Voyant Tools

For my project on Voyant tools, I decided to use the piece of literature by WEB DuBois titled “The Souls of Black Folk”. I decided to use this because I thought that the language in this particular piece of work would be interesting to dissect by the actual words used. I started with analyzing particular words to see how often they were used. The word, “black” and “negro” were used most often. Which comes as no surprise since this essay focuses on their lives. One of the interesting observations I was able to make because of this tool was the use of the word “white” it’s obviously used to describe the oppressive white people it is interesting to see what words are surrounding them. Predominantly where the word “white” appears there is also a negative association. Similarly, I wanted to see what sentences positive associations showed up, for example, the word “great”. On the graph, the word “great” has a big spike going from four instances of the word to seventeen. So with this tool, I was able to see why that was. Overall, this tool was extremely useful in seeing this piece of literature in a different way. Having already read a part of this work, this allowed to understand it in a way that allowed to greater comprehension and analysis. I hope to use this piece of work in comparison with another African American writer from around the same time to see how their views compare, paying close attention to their language and uses of words.

1 thought on “Voyant Tools

  1. Very interesting. Wouldn’t it be interesting to take all of Du Bois’s texts and work with them as a corpus – – perhaps to look for patterns over time, from early to late career. For instance, what happens to his metaphor of the “veil” or his term “double consciousness” over the course of his writing career?

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