For Lab 6, I picked the first chapter of one of my favorite books, The Lightning Thief.  I was going to do The Titan’s Curse, but there were exponentially more characters in that one. Picking the first book in a series is much more manageable. I did a network analysis of who talks in the first chapter and who they talk to. It is undirected because most of the discourses are two way anyway.The attribute I picked is how human the characters are. The categories are human, half-human, and non-human.  I figured that one was pretty unique.

Even though I’ve read this book, and this series, more times than I can count, I did find out something new. I thought that Grover and Mr. Brunner talked in the first chapter. I was wrong, not even a throwaway comment. Also, if you take Percy out, there is still a person that connects everyone. That person is Nancy Bobofit. She’s a minor character and when I say minor I mean extremely minor. After Chapter 2, she is never seen again. She may or may not be referenced in the one of the books in the second series, but she is in no way an essential character. It reminds me of the Hamlet network analysis in the Moretti piece. Obviously, Horatio is actually an important character in Hamlet and so the analogy is not completely accurate, but it is unexpected how he connects everyone so that is what I mean.

This brings me to some of the disadvantages of network analysis. If I had used a larger text like the whole book it is possible that this would look different. Since I did not use a larger text, I am going to disregard that. The network is misleading because not everyone that speaks is important. Weighting it would not have helped either. As I already mentioned, Nancy Bobofit the bozo bully has as many interactions as Percy Jackson, who is the main character of both the book and the series.

Not to put all the blame on the network analysis, I am not completely objective. A lot of the information I used was stuff I knew because I had read it before. BEWARE: SPOILERS AHEAD. If I had not, there is no way I would have known that the guy in the wheelchair is a centaur and the main character’s best friend is a satyr. My attribute would be a little wonky. Then I would have to use gender, which would be interesting since there are three males, a female, and a Fury. I am not entirely sure if a Fury counts as a female. Since the Fury manifests as a 50 year old math teacher, I probably would have included it but you see the issue. I also probably would not have known that math teacher was a fury either, just a really creepy mythological bat thing. That information is not revealed until later in the book. Every network analysis has its own perspective right?