Franco Moretti’s call for abandoning close reading caused a stir in literary scholarship. Moretti’s intention was to leverage big data to find hidden patterns. This is extremely controversial for assessing a complex state like emotions. What is an emotion? Emotions are psychological states that are unique to each person. “Emotions are defined in various ways depending on who you ask.” – Gendron, 2010. Then how to quantify emotion or is it even possible to quantify emotion? In the world of AI, chatbots, and metrics, how do machine understands emotion? Is it even ethical to use machines for quantifying emotions?
Nevertheless, I have chosen “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelly for this visualization to explore distant reading and analyze emotion to show the masterpiece through the lens of computational analysis. A dictionary-based approach has been used for this purpose. A dictionary is equipped with words and their classified emotion. Texts are prepared, preprocessed, and cleaned using python libraries. The Texts are parsed into word tokens and classified based on the dictionary to generate emotion scores.