For this Lab, I decided to use one of my favorite classic works of literature, Carlo Collodi’s Pinocchio. I used chapter 30 from the book as my source of content for this lab, considering it was a longer chapter, in a fairy tale that is full of very short chapters. Nevertheless, It had some character interactions that could be used well to create a graph for our labs purpose. In my graphs case, it’s the interactions Pinocchio had with the characters Lampwick, The Fairy, and The Doctor. The attributes i noted were the characters gender (Yellow Highlight Male, Pink Highlight Female).
What this exercise helped me do, was visualize the domination of the male gender in this chapter of the book. However, it’s important to note that if graphed for all of the chapters of the Pinocchio, the male gender would dominate the book also. This makes me think further, about the advantages of Network Analysis. Network Analysis, as we have read in our assigned readings. I have visualized some of the interaction Pinocchio has with the fairy, and view it differently then i did before. As this exercise showed me how Pinocchio’s interaction with the fairy, is more of a discourse in the direction of his actual character and less Pinocchio’s outgoing exchanges. I noticed this down, because I would typically assume that Pinocchio would be extending his relationship with the Fairy to better convey his desire to be a “real boy”.
I also know that these graphed social networks in literature, can help us identify various things that we couldn’t without a visual form of presentation. We can learn more about characters and their tendencies. For example, we can think more about what a character tends to gravitate towards more in a piece of literature that may be more difficult to not only talk about when analyzing a text, but it also give us a method that results in visualization.The potential of this method is very considerable. If i were to do a graph on the entire work of Pinocchio, I could do an effective graph that shows discourse between Pinocchio and non-human characters. This could open even more insight then I previously could have had about the text, and in result be able to perform an argument about that text even better.
This can relate heavily to our Scott Weingart reading, and a example of how these graphs can capture the complexity of a relationship. Like the one he mentions when talking about perspective in Literature. “One thing the last few decades has taught us is that perspectives are essential, and any model of humanity that does not take into account its multifaceted nature is doomed to be forever incomplete. According to Alex, his friends Betty and Carl are best friends. According to Carl, he can’t actually stand Betty. The structure and nature of a network might change depending on the perspective of a particular node, and I know of no model that captures this complexity.”
Overall, network analysis raises new ways to present an argument and visualize interaction data from literature. That was limited in complex ways before. I am curious to know how we will be applying these methods/graphs for our class project, assuming it will involve many different texts to consider.