Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Hobbit, Would you have opened the door?

I often contemplate the beginning of The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien. How would I have responded to an Unexpected Party, comprised of strangers? Frankly, it never would have happened.  Atleast, not in this age, at this location.

I always look before I open the door, even when I am expecting someone, and if an unknown person looking taller and stronger than me is out there, the last thing I'm going to do is open the door while I'm home alone. If they stand there waiting too long, then I'd call the police. No party for anyone. 

Now Bilbo had invited Gandalf to tea and when he heard the ring of the door bell he opened it expecting Gandalf but was surprised to find a dwarf (page 7) We are told, "as soon as the door opened, he pushed inside, just as if he had been expected" (page 7). How frightening! I'm not sure what I'd do if someone pushed into my house. I'm guessing I'd ask them what they wanted. By the time the second stranger entered, however, I'd be plotting my escape from the house so as not to be murdered. It's rather sad, to think about how dark the world is, living on the edge of a crime-infested city.

And now I pose the question to you: What would you have done? 

The Hobbit, J. R. R. Tolkien. Ballentine Books, New York: 1982.

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