Scandal in Bohemia Word Cloud – Where’s Watson?

Using the Voyant tool, I made a word cloud of Sherlock Holmes’s adventure, “Scandal in Bohemia.” It is unfortunate that the tool does not utilize color to distinguish word frequency or other significant word trends because that would have allowed for some interesting insights. In any case, the word size was telling enough to extract some Sherlockian observations about the context of the story. In my generated word cloud ( http://voyant-tools.org/tool/Cirrus/?corpus=1411164560979.4726&query=&stopList=1411165833459tu&docIndex=0&docId=d1411099477875.99b8b096-b231-7094-d527-8b986fefb364), the most to least significant elements of the story are apparent from larger to smaller size. ‘Holmes’ appears 47 times, ‘photograph’ appears 21 times, ‘king’ (17), ‘majesty’ (16), ‘irene’ and ‘adler’ (13), and ‘woman’ (12). It’s no surprise that these four aspects of the story surface most frequently and the the photograph can be considered a tertiary character of the story because it is crucial to the reveal and the idea of ‘the woman.’

What I took most note of, however, was the lack of Watson’s name. Holmes is obviously the largest word, front and center, but Watson is notably smaller and on the outskirts of the cloud. His name appears 6 times, half as many times as the mention of Irene Adler’s name. Though this does make sense because he is the narrator and therefore is primarily mentioned in the first person in the text, I expected to see more of his name when Sherlock addresses him in conversation. A conclusion from this ‘where’s Watson’ is that this is a subtle show of Sherlock’s narcissism. Holmes’s heightened perception and memory are arguably the biggest parts of the story, but his lack of addressing Watson – our narrator and the right hand man – by name is a way of noticing Sherlock’s ego from a quantitative perspective.

TheWoman_WordFrequency ScandalBohemia_WordCloud2

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