Will adaptations help us visualize the progression of feminism? Maybe…

On a mission to continue shaping my potential DH research project, I have found myself thinking deeply on the ways that I might further complicate my thinking and goals. I have arrived at the conclusion that I needed to expand my dataset to include three additional texts outside of the adaptation of Jane Eyre realm, so as to further examine the ways in which prominent feminist authors of the given time establish their values/goals. As previously discussed, I will examine Jane Eyre (1847) by Charlotte Bronte, Wide Sargasso Sea (1966) by Jean Rhys (prequel) and All Hallows At Eyre Hall (2014) by Luccia Gray (sequel). I have now added to my corpus Wuthering Heights (1847) by Emily Bronte, Valley of Dolls (1966) by Jacqueline Susann, and Big Little Lies (2014) by Liane Moriarty. As noted in the previous post, the three primary texts are available online either via PDF or the Project Gutenberg – the same goes for these comparative texts.

My primary goal is to better understand the construction and evolution of feminism in literature during the 19th, 20th, and 20st centuries. Along with this, I will examine the adaptation, the ways in which this evolving understanding of feminist ideals might remain or change, and the seek to further understand the reasoning why authors of adaptations might stay loyal to the original work or stray from it. I will examine pronoun and corresponding verb usage to explore the ways that these feminism and adaptation connect, allowing me to hopefully see clear shifts in verb usage across time which I can further analyze. My vision is to create data visualization similar to those found in the work published by Julia Silge in her article “Gender Roles with Text Mining and N-grams” and Matthew Jockers and Gabi Kirilloff in their article “Understanding Gender and Character Agency in the 19th Century Novel”. These visualizations are easy to understand graphs that demonstrate most utilized verbs associated with male or female characters. This is particularly effective in showing readers concrete data to support larger claims being made about gender roles or gender perception. I plan to utilize my WordPress to display this work, where readers will be be able to find background/historical information and examine the data from each time period individually, as well as a page about my collective conclusion(s) about the entire dataset.

I plan to refer to Fotis Jannidis’ “On the perceived complexity of literature. A response to Nan Z. Da” to inform my background on the importance of such a project and a justification for why quantitative analysis on literary works is vital to expand on non-quantitative questions already pondered (I have my research done for this – every one of these books have articles written about their perceived feminist nature born from the narrative…but not the words or structure themselves). It is my hope that this research will produce an interesting, new understanding of both the adaptation and feminist fiction and I look forward to further bringing this project to fruition.

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