Mapping out the FULL Story

Last semester, Moretti’s section on Maps would definitely have helped me visualize the town of Ruby in Toni Morrison’s Paradise. The town of Ruby was tied together by the literal symbol of the oven and each distinct place (such as the store or convent) was defined by how far they were from it. Moretti states that when a map is created, everything changes. His example of the solar system helps me understand how relationships could work within this system with a village at the center and the rings as representative of the circular narrative (36-7). Though, I think that this type of graph would only work in certain cases, especially ones that are tied together by their primary setting: in this case, the village.

On pg. 43, Moretti presents a scattered graph to depict the hierarchy in Central Places in Southern Germany. Even though it has a legend to separate the regions and the footnote on the isotropic model is there, Moretti doesn’t spend much time going in depth (but perhaps I would understand its relevancy better had I read Our Villages).

I do like the spatial division of labor chart and could see myself applying it to Paradise and the different female roles within the Convent. The one I liked the most is the objects of desire on pg. 55; however, it doesn’t make it clear which objects of desire belong to which of the protagonists. Overall, Moretti’s maps are meant to be starting points to draw readers into developing their own detailed maps to show patterns or trends within narratives.

To practice, I attempted to map out Frankenstein using the Google My Maps. It was a bit difficult at first because I was still figuring out how I wanted to divide up the layers. I ended up creating two layers: the first, pre-creature, and the second, after the creature is created. The locations overlapped a few times because Victor goes back and forth from Ingolstadt to Geneva multiple times upon receiving letters from Elizabeth.

While I didn’t include dates, the red markers are colored to represent the creature’s murders. I also included images to help the audience visually see what is going in in each location. I feel that my lack of detail however makes the map inaccurate since the markers are on cities, and not pinpointed to specific locations. I think Google My Maps is easy-to-use because you can click on a place in Victor’s travels, and include descriptions to help the reader gain insight on what triggers his movement. The timeline doesn’t help me as visually as a map does; however, since time is to some extent linear in Frankenstein, I could definitely see it work in application (448).