Friday, October 03, 2008

Fires in the Mirror WORDLE

"The word, the word above all, is truly magical, not only by its meaning, but by its artful manipulation" (xxiii).

Think of our discussion of author diction and bias in the "Secret Messages" activity/discussion. As we begin reading and viewing Anna Deavere Smith's one-woman play, Fires in the Mirror, we asked ourselves to pay close attention to individual words and their connotations. For a visual representation of the words chosen by our class members here is a "Wordle" (word cloud) of the first fifteen pages of the play.

By the way, here is a link to the NY Times "word clouds" we viewed in class before we generated our own. Remember that these represent the actual words used in the two party conventions.
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Max Rice said...

Other than extraordinary most of the bigger words like, creature demonic etc. have negative connotations. I believe people are naturally more attracted to negative words. When we read in class the text book passage about the battle between the whites and the indians, words to desribe whites and their actions were usually words with negative connotations. Indians and their similar actions were described with words with positive connotations. After reading the passage most of the class believed that clearly the whites were the bad guys of the situation. But after analyzing the passage we discovered that the Indians in the passage, actually comitted more cruelty than the whites. Which shows how our brains react strongly to negative words.

andrea said...

i agree with max. i think it is interesting how people are drawn to the negative side of things rather than the positive. I think it may be because the negative things are more strong to us and therefore attracts the most attention.

Kimber said...

I agree with your posts because when looking at the word cloud, the vast majority of words chosen were negative. In contrast, isn’t it interesting that the word that was most commonly chosen was a positive word?
I think that it is interesting that when I look at the “wordle” from our class the brighter colored words (red and green) standout more to me. At first glance, I pay almost no attention to the blue colored words. I think that if the words were to all be the same color I would notice different words than I do when they are in color. Also, I recently went in to talk to Mr. O’Connor and we looked at the word cloud. I found it really interesting how when we read some of the words in a line, it almost sounded like a poem. Some really interesting phrases were created from doing this. Do you think that Mr. Bolos had specific reasoning for arranging them in this fashion?
When looking at the word clouds for the two party conventions I find it stunning how different the numbers are for the words: Change, Bush, and McCain/Obama (the opponent’s name). As we discussed in class, each candidate has different reasoning for why he used these, or didn’t use these words. When watching the presidential debate tonight the words in this “wordle” word cloud were more apparent to me, and it was interesting to notice the frequency of each.

Kate H said...

I agree with you compleatly Kimber, when I was looking at the the McCain Obama wordle I noticed that the word Bush was barely used by McCain but Obama's camp said it mutiple times. also lately in McCains campain videos he has said that it wont be like the past eight years. Tommarow night will be intresting to see if this effects the vote at all.