Google Ngram

The first graph I created on Google Ngram compared the use of the words ‘war’ and ‘peace’ during the years 1800 to 2000.  The most obvious pattern I noticed was how the use of the word ‘war’ spiked up during both world wars, as well as the word ‘peace’.  This shows just how much our literature reflects what is currently going on in our society.  As human beings we feel the need to record what is happening in the world and instill it into our literature.

The first spike in the use of the word ‘war’ is around 1804 which makes sense because the Russo-Persian and Napoleonic wars were taking place during this war.  The next spike occurs during the War of 1812 and then regulates until World War I.  The World War II era had a larger spike than the first world war.  This is most likely due to the fact that there were more countries involved, as well as more deaths, and more media involvement.  New technologies made it easier for news to be published and printed.  None of the spikes in use even come close to the spike of the World War II era.  The 1960s era spike was from the Vietnam and Cold War.  The graph regulates until around 2001 when the word ‘war’ would have been used more after 9/11.

It is important to note that ‘peace’ never exceeded the use of ‘war’.  While it’s use increases during the world wars, the space in-between the two is farthest at these moments.

war and peace

The next graph compared the use of ‘men’ and ‘women’.  Of course, ‘men’ was used much more often than ‘women’ during the 1800s and most of the 1900s.  Women were never seen as equal to men and the use of these two words in literature illustrates that idea.  The second wave of feminism is what caused the spike of the word ‘women’ in the 1990s, the only time ‘men’ is below ‘women’.  ‘Men’ and ‘women’ are only used equally in the 1980s and early 2000s.  There were no specific events that I could think of that would cause this.  It is possible that the feminist movements of the 1980s created a generation of feminist-minded children that then turned into feminist-minded adults in the early 2000s.  I thought it was interesting how ‘women’ started to go back down after this.  Just as we reached equality, the separation reoccurred.

men, women


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