The Importance of Understanding Text Through Digital Analysis

Intro

Ever since literary works first came into existence, many people have devoted a great portion of their time to studying and analyzing these pieces of literary work. The reasons for this are many. If the wortk in question has been written by a great philosopher known to many, then those analyzing their work are probably doing so in order to better understand what the philosopher is trying to say to their audience. Their hope would be that if they can understand what the philosopher's message is, then they can better themselves and society as a whole. If the literary text in question is a fictional book, then people may spend countless hours analyzing it in order to compleltely understand it's themes and concepts. Their hope in doing this may be to achieve the maximum ammount of enjoyment from a well told story, and to use what they learn to reflect on real life as well. This type of literary analysis continues to this day. In fact, I would argue this practice is far stronger and more commonplace today than it ever has been, as the social interactivity of the internet means there is a constant stream of people who are just waiting to share their interptretation of a piece of text. What is important to note is that human beings are no longer alone in this endevour. Thanks to the miracle of technology, we now have the ability to digitally analyze text, significantly speeding up the process. This is exactly what I decided to do with Jurassic Park, one of my favorite novels of all time, and Game of Thrones, one of the most famous fantasy novels ever written.

Process

For the first part of this module, I plugged the entire novel of Jurassic Park into Voyant Tools, an online tool used to analyze text, usually long novels.

I then repeated this action for the entire text of Game of Thrones

Conclusion

As you can see from the two images of charts above, these two novels differ greatly in their vocabulary and style of writing. Despite being a book of dinosaurs coming back to life, Jurassic Park has a very limited vocabulary, relying mostly on common phrases and character names. Game of Thrones, on the other hand, contains a far more diverse vocabulary, which original and unique character names and terms and concepts. What is most important to take away from these results is not the results themselves, but how I obtained them. It would have normally taken me hours to come up with all of these different terms if I had been doing this by hand, but thanks to Voyant Tools, the process was incredibly easy, bringing me results instantly. In my opinion, the result of this module speaks for itself, and that is the fact that digital analyzation will continue to play an important part in analyzing literary texts for years to come.