The least surprising thing is that I decided to use this took to look at Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights; anyone who knows me knows my dangerous obsession with the novel (as I write this, I’m wearing a “Team Bronte” shirt).
So I copied and pasted the entire text from Project Gutenberg into the Voyant tool site. This was a bit tedious since I literally copy/pasted it all- you can use the URL but I did not want all the excess data. The most frequents words were “a”, “the”, etc, so I removed those. These are my final results, and whilst they are not at all groundbreaking (none of us are going to faint away in horror that “Heathcliff” is the most frequently used word in Wuthering Heights), I’m interested in them nonetheless.
So to look at my results, we have the names: Heathcliff, Catherine, Linton. To a lesser extent we have Hareton, Edgar, Joseph. We also have a lot of words that have to do with speaking: said, say, replied. That may simply be a result of this being a novel, but I think it speaks to the greater focus on what the characters say to each other in Bronte’s work, and how important it is. We have a lot of master, Miss, Mrs, and Mr, again not entirely surprising but it certainly affirms the focus on status in Bronte’s novel. Who marries whom? Who gets respect? Heathcliff transitions between having one name to being both Mr. and Master Heathcliff.
A few intriguing words: father at 102 times. This is pretty interesting- is there a big focus on fatherhood in Wuthering Heights? There certainly is not one on motherhood, all of the Mrs. Earnshaws die pretty quickly (except, hopefully, Cathy II), Cathy II is never really a mother, Isabella is not one. Of course Nelly Dean is a mother figure; though her dubious take on this motherhood (she is pretty wretched to the young Heathcliff and Catherine, she is not allowed to raise Hareton, though she unequivocally attempts to take care of Cathy II). But there is certainly a plethora of father figures: Mr. Earnshaw, Heathcliff himself, Hindley, Hareton, Edgar, Joseph.
Another one is eyes. Is there a detailed emphasis on looking in Wuthering Heights? There is certainly a focus on perception, and after double-checking Jstor there are several articles about the novel with “gaze”, “look”, “perception” or “eyes” in the title.
I’m interested in hearing your responses to this. Though, as I said, nothing is super groundbreaking, I think it highlights Voyant’s usefulness that I could find these words, and I can analyze them to draw conclusions. I’m also excited to see what the rest of you choose to analyze!