Digital Scholarship

 

Sorcerer’s Stone versus Deathly Hallows

Introduction and Voyant Tools

For the Digital Scholarship assignment, I decided to pursue a cultural text I’m very passionate about: J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books. I knew it would be too time consuming and tedious to analyze all seven Harry Potter texts, so I decided to do the two I find most outstanding: The Sorcerer’s Stone and The Deathly Hallows. I analyzed these two texts using Voyant Tools. This text analyzer showed me the words that were used most in each of these texts. I used those words to analyze which concepts stood out in each book.

Results

These are the results Voyant Tools produced for both texts.

Sorcerer’s Stone


Deathly Hallows


With these findings after analyzing the text of both books, I came to the conclusion that Deathly Hallows has significantly darker themes within the text, while Sorcerer’s Stone has significantly lighter themes to the text. This is because of the words most frequently used in both texts; excluding names and filler words.

Top 3 Words Used In Sorcerer’s Stone

These are the top 3 words used in Sorcerer’s Stone that suggest the text has a light-hearted theme.

  1. Life
  2. Great
  3. Quidditch

Top 3 Words Used In Deathly Hallows

These are the top 3 words used in Deathly Hallows that suggest the text has a dark theme.

  1. Death
  2. Dark
  3. Wand

Critical Analysis

When it comes to analyzing Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone versus Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, one thing is clear: they’re opposite in textual description. Sorcerer’s Stone has a light-hearted atmosphere to its literary qualities, while Deathly Hallows has a dark natured atmosphere to the text. This is evident through my findings with the help of Voyant Tools text analysis of both books, and the support of several scholarly articles. The top three words that Voyant Tools analyzed as most commonly used that I’ve picked to reflect the light side of Sorcerer’s Stone are: Life, Great, and Quidditch. The top three words that Voyant Tools analyzed as most commonly used that I’ve picked to reflect the dark side of Deathly Hallows are: Death, Dark, and Wand.

“On the whole, ”Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” is as funny, moving and impressive as the story behind its writing” (Winerip). The text of Sorcerer’s Stone is good natured, childish, and pursues the adventurous side of Rowling’s writings. The text is seen through a child’s eyes (literally, as Harry is a child), and it’s reflected through the tone of the novel. “Rowling has managed to infuse this book with a lovely wit and charm that will both amuse and delight adults and children” (White). The words “Life”, “Great”, and “Quidditch” are all used in a light hearted sense in this novel. The word “Life” appears 200 times, the word “Great” appears 195 times, and the word “Quidditch” appears 295 times. Harry talks about life in a gleeful tone throughout the novel after he’s begun school in Hogwarts (away from the Dursely’s), and narrates the novel with adjectives such as “great” to reflect his happiness throughout this text. Harry also talks about Quidditch in a fond way, as he’s the only first-year in his class that’s allowed to play the sport for his house, which he loves so much. These words exemplify a light hearted atmosphere throughout Rowling’s first novel in this series.

“With each installment, the “Potter” series has grown increasingly dark, and this volume (Deathly Hallows) is no exception” (Michiko). As this reflects, the text Deathly Hallows is written significantly darker than Sorcerer’s Stone, which I compared it to. ““Deathly Hallows” is, for the most part, a somber book that marks Harry’s final initiation into the complexities and sadnesses of adulthood” (Michiko). The words “Death”, “Dark”, and “Wand” are all used in a dark sense in this novel. The word “Death” appears 305 times throughout the novel, the word “Dark” appears 195 times, and the word “Wand” appears 580 times. The words dark and death already reflect how they affect the mood of the text of this novel, as Harry is constantly pondering and dealing with death and the darkness that surrounds him, but the word wand is dark for another reason. The word wand is considered dark, in my opinion, because it symbolizes all the power Voldemort (Harry’s enemy) yeilds throughout this novel.

Sources

Winerip, Michael. “Children’s Books.” NYTimes. New York Times, 14 Feb. 1999. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.

White, Amanda. “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.” By JK Rowling Book Review. Fantasy Book Reviews, n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.

Kakutani, Michiko. “An Epic Showdown as Harry Potter Is Initiated Into Adulthood.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 18 July 2007. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.

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Thanks.

Thanks for reading my article and analysis of Deathly Hallows and Sorcerer’s Stone. I hope you enjoyed this perspective on the light and dark sides of the Harry Potter series, as I enjoy all the books and movies very much. -Sara Sciulla

 

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