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My Mistress’s Sparrow Is Dead

  by Jeffrey Eugenides


(about 884 pages)
221,048
total words
of all the books in our library
48.47%
vividness
of all the books in our library
8.04%
passive voice
of all the books in our library
3.44%
all adverbs
of all the books in our library
1.24%
ly-adverbs
of all the books in our library
2.21%
non-ly-adverbs
of all the books in our library

clippings from this book

We’ve analyzed hundreds of millions of words, from thousands of different authors, training our linguistic models to recognize the most vivid words in the English language… the words that create the most intense sensory experiences: colors, textures, sounds, flavors, and aromas.

Based on our analysis, we’ve scanned through the pages of this book to find the two pages at the extremes, both the most-passive and the most-vivid pages, so that you can compare them side-by-side and see the difference:

MOST PASSIVE PAGE
MOST VIVID PAGE
Laurie is worried sick. The truth is, that’s one reason I was so anxious for you to join us today. I wanted your opinion on the matter.” “On what matter?” Otto said. “I have no idea what this is about. She’s fine. She seems fine. She’s just playing.” “I know she’s just playing, Otto. It’s what she’s playing that concerns me.” “What she’s playing? What is she playing? She’s playing radio, or something! Is that so sinister? The little boys seem to be playing something called Hammer Her Flat.” “I’m sure not. Oh, gracious. You and Sharon were both so right not to have children.” “Excuse me?” Otto said incredulously. “It’s not the radio aspect per se that I’m talking about, it’s what that represents. The child is an observer. She sees herself as an outsider. As alienated.” “There’s nothing wrong with being observant. Other members of this family could benefit from a little of that quality.” “She can’t relate directly to people.” “Who can?” Otto said. “Half the time Viola doesn’t even remember the child is alive! You watch. She won’t send Portia a Christmas present. She probably won’t even call. Otto, listen. We’ve always said that Viola isunstable,’ but, frankly, Viola is psychotic. Do you understand what I’m saying to you? Portia’s mother, Otto. It’s just as you were saying, there’s a geneti—” “I was saying what? I was saying nothing! I was only saying—” “Oh, dear!” Laurie exclaimed. She had an arm around Portia, who was of geese, if necessary. A fat brown goose lay at one end of the table and at the other end, on a bed of creased paper strewn with sprigs of parsley, lay a great ham, stripped of its outer skin and peppered over with crust crumbs, a neat paper frill round its shin, and beside this was a round of spiced beef. Between these rival ends ran parallel lines of side dishes: two little minsters of jelly, red and yellow, a shallow dish full of blocks of blancmange and red jam, a large green leafshaped dish with a stalkshaped handle on which lay bunches of purple raisins and peeled almonds, a companion dish on which lay a solid rectangle of Smyrna figs, a dish of custard topped with grated nutmeg, a small bowl full of chocolates and sweets wrapped in gold and silver papers and a glass vase in which stood some tall celery stalks. In the centre of the table there stood, as sentries to a fruit stand which upheld a pyramid of oranges and American apples, two squat oldfashioned decanters of cut glass, one containing port and the other dark sherry. On the closed square piano a pudding in a huge yellow dish lay in waiting and behind it were three squads of bottles of stout and ale and minerals drawn up according to the colours of their uniforms, the first two black with brown and red labels, the third and smallest squad white, with transverse green sashes

emotional story arc

Click anywhere on the chart to see the most significant emotional words — both positive & negative — from the corresponding section of the text…
This chart visualizes the the shifting emotional balance for the arc of this story, based on the emotional strength of the words in the prose, using techniques pioneered by the UVM Computational Story Lab. To create this story arc, we divided the complete manuscript text into 50 equal-sized chunks, each with 4420.96 words, and then we scored each section by counting the number of strongly-emotional words, both positive and negative. The bars in the chart move downward whenever there’s conflict and sadness, and they move upward when conflicts are resolved, or when the characters are happy and content. The size of each bar represents the positive or negative word-count of that section.

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other books by Jeffrey Eugenides

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