Going through the narratives, one of the overarching themes that often sticks out is that of freedom and youth. You definitely get that sense of feeling given the whole road trip sort of nature of our young protagonist’s journey. I decided then to look at the frequency of the term drive in the narratives. Using the context tool, I looked at the text surrounding the times the word drive was mentioned. The language that was utilized was often very light hearted and joyful language with the characters seeming to be enjoying themselves. When looking at the frequency graph though, I found something interesting. There seems to be a moment in the story where the frequency drops tremendously. Interestingly enough while one would think that it’d be on a more negative context area, its actually another positive context. Only this time, its less the context of being on the constant move and having the wind in your hair type of excitement. It’s a more calm sort of taking everything in and admiring the small things kind of context.
The story however isn’t just about watching two kids drive around and have this special sort of aimless freedom trip. See throughout the course of their traveling, Sam and Hailey keep running into this constant antagonizing figure who seems to be coming from nowhere known as The Creep. The Creep is perhaps my favorite part of this story, so I decided to look into his frequency throughout both narratives. As it seems, the frequency is very similar for both Sam and Hailey. Looking at the context tool, everywhere The Creep seems to be mentioned he is accompanied by a lot of negative, scary, and well creepy language. With Hailey’s narrative, he comes across as this sort of sexually deviant figure giving off this sense of unsettling with what feels like his constant badgering of Hailey. With Sam, The Creep comes across as this person who is constantly posturing to Sam and challenging him. For the most part though, when it comes to both texts, there is always this ever present thought of what The Creep is, and that is that he’s someone who’s obviously older than these two. Which leads me to think that this Creep is himself a representation of the idea of growing up.
The Voyant tool was a tremendous help with this assignment. The book Only Revolutions, is definitely a difficult book to navigate by hand given that to go through both narratives requires you to change the orientation of the book constantly. The language in it also makes keeping track of themes and correlations is also an arduous task as well. Voyant allowed me to be able to simply search for the word or words I needed from the text, as well as show me the frequency in which parts they are in the story. My personal favorite function though was the use of the context function. Because it allowed me to make the connections of the languages and themes much easier.
Perhaps one of the most interesting parts about this story, is that of the character The Creep. The Creep is this sort of enigmatic figure that constantly antagonizes our young protagonists, with them eventually doing the same thing and running from him, but it always seems like everywhere they leave to it’s like he will catch up eventually. However, outside of the name The Creep, we never really get a sense of who this person is. That is why I propose he himself isn’t exactly a person, but rather a representation of a different ever present antagonizing force for Sam and Hailey, time. See, the story gives us this narrative of young people travelling in the open road with no care in the world, the almost archetypical imagery of the idea of youth and freedom. Time, however, serves as this youth’s antithesis, taking it away forcing people to eventually settle. You get this sense with the language often used by The Creep indicating him to be a much older figure, referring to Sam and Hailey as “teenyboppers,” pulling them by the ear, as well as having dialog that brings up things like the ideas of sex and being unable to physically match with more youthful people.