For this weeks assignment, my group was tasked with analyzing topic 8. The words in this topic include: master time day house man night place slaves work great overseer made large field people road told water men and plantation. After uploading all of the text documents that I downloaded into Voyant I was immediately flooded with so much information, almost too much to handle at once. For my inquiry question, I decided to go with was “Is there a correlation between the words slave and man in the documents we selected?” In the context that do both of the words “slave” and “man” appear frequently in the same documents. The reason I wanted to choose these two words is because I am interested in seeing if the documents constituted slaves as people yet, or if the documents merely likened them to chattel, still denying their humanity.
The first aspect of information that I wanted to look at was: the cirrus word assortment, seeing if they both showed up a relatively comparable number of times total, with all the documents words added together. The word “slave” appeared throughout the documents 3,643 times, whereas the word “man” in total, showed up 4,249 times amongst all of the documents. While that isn’t a crazy difference, the words “master”, “time”, “said”, “slaves”, and “mr.” all showed up in more comparable numbers with “slave” opposed to the word “man”.
The next one of the features that I wanted to get information from was the corpus. When looking at this chart I was immediately intrigued when I saw that the words only appeared a comparable number of times for 4 of the 15 documents that were inputted. In the remaining 11 documents the terms appeared to be polar opposites, the word “man” showing up very apparently in one document while the word “slave” was nearly completely absent and vice versa.
Another one of the resources that I was excited to get another chance to try, as I did not test it out too much in class, was bubblelines. When looking at the bubbeline charts, I first had to open it up in its own tab so I could not only see it in the first place, but also be able to see enough detail to differentiate the different term bubbles to look for overlapping. Being able to focus on my two terms, but also getting a good look at the other terms presence alongside each other in the documents to look for other potential correlations between them. In looking at the term “slave’ alone we can see that it is pretty consistent about appearing throughout the whole document, but interestingly spikes near the ending quarters of the document. The word “man”, like slave, shows up the entire length of the document also like slave spiking at the end of the documents. But differently from slave, it also spikes in the middle of the documents. What the corpus did not show was, these words both appear in the documents, if not in the exact same space, are at least over lapping.
This revelation could throw off my whole thought on my analysis question, because while in the beginning of this process I was nervous, as it seemed that these two words had very little connection. Between not showing up a similar number of times throughout all of the documents, and seemingly did not show up often in documents that contained the other word, I thought that I might have to change my whole question and start the whole process over. But the important aspect that the bubblelines were able to prove, and help give credence to my analysis question, is that they were showing up at the same points in time when reading or analyzing these documents