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We Were the Mulvaneys

  by Joyce Carol Oates


(about 697 pages)
174,293
total words
of all the books in our library
58.67%
vividness
of all the books in our library
8.27%
passive voice
of all the books in our library
3.66%
all adverbs
of all the books in our library
1.46%
ly-adverbs
of all the books in our library
2.20%
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
name. She did not believe that what had happened had been his fault to any degree more than it had been her fault. She’d been drinking at the party, and she had never been so sick in her life. She had made a mistake to drink and believed that friends had warned her but she could not remember clearly. She could not remember much of what had happened and even the memory of the prom itself had become blurred like a dream you know you’ve had yet can’t recall. It was there, it was real, yet she had no access to it. And she did not wish to speak in error. Dr. Oakley said, frowning, “But something was done to you, Marianne? You’ve been—‘hurt’?” There was the evidence she’d discovered, Marianne said slowly, of certain injuries. On her body. She had struggled with him, the boy whose name she did not wish to say, but he’d ripped her dress, and might have struck her—unless she’d fallen, slipped and fell in her high heels, on icy pavement. Trying to run from his car. It had been very cold and windy and she didn’t know where her coat was and she’d been sick. She had never been drunk before but believed that that was what had happened to her—she’d been drinking something made of orange juice and she’d been warned but had not listened, or could not remember having listened, and could not remember who’d warned her. She did true in a way. No one had cooked for Patrick here, in his own kitchen. They sat down to eat. Marianne’s minestrone was the most delicious soup Patrick had ever tasted: steaming-hot, in stoneware bowls, a thick broth seasoned with fresh basil and oregano, containing chunks of celery, tomato, carrots, red onion, beans, chickpeas and macaroni. The nine-grain whole wheat bread was crumbly, chewy, delicious, too. And a green salad with red leaf lettuce and endive, cucumber, pepper, alfalfa sprouts, a vinegar-and-oil dressing flavored with dill. Patrick was surprised at his appetite, his hunger. Usually he prepared for himself quick meals out of cans, dumped in a pan or stirfried in a skillet. Sat at his desk and worked as he ate, hardly tasting his food, washing it down with numerous glasses of fruit juice. Lean-limbed, lanky, with a flat stomach, Patrick had always had nearly the appetite of his heftier brother Mike but no one had seemed to notice. He ate, ate, ate and retained only ropey muscle on his bones. Marianne had always been slender, small-boned; she’d eaten sparingly, as she ate now, taking pleasure in Patrick’s appetite and his reactions to her meal—“Wow. Terrific. This is really good.” Marianne blushed: like Corinne, she was uneasy receiving praise. Saying, disparagingly, “—I think I put too much oregano in the soup. If it’s overdone—” “Hell, no,” Patrick said severely, “—it’s perfect.” Marianne smiled, laughed nervously. In the overhead light her eyes were enormous and the sockets deeply shadowed

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 3485.86 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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