For now I just want to write a bit about what struck me most and anything else I'll post on the discussion page- I think that's how I want to do all these posts. It's hard to believe there can be so much to look into in just a chapter, but there totally is! This first paragraph is pretty rambly, fair warning. Image credits: [img1][img 2&3]
The beginning of Chapter 2 really resonates with me. Bilbo wakes up to a mess in his kitchen, evidence of the strange events which took place the night before. Even though at the end of the Chapter 1 it seems that Bilbo has become a bit more determined, we as readers are sort of prepared for what comes the next morning.
I think we've all witnessed this before, in ourselves or in our friends- we gather and start talking and everyone gets excited about having an adventure like getting up early and going to some cool event, or we talk about moving somewhere we've always wanted to live, or start making plans to find a better job or travel with money saved instead of buying a new lawnmower or couch or whatever stupid thing... in that moment of excitement and wanting to do something different and adventurous and even risky, we're completely serious. We are willing to make the sacrifices and do the work to make it happen. And then we all go home and go to bed and the morning comes... and we all wake up in our comfy rooms, settled into our comfy lives and suddenly these adventures, as rewarding as they may have seemed in an inspiring moment of determination the night before, seem next to impossible- and certainly far less "comfortable" than the lives we already have.
After having those same reservations and ending up adventuring a little bit myself, I often wish I could be as badass as Gandalf and just bust up into my friends' houses the morning after a hangout and force them out the door.
I'm really enjoying listening to Corey Olsen's lectures after I read the chapters. I have always had trouble explaining what makes a story like The Hobbit so good- I always just say "It's the literary art of it!". As Prof. Olsen mentions, through the two sides of Bilbo, the Baggins side and the Took side, Tolkien is able to show the story from two very distinct viewpoints at the same time. This is what gives it more depth than your average fantasy novel. We never just "accept the adventure blindly"- we always have the "down-to-earth Baggins side" to make us feel like we have an ally in this world, someone who sees things somewhat the same as us.
I love the humor of this chapter. The trolls are threatening and their talk of eating people is scary, but they're not horrifying. Their stupidity takes away from the seriousness of the threat they pose- even as you're thinking about how awful it would be to be made into a pie for these disgusting creatures, you also can't really see them being able to accomplish such a thing in between all their arguing. It goes back to what Prof. Olsen mentioned in his lecture on Ch. 1- Tolkien doesn't want to shield his young readers from death and pain, but he doesn't want to terrify them either. The trolls are the perfect introduction to the potential dangers of this magical world. I love the way Gandalf saves them- the very first fight they encounter they win (or rather, Gandalf wins) with wit, not weapons or strength. Also, I found their names to be very humorous- you don't expect a magical creature like a troll to have a name like Bill or Tom.
That's it for now, sorry it's kind of choppy but hey, it's a holiday. It's okay to be lazy.
Hope everyone is enjoying their Labor Day, I know a lot of people probably still have to work... and if you're not in the US, hopefully you're just enjoying your Monday. :]