The relationships between characters can say a lot about a story. Readers gain a unique insight into these relationships when they observe the number of times characters’ names are used throughout a text. Let’s look at The Great Gatsby. Here’s what it looks like to plot the frequency of characters’ names in a moving line chart.
One of the things I didn’t notice upon my original reading was the sheer dominance of Tom’s name in Chapter 7 where he finally confronts Gatsby and arguably asserts his control decisively over Daisy. A closer look at the data in motion shows that Daisy and Gatsby’s names were actually being used comparably often for several chapters, betraying their rekindling love. But in Chapter 7, Tom’s forcefulness wins out and slyly ripples into the following chapters leading to the story’s tragic end.
Want to plot your own keywords for Gatsby via a line chart? Head on over to the Gatsby page right here!