While reading this novel one thing that stuck out to me was that Hailey’s and Sam’s names never seemed to be mentioned in their own narratives. So I decided to look them up to see if I had just missed something. Turns out I hadn’t. Sam’s name is mentioned 513 times in Haley’s narrative, and Hailey’s name is mentioned 440 times in Sam’s narrative, but they are never in their own story. Hailey’s name is never mentioned in the chronology, but Sam’s name appears in 27 times in Hailey’s chronology and 15 times in his own. Since Sam’s chronology starts in 1863, it makes sense that he is appearing in Hailey’s chronology. His story ends the day Hailey’s begins. But Hailey’s time starts in 1963, after Sam’s time, so she never shows up in his history.
Also, throughout most of the novel names and titles are frequently written in all caps. But this excludes the main characters’ names. Why is this? Is it simply because they are the main characters? Then why is US always capitalized? US appears about 92 times in Hailey’s narrative and 84 times in Sam’s. I say about because the tools we were given show all occurrences of the text given, even if that text is in the middle of another word. These numbers were obtained by appending a space to the front and end of the word US. What this means is that any occurrences of the word US immediately followed by punctuation are not included here. But why is the word US so prevalent in the novel? And why is it always capitalized? The word doesn’t appear until page 70 in both narratives and the last time it is used is on page 318 of both, 42 pages before the end of the novel.
On a side note, the highlighting of all the o’s and 0’s has been bothering me, so I looked up how often those occur, too, just incase there was a pattern. They appear 5258 times in Hailey’s narrative, 5293 times in Sam’s narrative, 5880 times in Hailey’s chronology, and 7367 times in Sam’s chronology (not including the dates listed at the top of each page). I was kind of hoping there would be the same number in each or a more clear cut distinction. The occurrences in the narratives are similar, which leads me to believe that just happened naturally. But the difference in the occurrences in the chronologies is large; 1487. Why is this? Was this planned or is this coincidence? Skimming through the results, it does look like Sam’s chronology averages more o’s per page than Hailey’s. But the biggest factor is that Hailey’s chronology ends on page H/284. The date for that chronology is May 29th, 2005. The next page has a date, Jun 18, 2006, but no chronology. How did I miss this before? The book was published in 2006, so my guess is that the author didn’t want to create future news stories and so just stopped right up to when he submitted the book to the publishers. But then how did he choose which future dates to use?
This book is making me question everything.