Digital Humanities Project

Wordle: Man From The South

When it comes to the topic of integrating technological resources with a form of education, digital humanities has become the topic of conversation in trying to adapt this idea. Some may say that these technological sources may very well be the best way to interpret literature. Now, that may be true, but it also doesn’t hold away from the facts that there are some well pointed flaws. While using programs such as a Wordle or a Google Ngram Viewer, a user allows themselves to view information both pertaining to their research as well as details that they might not even be interested in.

When one uses a Wordle, they are entitled to see a variety of words from a story or article that is rearranged creatively and randomly. A disadvantage of doing this is the straightforward fact that the Wordle generates random words from the story, so in hindsight, you can be surrounded by information that can either help you or cause more confusion. For example, when researching Roald Dahl’s short story, “Man From the South”, there were numerous words that appeared that were actually relevant in deciphering what the story actually is about. On the other hand, there were some words that can throw a reader off and may give the off-putting idea of something else that happened in the story. With the Wordle shown from “Man From the South”, you may be able to recreate the story with the words that are shown immensely, but after careful review, term’s such as “little boy” and “table” are also shown in similar ways. With someone of knowledge of reading this short story, you should be able to realize that these terms are in no way a subject of the story. On the other hand, with this Wordle information, one can argue that it can serve as a memory purpose to summarize what actually happened in a story. In general, the use of a Wordle is creative and interesting, however, it’s purpose is not of too importance when it comes to actual research as someone can easily be thrown off.

The use of the Google Ngram Viewer, however, does seem to play a more significant research method in terms of interpreting literature. From using this program, a student is graced with information around a certain subject in a time period that shows the consistency of it’s use. For example, a term common in Dahl’s short story was Cadillac. Upon further review in the Ngram viewer, one can see a steady decline in it’s use during the decades surrounding the story’s publication. After this, you can then hypothesize as to why the use of “Cadillac” started declining and whether or not you can use this information in your own research. On top of that, you can also figure out the importance the term can play in a story during the time it was written. For example, a Cadillac was used in terms of a bet between two people in “Man From the South”. The Google Ngram Viewer shows that Cadillac’s were popular during the time of publication so a reader can then assume why a Cadillac would be so important in terms of winning one in a bet. Contrary, information from the Ngram viewer can be misleading in coincidental circumstances on popular terms. One example that comes to mind is the term “fire”. Fire shows a steady horizontal line throughout the 1930-1970’s basically because it is a popular term and it’s use in books cannot be a surprise as it has many ways to be used.

While people may believe that a Wordle and Google Ngram Viewer are useful Digital Humanity tools, some of the information posed from them can seem to broad and may not be useful in too many ways. There are, however, obvious perks in using information given out by these programs, but there can still be more work put into these resources that can increase its importance.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Spam prevention powered by Akismet

Skip to toolbar