Twine

Process:

I chose the story “Araby” by James Joyce. It wasn’t difficult to narrow it down to about 11 kernels. The passage-building wasn’t difficult, but it wasn’t exactly easy either. Because some of the kernels weren’t actually in-depth scenes, I had to add in my own details to flourish out it a bit. Some of them were also just really sort sections split into several parts, so I had to debate a lot on how long I would spend on those parts. But this wasn’t too hard once I figured out how I wanted it all to go. Publishing it all was a bit of a process because I did not know how Cyberduck worked, but once I learned how, it was all very easy.

The most difficult part of this was coding. There are some issues I had with the color of the text over the images, since it could be sort of difficult to see, and I’m hoping it’s still legible. I did not want to have to resort to using a  color that I don’t feel fits the tone/mood of the story. Another major issue I have is audio. I do have one piece of audio inserted into my coding, but for some reason it will not play at all. I have it in the correct folder, and as far as I can tell the coding is correct.

I tried doing other ways to insert the audio, but none would work. If it works in any other browser, please let me know, because it’s not working on my PC where I use Chrome. This is the only issue that I have had that I’m still not able to solve.

Other than that, everything has been easy and relatively straightforward.

Selected Passage:

I will be focusing on this passage:

I chose to not use the image as the background as it is quite a messy image, and it would be difficult to read the text over it. This is one of the most pivotal parts of the story as this is where the main character decides to leave or stay. It was important to keep in how the young lady did not want to be assisting him that late at night. I gave two options: the original “No, thank you” and my alternate path “Yes, please.” However, at this point the “Yes, please” option will still eventually lead back to the original ending, no matter what. While there is a choice being made in this particular part, I wanted the revelation that the main character has at the end to be the same.

Breaking down the narrative into different kernels was an interesting process. It was interesting see and reflect on what really was essential to the story. Figuring out whether there were alternative choices was really interesting too. The main character made a lot of intentional choices, and while they might not have been the best, I think his infatuation speaks a lot about his age and the realities he must realize in the world.

I’m not too unfamiliar with coding as I learned other coding languages before. Harlowe was pretty easy to follow and figure out, especially with the help of the internet. It was fun to learn overall. Although I’m still unsure why my audio wouldn’t play, but it might just be something small that I’m missing, and I’m sure I can figure it out eventually.

Recreating a story was really fun. Because this is such a different way to recreate a story, it was interesting being on the side of actually creating it rather than just going through it. It gave a new perspective to the creation of stories.

Overall, this whole product was really enjoyable. It wasn’t overly difficult and it allowed me to really focus in on what would be considered “important” to a story. This was was an interesting way to analyze literature, because it forces you to consider just how stories are made and the importance of order and how narratives are purposefully structured. I think this was a fun way to end the semester.

Distant Reading: Jane Austen

Step 1: Choosing the Corpus

I wanted to choose a corpus that I was familiar enough with, but not completely well-versed in. I have been in a Jane Austen class this semester, and had only read a few of the books by the time this project came around, so I thought that this would be an interesting task to take up. I knew some basic themes involving marriage and social status were present throughout a good portion of the novels, and it seemed like a good place to start and then branch out from to allow me a different perspective on Austen’s work as a whole.

Step 2: Collecting the Corpus

I got all of the text from Project Gutenberg. I chose to only focus on her novels. For pre-washing, I only took out the text that was added in by Project Gutenberg.

Step 3: The Cycles

Note: Taken from my previous post.

Cycle 1

First question: How big of a theme is marriage throughout Jane Austen’s novels?

Going into this, I knew that most, if not all, of Jane Austen’s novels touches upon marriage in some aspect, whether it be a major focus or something that occurs to fulfill the typical marriage plot ending. What I wanted to look at was which novels were most concerned with marriage, and what appears to be the circumstances that might cause it to be more prevalent or not.

To do this, I went rather general with the words that I looked up, and searched: marry*, marriage*, wedding*, husband*, and wife*. The words marry, marriage, wife, husband seemed to be consistently at the top when looking at trending words, and was especially high in the books Emma, Persuasion, and Pride and Prejudice. Across all the books, it was specifically the word wife that stuck out to me the most, especially because it was the highest of the words for Emma and often very close to the top for several of the other books.

Looking at the context of the term, it seems to often come up in relation to men and the idea of having a wife, or being a wife.

Cycle 2

With this I go to my second question: What is the importance of having a title within these novels, specifically for men?

I looked up common English honorifics such as: Mr., Sir, and Lord. I also looked up the word gentleman, because it can be used to refer to a specific type of man within society, especially at the time these books were written.

The title Mr. is regarded as one of the most used words across all six Austen novels, appearing a total of 3,011 times, so it was not surprising that it was at the top of the trending terms. Sir comes up as second for all of the books, though it was not nearly used as much as Mr. Lastly, Lord and gentleman were both rarely used across all six novels.

This was interesting because it allowed me to think about the exclusivity of titles such as “Sir” and “Lord” as compared to a more general one such as “Mr.” The former titles can only be used by people of a specific status, while the latter is much more general. Another search using the word “baronet” shows that it’s only used 26 times. Perhaps this can be used to understand the audience that Austen is writing to, by looking at the class status of the characters she is writing about.

Cycle 3

This brings me to the final question: What role does wealth play across all of the novels?

I ended up searching words such as: Fortune, pounds, money, and rich (which I took into account that it may also be used non-monetarily and also as a shortened version of Richard).

Fortune ended up at the top for the trending across all of the books, and looking at the context for the different books it was mostly used in relation to money. The word pounds was actually at the bottom for four out the six books. It was second to last for Pride and Prejudice. But for Sense and Sensibility it was actually rather close in trending to fortune. Looking at the context, there seemed to be much more talk of money and specific amounts in Sense and Sensibility as compared to other Jane Austen novels. The word money was interesting because in a lot of the novels it seems to be often tied to talk of marriage.

Overview

This was an extremely interesting process, because of how it allows you to look at a corpus without having to actually read and understand the full context everything that is being shown. The little bits of context lines that are shown for individual words don’t reveal how the story is playing out. By looking at single words, it allows concepts and ideas to be highlighted among a large body of text. This allowed room for more nuanced ideas to form about Austen’s novel, just based on my original general question about marriage.

Step 4: NGram

For Google NGram, I decided to take a look at the words “money” and “marriage.” I decided to sort the years from 1765 (10 years before Austen was born) to 1820 (3 years after her death) and used the corpus of British English.

For all of it, “money” was far above “marriage” in terms of frequency and peaked the highest in 1794, was about 19 years old. While I can’t say or tell if “money” was frequently used in just fictional literary texts, there seemed to be more talk on money, rather than marriage during Austen’s lifetime.

I did another search, adding the words “wife” and “husband.” The words “wife” and “money” were often intertwined throughout the years, “wife even overtaking “money” a few times and going the lowest around 1815. “Husband” was just above “marriage” in the timeline, starting in 1865, but before that it fluctuated between the two. Just as in my voyant searches, the word wife sticks out the most, especially not that its frequency is similar to money. Of course, the saying “correlation does not imply causation” applies here, but it is interesting to consider the possibilities, especially considering how marriage is often viewed as an economic institution.

Conclusion

As I stated in the overview of step 3, this was an extremely interesting experience. There are so many ways to look at themes and ideas within these novels that I had no considered before. Looking at highlighted words or phrases, even without context, gives a the general frequency of themes and brings to the surface just how prevalent some things are across a large body of text, as well as how some things are left out, and what that could possibly mean. A lot of the analysis was interpretation, but I think that’s a good starting place to try to look even further.

I think both Voyant and Google NGram could both be incredibly good starting points when looking at large bodies of text as it allows general ideas to form. From there, further research can be done to narrow down the ideas, but this is a good process to get started. For a text analysis newbie, I repeat the idea that “correlation does not imply causation” and that this is simply a stepping point to even further research. Just because words might seem frequently used, it does not mean they are used in relation to one another, but do allow ideas to form and take whatever the next step is in order to find out more.

Voyant: Jane Austen Corpus

First question: How big of a theme is marriage throughout Jane Austen’s novels?

Going into this, I knew that most, if not all, of Jane Austen’s novels touches upon marriage in some aspect, whether it be a major focus or something that occurs to fulfill the typical marriage plot ending. What I wanted to look at was which novels were most concerned with marriage, and what appears to be the circumstances that might cause it to be more prevalent or not.

To do this, I went rather general with the words that I looked up, and searched: marry*, marriage*, wedding*, husband*, and wife*. The words marry, marriage, wife, husband seemed to be consistently at the top when looking at trending words, and was especially high in the books Emma, Persuasion, and Pride and Prejudice. Across all the books, it was specifically the word wife that stuck out to me the most, especially because it was the highest of the words for Emma and often very close to the top for several of the other books.

Looking at the context of the term, it seems to often come up in relation to men and the idea of having a wife, or being a wife.

With this I go to my second question: What is the importance of having a title within these novels, specifically for men?

I looked up common English honorifics such as: Mr., Sir, and Lord. I also looked up the word gentleman, because it can be used to refer to a specific type of man within society, especially at the time these books were written.

The title Mr. is regarded as one of the most used words across all six Austen novels, appearing a total of 3,011 times, so it was not surprising that it was at the top of the trending terms. Sir comes up as second for all of the books, though it was not nearly used as much as Mr. Lastly, Lord and gentleman were both rarely used across all six novels.

This was interesting because it allowed me to think about the exclusivity of titles such as “Sir” and “Lord” as compared to a more general one such as “Mr.” The former titles can only be used by people of a specific status, while the latter is much more general. Another search using the word “baronet” shows that it’s only used 26 times. Perhaps this can be used to understand the audience that Austen is writing to, by looking at the class status of the characters she is writing about.

This brings me to the final question: What role does wealth play across all of the novels?

I ended up searching words such as: Fortune, pounds, money, and rich (which I took into account that it may also be used non-monetarily and also as a shortened version of Richard).

Fortune ended up at the top for the trending across all of the books, and looking at the context for the different books it was mostly used in relation to money. The word pounds was actually at the bottom for four out the six books. It was second to last for Pride and Prejudice. But for Sense and Sensibility it was actually rather close in trending to fortune. Looking at the context, there seemed to be much more talk of money and specific amounts in Sense and Sensibility as compared to other Jane Austen novels. The word money was interesting because in a lot of the novels it seems to be often tied to talk of marriage.

This was an extremely interesting process, because of how it allows you to look at a corpus without having to actually read and understand the full context everything that is being shown. The little bits of context lines that are shown for individual words don’t reveal how the story is playing out. By looking at single words, it allows concepts and ideas to be highlighted among a large body of text. This allowed room for more nuanced ideas to form about Austen’s novel, just based on my original general question about marriage.

Voyant: “The Fall of the House of Usher”

Question: Why is the narrator of the story unnamed?

Going through Voyant was interesting as I found myself having to edit what words were stoplisted, as terms such as I, me, my, and name would not show up because they are very broad terms. The story is told in first person, which would put the pronoun “I” at the most mentioned. “I” was mentioned 171 times throughout the story followed by “my” at 54 and “me” and 43. What was really interesting was looking at the frequencies, especially for “I” as it began to pick up incredibly heavily in the last segment as the swell of emotions picked up and it seems to be mostly used by Usher just prior to his death. But throughout my search, nothing really seemed to pop out as to anything significant regarding the narrator’s identity in relationship to the actual reading/experience of the story.

While my question hasn’t really been answered, it brings up more questions of how we as readers experience stories through perspective and narration. For instance, how does the narrator influence our reading of what happens in “The Fall of the House of Usher”?  Does it really matter if the narrator is named or does is change credibility/reliability of his story? Thinking along the lines of other Poe stories, a lot of his narrator’s seem to be unreliable. Perhaps in the future it would be interesting to look at the different narrators that Poe has across several different stories and see what words are used in relation to them and see if there are common patterns.

Wikipedia Article Options

I’m actually having some trouble figuring out wikipedia pages that I could possibly working on. I currently have two options that I might want to do, but I’m still open to other options as I look further into this.

I will edit this along the way if I have more to say on the topics or if I figure something else to work on.

  • Get in Trouble by Kelly Link
    • I read some of the short stories from this book a few years ago for a creative writing class and am extremely willing to reread and finish it.
    • There is no current wikipedia page for the book specfically, but there is one for Kelly Link.
    • This is a collection of short stories which all contain aspects of magical realism and other fantastical elements.
    • It was a Pulitzer Prize Finalist in 2016.
  • Hieu Minh Nguyen
    • As linked, there is already a wikipedia page for him, but it is marked as a stub as there is not much on there, and the format is messy.
    • He also does spoken word and some of his poems are on youtube, yet nothing is said on the page about that.

Hello!

I’m Jeanine, and I’m an English Literature major at SFSU. I transferred here fall of 2017 from Solano Community College where I got my AA also in English.

This blog will be used for my digital humanities course in which we, the class, will be diving deeper into the realm of digital literacies. Hopefully this blog and site will also continue to be used for other things beyond just this English course.

Some things to know about me: I like reading and writing (mostly poetry). I also really enjoy music (particularly kpop, alt rock, and indie) and TV shows. But the most important thing about me is that I love my dog Boogie.