The Hero's Journey, Parsed by Big Data Analysis

The Hero’s Journey, Parsed by Big Data Analysis

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The Hero’s Journey, Parsed by Big Data Analysis

They examined 1,327 stories from Project Gutenberg’s fiction collection — all English-language texts between 20,000 and 100,000 words — using three language processing filters. In the end, they found “broad support for the following six emotional arcs”:

* Rags to riches (rise)

* Tragedy, or riches to rags (fall)

* Man in a hole (fall-rise)

* Icarus (rise-fall)

* Cinderella (rise-fall-rise)

* Oedipus (fall-rise-fall)

HT Pamela Pavliscak


  1. Interesting find, Gideon Rosenblatt.

  2. I’m curious about ancient language stories now! Like Asian, African, Indian, Middle East, Aztec…

  3. I recommend you follow Laura Gibbs then, AJ Schultz. 

  4. AJ Schultz I have a Freebookapalooza which includes Project Gutenberg offerings plus lots more free books online, like Hathi Trust (although Project Gutenberg is best for this type of data analysis because it is actual digitized text, not just page images scanned):

    Thanks for this post, Gideon Rosenblatt … it will be fun to share with students. I share Vonnegut’s chart with students already, so this is great! Here’s the chart I use:

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