go to bed hungry now


Senior Member
Major W. H. Lewis, the brother of C. s. Lewis, the Oxford don and literary scholar, gloomily told his diary in November 1947: “Potatoes are put 'on rations' on a scale of 3 lbs per week for the bourgeois. And so the last "filler" food disappears from the diet, and the days of real hunger come upon us. It's extraordinary how one is conditioned by a secure past:even now I can't grasp the fact that I, WHL, will go to bed hungry and get up hungry; these, I say, are things that happen to nations one reads about in the papers, not to me."(A.N. Wilson After the Victorians)
Q: WHL as a middle class one didn't suffer much from the food shortage soon after the WWII despite the rations (3 lbs per week is plenty when being let to accumulate). WHL is complaining now (let me say he lived into 1960s ), the staple food potatoes are disappearing from the diet and he as a middle class member is going to starve.

Sorry for my being so inquisitive. Really want to cross this barrier with my slow understanding.
Thanks to all the friends for your help.
  • Linguisticks

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    The potatoes weren't disappearing from anyone's diet, they were just being rationed, temporarily, until supplies became normal again, soon after the war. There was little chance of WHL starving. He was only expressing his dismay about the scarcity of "filler" foods - the heavier, more filling foods like meat and potatoes, both of which were rationed.


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    If you call nine years temporarily. That's how long the food rationing program lasted after the war. Of course, rationing on every single item didn't last that long but it wasn't a short time overall.

    Here's a Wikipedia article with a timeline.
    Rationing in the United Kingdom - Wikipedia
    They even rationed clothes and other non-food items. Well, they tried.

    May 1949: Clothes rationing ended. According to one author,[22] this was because attempts to enforce it were defeated by continual massive illegality (black market, unofficial trade in loose clothing coupons (many forged), bulk thefts of unissued clothes ration books).​

    According to the timeline, meat rationing ended in 1954 and the cheese industry was held back until into the 1980s(!) by policies put in place at that time.


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    WHL is complaining now
    No, that was an entry from his diary in 1947 about the situation in 1947. He is saying he expected to feel hungry now (in 1947) that he was limited in how many potatoes he could buy.

    You can't accumulate them. You have to eat them to stay alive.
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