Escape from Progress

“They have not got the wit to admire

A dragon’s song or colour,

Nor heart to kill him brave and quick –

The world is getting duller!”

“The world is getting duller!” (Anderson and Tolkien 311) So laments Tolkien, through the voice of the green dragon after reluctantly destroying the village of Bimble Town.  Tales and Songs of Bimble Town is a series of six poems written by Tolkien in the 1920s and 1930s (Drout 546-547).  The residents of this town are presented by Tolkien as being aggressively mundane.  They are in desperate need of the escape, recovery, and consolation offered in his work On Fairy-Stories.  The Bimble Town residents, or Bimble Townians, if I may coin a demonym, do not realize the situation they are in.  They are prisoners of their banality.  In a similar way that Lewis’s That Hideous Strength is a fictionalization of The Abolition of Man, I believe that Tales and Songs of Bimble Town presents the reader with a fictionalization of On Fairy-Stories.