Patterns in the Food Words

The region of densest Food words comes, as any of us might have predicted, in Chapter 1: The Unexpected Party.

2015.07.02 Uncommon with Food

The unexpected dip in Chapter 1 comes just as the dwarves begin to help with the washing up.  Remember that there are plenty of food words from among our favorite and most-used vocabulary which are not tagged in this analysis – like chicken.   This dip graphically reminds us that we are only looking at a rolling average, not at the point itself.

The end of the Unexpected Party, with its orders for breakfast, contains the highest uncommon food average in the book  – and the beginning of the next chapter continues the trend: trolls have much to say about food (mutton, manflesh).  Bilbo’s not even thinking about food in Riddles in the Dark, of course, and chapter 6 is mostly about the lack of food and the presence only of tiny scrubby herbs.

[06.039] As they went on Bilbo looked from side to side for something to eat; but the blackberries were still only in flower, and of course there were no nuts, not even hawthorn-berries. He nibbled a bit of sorrel, and he drank from a small mountain-stream that crossed the path, and he ate three wild strawberries that he found on its bank, but it was not much good.

After that?  Not much food.  I’ve noted the relief at Beorn’s home, in the deer-shooting scene of Mirkwood, and before the Wood-elves’ feast.  Perhaps the discussion of “cram” is not so much a relief as dry, and possibly tasteless, fact.

(update 2015.07.02)

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