With taking a class on Digital Humanities, we learned how to look at literature in a new way. Not just reading words on a page but really visualizing the text. In class, we learned more about these by messing around with world clouds. These world clouds represent the frequency of words. The higher the frequency the bigger the words appear in the cloud. There were two tools I used the websites for to examine the Sherlock story “The Speckled Band”.
The first website tool I used, was Wordle. Using Wordle, the first time I entered the text in I used the random setting just to see what would come up. This word cloud represents the “random” that came up.
This setting I tried messing around with things a little bit to make it easier to read. I cut down the words shown from the standard setting of 150 to 100 which I think helped a lot. I also put it in alphabetical order. I really think this helped a lot more for a refresher on a story I have read. It also may be more helpful is someone was just trying to figure out small details of what the story may be about.
I was not surprised when Holmes was the biggest word in the word cloud. “Holmes” is a big part of the story and he is well represented. Other words that help are “save”,“sister”, “death”, “stepfather”. Those are really helpful for details about the story. Other words are not as helpful such as “know”, or “one”.
I even wanted to see what happened with Voyant, by doing the same type of thing.
This is the word cloud before the basic words before I made any changes to the settings. It has nothing but common words in it. Wordle was easier because the basic English words were already taken out of the cloud. It was a lot more work to individually add each word I wanted to take out. But what I liked more about Voyant than Worlde was the fact it showed you how many times the word shows up in the text.
Word clouds seemed to be really helpful if you just need a quick refresher of what you have already read, but sometimes it can be a lot of work and other times it can not really represent the proper information that comes from a reading. I feel like that is something we need to keep in mind anytime we see different visualizations of readings.