What word goes with bachelor? Collocation & Reveries of a Bachelor

I was curious about what words would occur frequently in relation with “bachelor” in Donald Grant Mitchell’s key bachelor text Reveries of a Bachelor, so I ran the TAPOR collocation tool on the EAF version of Reveries.  The results:

Summary: There are 87 unique words other than those in the stop list, there are 160 words other than those in the stop list. There are 307 words in total including the stop words.


Words Counts
Page 6
Reveries 5
Book 4
Years 2
Friends 2
Heart 2
-dream 1
Disinterested 1
True 1
Man 1
Widower 1
Obstinacy 1
1850 1
131 1
Tender 1
Wander 1
Of—say 1
Dusty 1
Seven 1
Day-dreams 1
129 1
Champagne 1
This—mused 1
Conceive 1
1822-1908 1
Written 1
Vowed 1
Share 1
Chair 1
Short 1
Slip 1
Club 1
Sleep 1
Loves— 1
Reason 1
Dreams 1
Bedstead 1
—and 1
Blaze 1
Till 1
Independence 1
Ermine 1
Cleverest 1
Pretty 1
Bloom 1
Urged 1
Somewhat 1
Big 1
Daintiest 1
Surely 1
Husband 1
Deal 1
Aids 1
Think 1
Met 1
Gratify 1
—for 1
Strengthener 1
Title 1
Contemplative 1
Pure 1
Earnest 1
—never 1
Withered 1
Broad 1
—that 1
Cigars 1
Text 1
Uncles 1
Weaving 1
Live 1
Great 1
Talks 1
Respectability 1
—one 1
—with 1
I—is 1
Pseud 1
Plodding 1
Stake 1
Away 1
Margin 1
Forth 1
Thank 1
Make 1

What to make of the results? The types of words most commonly associated with bachelor seem to be those related to sentiment (friends, heart), literature (book, written), dreaming (reveries, day-dreams), manhood (man, widower), and a resistance to emotion (disinterested, obstinancy).   Yep, that pretty much sums up my argument about the conflicted imagining of the bachelor in 19th C America as a man of letters and feeling.

What next?  I could see if other key bachelor texts (Sketch Book, Pierre, Dreams & Reveries of a Quiet Man, etc) have a similar bachelor profile–that is, if similar words are associated with bachelor in these works. Rather than searching text collections just for “bachelor,” I could narrow my search by adding terms such as “heart” (926 results in Google Books with date restricted to 1800-1880), “book” (908 results), and “reveries” (514 results in GB) to see what I get.  I think my next step will be to study the impact of Reveries of a Bachelor on American culture by searching text collections for references to this work–analysis that would have been hugely labor intensive before electronic collections became available.

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