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The road calls

ę Time to disappear Ľ

The road is calling Bilbo again. The Shire will soon be behind him. At his party we get a clearer idea of Bilboís mind. The joviality and sheer rusticness has worn out for Bilbo. Itís not that he dislikes the place nor does he want to start a revolution. Rather Bilbo has a sense of quest in him and the static Shire makes him a bit peevish. Sure there is great busyness and energetic celebration in the Shire but for Bilbo itís as though itís all become a bit hidebound and set in its ways. Bilbo doesnít have a full blown alienation but a kind of restless misanthropy towards shire life. He has Ďdreams of leaving.í

The great Flemish master Pieter Bruegel felt a bit the same. He loved the Flemish rustic scenery and the characters who populated it but , well he too suggested that maybe it was no life for anyone with any sense of their own individuality.

In the above painting The Peasant Wedding we get a sense that Bruegel is slightly parodying the scene. The faces are a little overly rustic red and the bride herself seems overwhelemed and isolated.

The drinkers in Bruegelís painting The Peasant Dance bear a striking remeblance to merrymakers in the Shire, they look positively Bolgerish.

There is a long tradition of this kind of wondering about rustic life. Bilbo is a bit of a Bruegel. Itís beautiful to look at but we wonder if it will ever really evolve. A sea of red faces and hordes of merrymakers can seem a bit much. Time to disappear.

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