“Animal” does not appear before chapter 7 and is used almost exclusively in that chapter. While the word comes up in a deliberate statement that Beorn does not consider them food, the obvious implication is a contrast with many other folks’ use of the word – or at least of the concept.
For those of you whose interest in philology was also piqued by the first chapter of Ivanhoe, lo these many years ago, I will add that “animal” is from French and Latin by interesting and circuitous routes.
- 07.023 neither does he hunt or eat wild animals.
- 07.092 like animal noises turned into talk.
- 07.093 with figures of animals;
- 07.093 for the convenience of the wonderful animals
- 07.107 and a noise as of some great animal scuffling at the door.
- 07.113 waited on by Beorn’s wonderful animals,
- 07.136 but he loves his animals as his children.
- 08.005 not animal eyes,
- 12.011 of some vast animal snoring
- 13.071 not even wild animals seemed to have used it
“animal, n.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, June 2016. Web. 19 June 2016.