POV – Frodo
In which Frodo looks at pieces of things around him, and begins to put himself back together.
I did not expect this to be such a topical chapter for current events.
Abuse of adolescents is more prevalent than we’d like to think, and part of the Shire Stories is showing where are how it happens, and what it does to the psyches of both the perpetrator and the victim. Much of it is between younger and older adolescents, as Frodo was targeted first by Tom, then by older cousins, and finally by adults.
The argument about breaking is his way of understanding what happened, but even more of how to make sense of the emotions he feels for Bilbo. He both does and doesn’t want to “break” his uncle. Breaking is a sign of depravity, of wrongness, of perversity, but it is also power, control and authority. Physical closeness and sexual behavior are muddled in his thoughts (helped along by some industrial strength hormones); sex is what adults want from each other, it makes adults stay together, it’s one of the few things he knows adults want from him, and he is terrified of being abandoned. He would do anything Bilbo asked to secure his uncle’s love.
The other thread of the chapter is the Parting and the (unknown but strongly felt) influence of the Ring. Something wicked this way comes…