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Thoughts on Chapter 3 [Feb. 29th, 2008|02:33 pm]
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(Cross-posted from the yahoo!group, with the permission of obsidianj, the OP.)

After the dense exposition of chapter 2, chapter 3 was lighter reading for me. The hobbits finally are on the first steps of the long journey. I was wondering about Gandalf. In the beginning of the chapter he says they should go soon, but then 3 weeks later Frodo is still not moving and it seems Gandalf is not pressing him anymore. Gandalf stays with Frodo for 2 month and after Frodo finally devised some kind of scheme of how to get out of the Shire quietly, Gandalf suddenly leaves and leaves Frodo and his friends alone.

When reading it this time, I wondered what Frodo told Merry and Pippin about why he would sell Bag End and move to Crickhollow. Sam is in on the real plan, so he knows that Crickhollow is a ruse. Merry and Pippin supposedly know nothing,but they are very close friends to Frodo, so the reasons the rumor mill comes up with are to my mind not good enough. They know Frodo too well to fall for the 'running out of money'. And why would Frodo want to settle in Crickhollow permanently when he has beautiful Bag End, just because of the SBs makes also no sense to me.


[User Picture]From: dreamflower02
2008-02-29 08:43 pm (UTC)
(I had to split my comment, due to LJ's character-count restrictions.)

By the way, I love JRRT's masterful subtlety in this little passage:

"After a while Pippin fell fast asleep, and was lifted up and borne away to a bower under the trees; there he was laid upon a soft bed and slept the rest of the night away. Sam refused to leave his master. When Pippin had gone, he came and sat curled up at Frodo's feet, where at last he nodded and closed his eyes. Frodo remained long awake, talking with Gildor."

Notice that we are told directly and in so many words that Pippin was fast asleep. But *Sam*, who was curled at his master's feet, only "nodded and closed his eyes"--in other words we are *not* told that Sam was asleep, even though it is strongly implied that he was. An absolutely brilliant bit of clue-dropping, that went unnoticed by me for several re-readings before I spotted it.

This is a really beautifully constructed chapter, and even though it *is* far more light-hearted in tone, and not as dense as Chapter 2, it is still cram-full of important information and foreshadowing.
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