Forum: Anglachel - Stories

Discussing: OMY Ch. 9 - Enclosure

OMY Ch. 9 - Enclosure

Warnings: Oblique discussion of sexuality, harsh, though not obscene, language.

In which the cousins go for a ride, Rory is the Master, Bilbo is saved by a bird, Esmie is foiled once more, and Rory gives Gilda to Bilbo.

More glimpses of Bilbo's youth and his relationship with Rory, and a good deal of Hobbits wondering about the Shire's place in the world. Only three new characters, all minor.



Re: OMY Ch. 9 - Enclosure

Reading this one was intriguing, particularly as I've got something of an interest in history and economics, and the impact of changes to agricultural systems on the economic patterns of the times. The argument between Rory and his brother about whether or not the field should be enclosed echoes a lot of the arguments which happened in Britain about the enclosure of the fields.

One of the things which is *very* interesting to see in this story is the battle between what could be called "proto-captialism" and the traditional, kin-based systems that have been seeing the hobbits through for so many years. I'm not going to read anything ideological into this, because quite frankly, that's not my business. I just find the portrayal of the various systems interesting, although I think that there would be some good served by balancing the two of them a bit more. At present, one of these systems is being depicted as a very definite "villain", if you will. It may be better to balance them.




Re: OMY Ch. 9 - Enclosure

Hmm, do you see them as that unbalanced in presentation? There is a clearly a move away from kinship and obligations based on familial & traditional ties, and towards more abstract relationships represented by trade and commerce - a shift from kin and clan to coin and contract, if you will.

I am trying to show that each has advantages and disadvantages, though there is a pressure to move away from kinship systems in the face of the expansion of coin and the increase in commerce with non Shire Hobbits. Even trade within the Shire is expanding greatly, though perhaps Bilbo is the only one who can comprehend it.

I want to keep a tension going in the face of this cultural and economic shift. I have always been curious about the swiftness with which Lotho could have so dramatically changed the Shire. My conjecture is that it had been changing for many years towards large landholders and hired farmhelp, but only during Lotho's puppet-regime did the ugly face of it appear with such ruthlessness.

What do you see as the villain and why? Mail off list if you don't want to "spoil" the story, but I think this is a good forum discussion, as it is a major theme of the story.




Re: OMY Ch. 9 - Enclosure

"They stopped the ponies and dismounted, leaving the reins dragging. "
Would they really allow the reins to drag down on the ground where the ponies can step on them?

I like the way you include the ponies in this chapter, especially when Bilbo and Rory have their talk and the ponies interact all the time with them, not only reacting to the hobbit's emotions and gestures but expressing their own wishes,too. In many fictional texts the horses or other animals tend to disappear completely from view as soon as they are not needed for the plot.Here, they make their presence felt.

One more typo at the beginning of this chapter:
'Come see me tonight after table, if you will, and we'll take a look at what has crawled in for super. (supper)

Poor Rory. He is really worried and with reason, but the threat is so formless and nebulous, he can not plan and prepare as he wants, because he has not enough information to act upon.
I agree with Bilbo that his conversation with Rory could not have gone terribly well. But on the other hand, it could have gone much worse.



Re: OMY Ch. 9 - Enclosure

Yes, they would leave the reins dragging. Horses are often taught to stay around with dragging reins. I am imgining split reins (US, Western style) instead of a loop, so the ponies would not catch their feet in a loop. All of my horses were taught to "stand, stay" when I dropped the reins, though some were more obedient than others. ;-)

I modeled Dove on my Welsh pony, Stormy, who was my first horse. If you are holding a horse, unless it is asleep, it will insist on making itself part of the conversation. I grew up with many animals (though, alas, all I now own is a cat) and they all had very distinct personalities. I like creating animals who are part of the story - and not just as furniture. Most of the animals I write up are based on animals I know/knew. When Bilbo remembers the poor little pony Thorin bought for him at The Green Dragon, I gave him the name of the first pony my family owned (he belonged to my big brother) - Tea Biscuit. TB was a very small, very nasty little Shetland pony, chocolate brown with a flaxen mane and tail, who would have eaten an Orc for lunch. He could break down any fence, bit people with abandon, and was as tough as nails.

Typos R Us....

Yes, the conversation could have gone much worse. I had to do something to make Rory's actions towards Frodo not arbitrary, but which would also give him a good reason for having been so hurtful. He's not wrong to be afraid, not with what has been happening, though perhaps he has no excuse for what he did to Frodo or what he says to Bilbo. His response to threats is to wall them out, shove them away, not to engage them (as Bilbo does). In this, he is a very typical Hobbit. Where he is exceptional is in his ability to admit he is wrong, and to try to work past his fears - though it matters that Bilbo is the person he is fighting with, someone he knows and trusts (and loves) quite well.




Re: OMY Ch. 9 - Enclosure

Yes, I have seen horses trained to "stand and stay" with reins dragging, mostly western trained horses. But Rory's ponies do not stay on the spot, but graze and follow their riders. So they could step on the split reins, even if they could not get tangled in loop reins.



Re: OMY Ch. 9 - Enclosure

I like all your details. I write terse, I usually prefer tersely written stories ... but when all the words are used to such good effect, then the environment and the characters feel real. I'm a city girl; I don't know much about animals or farming. But this is the Shire! and Hobbits! So, well, until I read your stories my internal picture of Hobbiton, etc., was unfocused. All the science fiction stories I read when I was younger, all the art history books ... they didn't tell me much about living with the land and producing food.

I feel I'm getting an education as well as getting to know such interesting characters. Rory and all seem to know their business very well. It makes the emotional turmoil that much more effective when set against a real environment.



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