passage more or less elaborate than those found at the start of other such (romantic) adventures?

On a related note, do the castles look evil because of the way they were built, because of the weather, or is something else going on?

Finally, does Tolkien tap into a bit of xenophobia here? Is it true that mostly he has been describing the land in terms of who lives there since leaving Bag End? If so, why?



(This post was edited by dernwyn on Jul 18 2012, 9:00pm)

Subject User Time
Hobbit Book Discussion Roast Mutton 2 SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Jul 18 2012, 6:37pm
    Thoughts. Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 19 2012, 3:53am
        “I can feel your anger. It gives you focus. It makes you stronger.” SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Jul 19 2012, 5:08pm
            It's okay, I'm used the the Socratic method. Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 19 2012, 10:46pm
    Answers sador Send a private message to sador Jul 19 2012, 2:32pm
    some answers elostirion74 Send a private message to elostirion74 Jul 20 2012, 7:05am
        Hmm. Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 20 2012, 11:15am
            you're probably right elostirion74 Send a private message to elostirion74 Jul 23 2012, 1:57pm
                I agree that Curious is correct SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Jul 23 2012, 8:15pm
    Castles and pocket-handkerchiefs FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Jul 20 2012, 2:09pm
        An MA thesis on Chretien? SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Jul 22 2012, 3:49am
            Ah! sador Send a private message to sador Jul 22 2012, 7:24am
                Yes, and later in The Hobbit: SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Jul 23 2012, 3:21am
            Well FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Jul 23 2012, 5:17pm
                Yes, of course sador Send a private message to sador Jul 23 2012, 6:06pm
                    If he wipes his nose on his sleeve after the barrel ride SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Jul 23 2012, 8:05pm
                    I can't imagine it happening, but Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 24 2012, 4:09pm
                        that method was used in WW2 titanium_hobbit Send a private message to titanium_hobbit Jul 26 2012, 8:02am
                Fresher than you think! SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Jul 23 2012, 7:09pm
    Thoughts One Ringer Send a private message to One Ringer Jul 21 2012, 9:08pm

 
 
 

Search for (options) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.3

home | advertising | contact us | back to top | search news | join list | Content Rating

This site is maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and is in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. We in no way claim the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law. Design and original photography however are copyright © 1999-2012 TheOneRing.net. Binary hosting provided by Nexcess.net

Do not follow this link, or your host will be blocked from this site. This is a spider trap.