Contrastive Analysis

Contrastive Analysis was one of the most stressful projects that I’ve ever had to learn because I kept getting frustrated due to the fact that I continued to get an error every time I ran R Studio.  After I continued to practice during my trial and error I realized that I forgot to breathe, and realize that it’s a learning process. Being around my peers actually motivated me not to give up on practicing how to create a contrastive analysis because they helped me become conscious of the fact that I’m not going to get it on the first try. I want to look at Contrastive Analysis as a challenge that I was able to overcome in a positive way because It takes the stress off of me to be able to understand the symbols, because it’s easier to visualize what i’m viewing. I have a hard time accepting the fact that I will make mistakes, but during this process I had to learn it the hard way that I shouldn’t give up, because it’s hard. Although I struggled in the beginning, learning this approach was interesting because I learned a new way of understanding a new set of texts while looking at Shakespearian novels. I made three folders primary set, secondary test, and test set. The primary set consisted of female contemporary texts, and the secondary set consisted of male contemporary texts. I was testing it against my own corpus. My primary set and words preferred was focusing on words female contemporary authors are looking at, than male contemporary authors. Shakespeare and Brother of the Resurrection Lawrence appears to be the least like female contemporary authors.  I wasn’t surprised to see that Shakespeare was the most dissimilar from female contemporary authors because in the early 1600’s females didn’t have the same type of freedom as men. You can also see it in his writing because the men usually are portrayed as a leader, whereas the women have roles, but they appear to be unconscious in his play. Brother Of The Resurrection  Lawrence was also brought up during the same time period as Shakespeare so I think they might have something in common with their writings. They’re also considered to be more similar to male contemporary authors. The farther that they are from each other, the more that they’re like the words avoided. They’re more like the secondary set which in this case are the male. Many of the novels were clustered together closer to the PC2 0.0 mark. I also think the novels were more similar to the female contemporary authors than the males. It’s interesting to see James Farrer, Conan Doyle, Bram Stoker wrote closest to the preferred word list which means they write closest to the female contemporary authors. Doing this analysis also helped me become aware that although I might not know the author’s name, they actually wrote famous novels that were apart of my childhood. Bram Stoker wrote “Dracula”, and his novel was one of the most successful horror books in English literature. Conan Doyle was a famous fiction author who successfully wrote the “Adventures of Sherlock Holmes”.  W.E.B. Dubois was apart of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and also wrote Darkwater: Voices from Within the Veil. I think it’s interesting to see three successful male authors having the ability to write closest to female contemporary authors because it isn’t expected. It kind of shocked me to see W.E.B. Dubois was more similar to female contemporary authors than Brother of the Resurrection Lawrence. Although female and male contemporary authors write differently it’s refreshing to see them to be comparable during this analysis.

One Reply to “Contrastive Analysis”

  1. I wish I could see your preferred/avoided words better–I’m wondering if they were surprising to you or if anything stood out from that list?

    You should also run oppose() again and select “markers” in order to get the plots pointed in those two overlapping shapes, with plusses for your test set.

    One challenge for interpreting your results is that you have a lot of variables at play . . . for example, is Shakespeare’s preferred words different from female contemporary authors because he was a man? Or because it was such a different time period? Or because he was writing poetry/p[lays rather than novels? The real answer is that it’s a mix of these things (and more), but I’m not sure your visualizations help clarify that. It seems like principal component 2 is almost entirely “is this Shakespeare or not?” Removing him from the test set might give you more interesting results. Any guesses on what PC1 is capturing?

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