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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
** Flies and Spiders: 1. "huge bats, black as a top-hat" **

N.E. Brigand

Aug 31 2012, 6:21am

Views: 534
** Flies and Spiders: 1. "huge bats, black as a top-hat" ** Can't Post

Bilbo and the dwarves find the forest gloomy and oppressive, and eerie at night, and after an unspecified period of travel, find that even their carefully rationed food and water are running low.

What makes the forest so gloomy?

Was Tolkien drawing on any experience in wooded wilderness?

How does Tolkien's portrayal of this forest compare to that in other works, by him or different authors?

Was C.S. Lewis influenced by the "quiet ... so deep" and "everlastingly still and ... stuffy" forest when creating the wood between the worlds in The Magicians' Nephew?

It seems to the expedition that "all the trees leaned over them and listened". Should this motif have been further developed?

"There were black squirrels in the wood." When shot, the squirrels taste awful. Is Tolkien's color symbolism in The Hobbit more or less interesting than in The Lord of the Rings?

For what purpose do the eyes in the night stare at the party?

How much water could the party possibly carry? Enough not to refill for more than a month, as seems to be implied by the text?

Are there top-hats in this proto-Middle-earth?

Isn't it contradictory for the forest that brings feelings of being "suffocated" to also have an "enormous uncanny darkness"?

Does the party stray even a little from the path, so narrow they must walk it in single file? They only get to taste squirrel after shooting one on the path, but do they all sleep on the trail itself?

Further thoughts on this section?

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Subject User Time
** Flies and Spiders: 1. "huge bats, black as a top-hat" ** N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Aug 31 2012, 6:21am
    colour of animals titanium_hobbit Send a private message to titanium_hobbit Sep 1 2012, 12:38am
    Answers sador Send a private message to sador Sep 2 2012, 4:33pm
    I'm not sure Tolkien ever met a black squirrel... telain Send a private message to telain Sep 5 2012, 1:30am
    By the skin of their...er, skins dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Sep 7 2012, 1:12am


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