Day Three – Prompt #3: An Idea for Visualizing Frankenstein

In terms of visualizing Frankenstein, I wanted to explore a personal question in the hopes of applying a purpose or idea. I’d like to know how many reprints or revisions were made over the years as well as their popularity (or how many novels were purchased in a year) in a simple line-graph and/or scatter. Furthermore, I’d be interested in seeing how many film adaptions of Frankenstein were made from the earliest example to the most recent (like Daniel Radcliffle’s Victor Frankenstein) as well as their popularity in correspondence; these graphs may be included in the first set or separately. The reason for this inquiry is because I wonder if there is a colliding trend where an original classic is modified to create a newer version for new generations and if so, do these modifications impact the story’s popularity? Will this trend continue onward for years to come or will it eventually decline at a certain point?

The reason why I ask this question and strive for an answer is that over the course of history, stories like Frankenstein, Dracula, Wolf-Man, and others have endured throughout time as the most popular figures of horror. Despite any revisions, the generations are still exposed to these classics and carry onward as aspiring legends. I believe it’d be interesting to see any correlation between the rise of Frankenstein novels made in each year with the rise and/or fall of readers if any. As Moretti explains in Graphs Maps Trees, “the causal mechanism must thus be external to the genres, and common to all: like a sudden, total change of their ecosystem. Which is to say: a change of their audience. Books survive if they are read and disappear if they aren’t: and when an entire generic system vanishes at once, the likeliest explanation is that its readers vanished at once” (Moretti, 20). Based from Moretti’s explanation, it is a matter of generations that creates the certain style and mental state that is conformed by “the trigger action of the social and cultural process…” (Moretti, 21).

I’d like to use the line-graph featured in Figure 8 as the template(s) of my proposed visualization of the text as exemplified below here (Moretti, 15-16). In this case, the Y axis (horizontal) would be the number of purchases/readers with the X axis being the time-frame in decades, each point of the line (or dot) representing a different novel/film.

The advantages of using this model can be the simplistic direction that the data can followed by these guidelines that I’ve set as well as the purpose of the research. It is also an advantage to use this model because having more than one ‘line’ overlapping another would indicate the trend that I envision will occur more clearly. The disadvantages of using this model that I foresee, however, are that having more than one graph colliding with each would cause confusion. Another obstacle would be how difficult it would be to interpret the data and results of the graph. (501)

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