Should tranquil, meager, melancholy, bovine, or tolerantly be used in the following sentence? The dieter was disappointed at the _____ amount of food on the plate.

Expert Answers
litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The appropriate word for this sentence is “meager,” because there is not much food on the plate since the person is dieting. 

The word “meager” means “not enough” or “insufficient.” It describes a small, disappointing amount. A dieter often limits the amount of food he or she eats. Therefore, the dieter might consider a meal “meager.” When on a diet, many dieters are always hungry. The person looking down at the plate is sad about his or her portion of food. 

In the description of the wood in the Prologue, the word “meager” is used to describe the grass. 

The road no longer belonged to the cows. It became, instead, and rather abruptly, the property of people. And all at once the sun was uncomfortably hot, the dust oppressive, and the meager grass along its edges somewhat ragged and forlorn (Prologue). 

In other words, there is not enough grass next to the road. The road is described as being mostly for cows at first, over time increasingly also being utilized by people. The grass is personified as feeling forlorn, as if the grass itself is sad about how little of it there is. 

This helps the reader realize there is not much human travel within the woods. The closer one gets to the village, the more people one sees. This is how the spring remains hidden. It is also technically on land belonging to Winnie Foster’s family, so it would not get much foot traffic.