Comparing the Emotions of Different Texts
How does the perspective, type of document, publication date and place of publication of a text effect the emotional value of texts that are derived from the same original story?
The two texts I will compare to answer the question above will be Yarico to Inkle by an unknown author and a transcription of Richard Steele’s Story of Inkle and Yarcio. Before I begin comparisons, here is the metadata pertaining to both that I used for this research…
Yarico to Inkle by Unknown
- Perspective: First Person from Yarico
- Document Type: Poem
- Publication Date: 1792
- Place of Publication: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America
Story of Inkle and Yarico by Richard Steele
- Perspective: Third Person
- Document Type: Short Story
- Publication Date: 1711
- Place of Publication: London, England
I chose this metadata because it allows me to explore some aspects about these texts that are both similar and different, however, without even exploring the texts themselves these publications are already very different judging by the metadata. They have different perspectives, formats, and published almost eighty years apart in different countries. These differences are why I chose these two texts to be the main comparison. I believe it is relatively apparent in the language used and the main focus of each text that the emotional impact differs greatly. I examined these differences using tools such as Word Counter and Same Diff as well as just general observations.
Two texts written from different perspectives will already have varying views and feelings towards certain things, however, in the case of these texts, because one is written from the point of view of a heart broken character and the other is written from the point of view of an external narrator, there is very little similarity in emotional value. Yarico to Inkle is essentially an exclamation of a character who did nothing but help someone only to be betrayed while Story of Inkle and Yarico is simply a description of said betrayal. If we were to also look at the type of document that each text is written in, it just furthers the division between the two. A poem is generally already written to have a lot of underlying meaning behind its words and the way its is structured supports that meaning as well. However, despite the fact Yarico to Inkle is a poem, to me it seems much of the meaning is put rather bluntly, increasing the immediate effect on a reader as they were to go through the text. Something in the form of a short story, can be easier to read but lacks much of that same emotion without becoming to wordy.
These differences are apparent in the words and phrases that are most used in each text as well. For example, in Yarico to Inkle some of the most used and significant words are, “captive”, “slave” and “heaven.” Where as in the Story of Inkle and Yarico would be “lion”, “old” and “young.” It is quite obvious that the poem would induce much more of an emotional repsonse from a reader just judging those few selections of diction. This same trend holds true for much of the phrases and comparisons shown by the tools Same Diff and Word Counter.
Now the reason for these differences would most likely not lay in the publication place and time, despite how different they are for these two specific texts. When both were published, there were on going conflicts with Native Americans, in 1792 the Northwest Indian War and in 1711 tensions with Natives so it seems that these pieces were written to gain sympathy for the Natives, with Yarico being the one that would portray what the readers should sympathize with. The readers being wealthy citizens of both London and Philadelphia who’s opinions would matter much more than the poor during those times.
Overall, I believe these texts were written for the same purpose due to there publication dates and places, but Yarico to Inkle fulfilled that purpose much better than Story of Inkle and Yarico due to its difference in perspective and format.