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So, who's ready for Chapter One now? [Feb. 8th, 2008|12:10 pm]
LOTR Community Reading Group


I've really been enjoying the discussion of the Prologue, but maybe it's time to start on the Story now?

My first time reading this, I was struck by the fact that both The Hobbit and LotR begin with a party. And of course, it's clearly quite deliberate, when you look at the titles: in TH, it's "An Unexpected Party" and in LotR, it's "A Long-Expected Party".

But the parties are quite different from Bilbo's POV: in TH, he's this kind of hapless, helpless little person overrun by guests he didn't really invite, and he's completely flustered. In LotR, he manages this party the way he wants it--he orchestrates the whole thing to lead up to his big speech and his "joke". It's a measure of his confidence that he knows just what will happen when he leaves. He's made all his preparations. Frodo is "in on" the joke.

Of course, we are introduced to Frodo, and we are given a bit of his background by the denizens of The Ivy Bush.

The gossip was very hobbity. We also, for the first time are introduced to Sam and Merry, the Gaffer and the S.-B.'s.

For anyone reading this the first time, did anything surprise you about it?

And for anyone: what struck you most about the chapter, even if you've read it before.

[User Picture]From: obsidianj
2008-02-09 01:47 am (UTC)
I was amazed again at the humor in the chapter. The first time I read it, I expected the whole book to be like this, not really knowing what the whole story was about. I love Bilbo's little notes on all the gifts he gives away. How they pinpoint character traits of neighbors, friends and relatives. It's all in good fun and very lighthearted, so much so that the first time I read it, I missed the little hints and clues to the darker story lurking in the background.

My favorite part of this chapter is Bilbo's big speech. I noticed that in the book Bilbo's last words are capitalized, which to me implies he shouted the words. Bilbo in the movies did just the opposite, his good-bye there was much more subdued as if he was speaking to himself.

Rereading it again, I noticed the habit of Tolkien to throw in little asides in brackets, which I learned not to do when writing a story, but for me here it works.

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