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Letting Go

  by Philip Roth


(about 968 pages)
241,981
total words
of all the books in our library
37.78%
vividness
of all the books in our library
9.87%
passive voice
of all the books in our library
3.29%
all adverbs
of all the books in our library
0.94%
ly-adverbs
of all the books in our library
2.35%
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
to.” “Libby, what are we going to do?” “I’ll be all right. I know I will.” “It was that first day, Libby.” “But it’s so wonderful when I don’t have to worry about anything, when we just do it whenever we want, without all that crap.” “How are we going to afford you pregnant? How are we going to afford a baby?” “But people miss whole months—” “I don’t see what good it’ll do.” “The good is we’ll know, one way or another.” “We’ll know anyway, if I miss another month. I don’t see what’s to be gained.” “What’s to be gained is we’ll know. Am I making myself clear, Lib, or do I have to say it again? We’ll know.” “The test costs ten dollars.” “That’s all right.” “It’s not all right. This room costs that much a week. I may menstruate tomorrow and then it would just be ten bucks out the window.” “So let it be out the window.” “But, Paul, suppose I am pregnant. For ten dollars you can probably buy diaperswe’ll need the ten dollars. Can’t we wait? Can’t we forget it for a while? We come home from work and that’s all we talk about. I don’t see you all day and that’s all we ever talk about.” “We’ll have the test and well know and then we can talk about other things.” “So we’ll know. Then what! When we know it’ll be worse!” “It’ll be better.” “It’ll be worse, Paul. It’ll be Fields and bought three summer dresses to wear to the office: one lavender, one pale blue, and the third, my favorite, an apricot color, with a wide square neck and a pleated skirt. The following week she bought shoes, two strands of pearls, and a pair of white gloves; and then one day when Delsey was out of town, she took a few hours off in the afternoon and went up to the Near North Side, from which she returned with her hair whirled up in an intricate and elegant coiffure. She looked quite stunning, even if not entirely like herself, but in bed that night she had to wear a silk stocking over her head for protection. I complained that her headpiece had a debilitating effect upon my passions, but she said that passion was out of the question anyway—she had to lie perfectly still. Fortunately, the hairdo was beginning to sag the next day at breakfast, by lunch-time was lopsided, and by dinner beyond repair; a little after midnight she crawled in close beside me again, bareheaded. I suppose there were times when she was really very happy, and when our life together would have seemed, to someone strolling beneath our open window on a summer night, peaceful and comfortable and serene: Martha, in shorts and a sleeveless blouse, stretched out on the sofa drinking iced coffee and reading a book; I in the chair across from her, with a yellow pad on my knee, scribbling notes

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 4839.62 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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