Distant and Close Reading of Jane Eyre

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Voyant is an online text analysis tool that uses an uploaded corpus of text to generate graphs, contextual charts, bubble lines, and networks that visualize the corpus term. It will be used as the corpus for distance reading of Jane Eyre's novel. Visualizations such as the pattern, context resources, and connections will be shown once the book is plugged into voyant. Voyant has a contexts tool that helps you to scan for particular words and see all the places in the text where they appear (Bront & Charlotte). For instance, the table below was generated for the words of interest from the novel.

Source: http://web.uvic.ca/~englblog/150f2015/portfolio/8/

This tool can help the user to identify all words of interest in the novel which makes it simple for analysis. Voyant platform is very compatible with multiple document formats such as HTML, PDF, RTF and MS word among many others (Drouin &Jeffrey 130). Once the novel is on the voyant skin, it is easy to use the tools to analyze the book without necessarily going through the entire novel. It is possible to do an analysis of the words side by side by selecting multiple words in the section of “Words in the Entire Corpus.”

Doing a close reading of the book entails flipping through all the pages of the novel. It involves going through the metaphors, personifications, ellipsis, similes, chiasmus, alliteration, zeugma among others (Sinclair et al.). The reader has to make a detailed reading of the novel, analyze it in fine details and finally comment on the points of style and reactions towards the novel.

“You are my sympathy—my better self—my good angel. I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted and lively: a fervent, a solemn passion conceived in my heart, draws you to my center and spring of life, wraps my existence around you.”

For instance, in this selected part of Jane Eyre, it is composed of several metaphors right from the beginning. For one to identify all the styles in it, the reader has to do a detailed reading of it. A close reading of the novel will be very vital since it is the building block of the primary analysis.

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Works Cited

Brontë, Charlotte. Jane Eyre (Third International Student Edition)(Norton Critical Editions). WW Norton & Company, 2016.

Drouin, Jeffrey. "Close-and Distant-Reading Modernism: Network Analysis, Text Mining, and Teaching The Little Review." The Journal of Modern Periodical Studies 5.1 (2014): 110-135.

Sinclair, Stéfan, and Geoffrey Rockwell. "the Voyant Tools Team. 2012. Voyant tools (web application)." Online: http://voyant-tools. org.


August 31, 2021



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