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More Chapter 3 thoughts [Mar. 6th, 2008|04:38 pm]
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[dreamflower02]
From Kathy/Inkling, cross-posted from the yahoo!group:

Hope you all are up for more comments on Chapter 3…I just finished
it! :)

I like this chapter a lot. It has an innocence to it (the early
parts, at least) that's very endearing. Frodo knows he must leave the
Shire, but doesn't want to. He's going through a kind of "pre-
nostalgia" that Gandalf is willing to indulge with a smile. And
knowing what Frodo comes home to, it's hard to begrudge him his last
summer in the Shire. And yet...what if he'd screwed himself up to go
sooner? Or, what if Gandalf hadn't been tricked and captured by
Saruman, or Butterbur hadn't been such a butter-brain? In all
likelihood, the hobbits would have made it to Rivendell without
incident (and maybe even without Strider), and Frodo wouldn't have
been wounded by a Morgul blade. True, he would have been in bad shape
by the end of the Quest anyway, but bad enough to have to leave
Middle-earth? Maybe not.

The first day of the walking trip always makes me feel wistful,
because it's the *only* part of their journey that is unmarred by
evil (even their stays in Rivendell and Lorien are marred by the
memory of evil, or by grief). There are a few ominous hints—Gandalf's
absence, the stranger Frodo hears talking to the Gaffer—but
nonetheless the hobbits spend a night and day in happy ignorance,
with nothing more to contend with than sleepiness and tree roots. No
watch is kept that first night, and only a fox sees them (I love the
fox!). There's lots of cousinly banter, and Sam's shapeless felt hat
(wonder what ever happened to that hat??).

There's also a comment in this chapter I've always wondered about…is
Pippin being condescending to Sam when he tells him to have bath and
breakfast ready? I know he's supposed to be sleepy and/or joking, but
still...Sam doesn't seem to know how to take it either. Is class
privilege rearing its head here? What do you guys think?

I have more to say about this chapter but think that's enough for one
post!

Kathy/Inkling
LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: dreamflower02
2008-03-06 10:45 pm (UTC)
He's going through a kind of "pre-
nostalgia" that Gandalf is willing to indulge with a smile.


I like that word "pre-nostalgia". Perhaps Gandalf is feeling it too. After all, it's clear he loves hobbits and the Shire, and he knows that nothing will be the same after this--that, as well as secrecy--may be why he *does* indulge Frodo.

And
knowing what Frodo comes home to, it's hard to begrudge him his last
summer in the Shire. And yet...what if he'd screwed himself up to go
sooner? Or, what if Gandalf hadn't been tricked and captured by
Saruman, or Butterbur hadn't been such a butter-brain?


That could make for a very interesting AU. If Frodo had left earlier, would the Conspiracy have been successful? Merry and Pippin were preparing for Frodo to leave in the autumn--if Frodo had received word from Butterbur and set off at once, would they have had time to follow/join him? Also, there would have been no need to go through the Old Forest--which would have meant no encounter in the Barrow-downs, and they would not have had their swords. And that would have meant a different outcome on the Pelennor! Also, would Gandalf have met them on the road or caught up with them?

In all
likelihood, the hobbits would have made it to Rivendell without
incident (and maybe even without Strider), and Frodo wouldn't have
been wounded by a Morgul blade. True, he would have been in bad shape
by the end of the Quest anyway, but bad enough to have to leave
Middle-earth? Maybe not.


I wonder if they'd have made it without incident. Unless Gandalf joined them on the road, they would have had no guide to Rivendell--it's not like they could get there just by following the road!

And would Frodo have developed the inner strength and insight which being injured by the Morgul-blade gave him? Would Elrond have realized how strong he was, that he could be the one to carry the Ring to Mordor?



</i>There's also a comment in this chapter I've always wondered about…is
Pippin being condescending to Sam when he tells him to have bath and
breakfast ready? I know he's supposed to be sleepy and/or joking, but
still...Sam doesn't seem to know how to take it either. Is class
privilege rearing its head here? What do you guys think?</i>

I don't think it's condescension, I really don't--if it is, it's the only instance of it at all. What I think is that it's just Pippin's mischievous streak playing a joke on Sam.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: dreamflower02
2008-03-06 10:50 pm (UTC)
cross-posted from the yahoo!group

There's something in Chapter 3 that I love, though it may seem a
little odd…

It's the passage where Frodo leaves Bag End, and the way it parallels
Bilbo's departure 17 years earlier. "Goodbye!" both say to their old
home. Bilbo bows to the door; Frodo waves to the windows. The
narrator gives us a clue: "(following Bilbo, if he had known it)."
But have you ever noticed that the following passages are almost
identical?

Bilbo:
"He jumped over a low place in the hedge at the bottom, and took to
the meadows, passing into the night like a rustle of wind in the
grass."

Frodo:
"They jumped over the low place in the hedge at the bottom and took
to the fields, passing into the darkness like a rustle in the
grasses."

What I really love about this is that they're *almost* identical, but
not quite...Tolkien changed a word here and there. I'm not sure
exactly why I find this so appealing. Partly it's the poetic symmetry
of it, I guess...using the words to subtly reinforce the thematic
parallel. But I think it's mostly that Tolkien would think of doing
it in the first place, then go to the trouble of changing just a few
words, because he must have thought it was better that way. I can't
think of another writer who would do such a thing, outside of poetry.
But then I think Tolkien takes a poet's approach to prose, agonizing
over--or at least thinking carefully about--every word. No wonder it
took him so long to write! The man was obsessed with words, and I
love him for it.

Kathy/Inkling
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: telstar_gold
2008-03-07 12:19 am (UTC)
Thank you for pointing out those two *almost* identical passages! I'd certainly never noticed that, & I agree, it's charming. Tolkien must have done it for his own satisfaction, because he surely can't have expected anyone else to notice!

(apart from the odd obsessive geek...)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: dreamflower02
2008-03-07 12:57 am (UTC)
I think he often wrote to suit himself. He was really the antitheses of the modern best-seller author, who usually writes to suit some sort of "market"!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)