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Patricide

  by Joyce Carol Oates


(about 123 pages)
30,771
total words
of all the books in our library
45.11%
vividness
of all the books in our library
9.90%
passive voice
of all the books in our library
3.69%
all adverbs
of all the books in our library
1.51%
ly-adverbs
of all the books in our library
2.18%
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
that will be an improvement.” I’d spoken breezily, to hide my anger. I’d meant to be amusing but Max didn’t seem to think that I was very funny. “She’ll get Roland to sign a pre-nup. She’ll insist on money up front, if she’s smart. She sounds smart. And she’ll wind up the executrix of his estate, Lou-Lou—not you. So don’t be so amused, my dear.” And he hung up. Executrix of his estate. But I was Roland Marks’s executrix! After the last divorce, he’d made me his executrix. Before this, he hadn’t had a will: he’d assumed, as he said, that he would be around for a “long, long time—like one of those giant tortoises that live forever.” But in his late sixties, after batterings in court, he’d begun to feel mortal. He’d told me frankly that he would be leaving money to all of his children, even those who’d disappointed him pretty badly, and from whom he was estranged—“I don’t want to single you out, Lou-Lou. They would just hate you.” But what Dad would do for me, beyond leaving me money—(which, in fact, I really didn’t need, as a professional woman with a good job)—was to name me executrix of his estate, which would include his literary estate, for which service I would be paid a minimum of fifty thousand dollars a year. I’d been deeply moved. I may even have cried. I’d said, “Dad, I can’t think of this now. I can’t tableFormica-topped, simulated maple, with battered legs. The air in the kitchen was warm, close, humid. On the gas-burner stove were many pots and pans. On another table were fresh-baked muffins, whole grain bread, pies. These were pies with thick crusts and sugary-gluey insides. Apple pies, cherry pies. A bottle of beer. Bottles of beer. A hand lifted the bottle, poured the foaming dark liquid into a glass. M.R. drank. So thirsty! So hungry! Her eyes welled with tears of childish gratitude. The heavyset woman served her. The heavyset woman had enormous breasts to her waist. The heavyset woman had a coarse flushed skin and sympathetic eyes. Her crown of braids made her appear regal yet you knew—you could not coerce this woman. When others—men, boys—tried to push into the kitchen to peer at M.R. in her rumpled and mud-stained clothes, the heavyset woman shooed them away. Laughing saying, Yall go away get the hell out noner your business here. M.R. was eating so greedily, soup spilled onto the front of her jacket. Her hands shook. Beer in her nostrils making her cough, choke. She’d had too much to drink, and to eat. Too quickly. Laughing became coughing and coughing became choking and the heavyset woman thumped her between the shoulder blades with a fist. It was the TV—or, a jukeboxloud percussive music. She could not hear the music, so loud. Something was entering her—lights? like glinting blades. She wasn’t drunk

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 615.42 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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