The Not So Missing Links

While I do not find “Walden” particularly interesting to read, I did find Voyant Tools both an intriguing and enlightening way to look at “Walden.” I found that it offered insight into Thoreau’s writing that would be both difficult and time-consuming for a reader to do by hand. While Voyant Tools displays many different components of “Walden’s” text, I found both the summary and links sections particularly helpful.

The summary section shows several things, but I found the average words per sentence and the most frequent words to be the most useful. The average words per sentence are 28.9, which shows that while Thoreau may have tried to live simply, nothing he wrote was said simply.  In my opinion, the most frequent words seem to point out the main subjects and views of Thoreau’s writing, especially the frequent use of the word “man.” Thoreau uses a lot of his word count to talk about mankind and the way men live.

The most frequent words section ties into the links section.  The most frequent words show up and link to other words that are commonly associated with the most frequent words.  For example, I can see that when Thoreau mentions “man,” he is doing so in reference to “life,” or “day,” or perhaps “old,” among other words.

I found that both of these resources helped to cue in on the main topics and their subparts that may not have been so obvious just by reading “Walden” through.

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