Literary Analysis Using Bard by Google

Recently I have found gems in my writing efforts, utilizing the AIs available on the Internet. Today I'm going to use Bard by Google-- I might make a video of this post later, which would provide a better medium for learning the software aspect of our voyage today -- Which is why I mention that here, because the prompts and methods we are going to use here will work with ChatGPT, BARD, and Claude

As writers of fiction (or even non-fiction really), we are most interested in the Literary discourse activity. Which is the use of: language in literature to create meaning and communicate ideas. It is broader than traditional grammar and syntax, and encompasses the use of:
  • literary devices,
  • figurative language, 
and other aspects of language to create a particular effect on the reader.

Literary discourse is used to achieve a variety of purposes, such as:
  • To tell a story
  • To express emotions
  • To explore ideas and themes
  • To create a particular mood or atmosphere
  • To entertain or challenge the reader
Literary discourse is often complex and nuanced, and can be interpreted in different ways by different readers. This is part of what makes literature so rich and rewarding to read. It is suppose to be like that.

Here are some examples of literary discourse:
  • The use of metaphors and similes to create vivid imagery
  • The use of symbolism to represent deeper meanings
  • The use of irony to create humor or to highlight social commentary
  • The use of different narrative voices and perspectives to tell a story
  • The use of poetic devices such as rhyme, rhythm, and alliteration to create a musical effect
Literary discourse is found in all genres of literature, from novels and short stories to poetry and plays. It is what makes literature unique and powerful, and it is what allows authors to communicate complex ideas and emotions in a way that is both engaging and thought-provoking.

Here is an example of literary discourse from the poem "Ode to a Nightingale" by John Keats:

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thine happiness,
That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees,
In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

In this passage, Keats uses a variety of literary devices to create a sense of longing and melancholy. He compares his own pain to the effects of hemlock and opium, and he uses the image of the nightingale's song to represent the beauty and freedom of nature. The poem is also full of rich imagery and sensory details, such as the "beechen green" and "shadows numberless."

I utilize the AIs as feedback on my writing through the Literary Analysis tools provided, as well as the here-and-now offerings provided by literary critique. 

To understand just about anything with this AIs, you need some basic understanding regarding what they will do, what they are supposed to do, as well as a source for recommendations. Funny thing is, BARD is up for that too.

What is a Literary Analysis?

A literary analysis is a close examination of a piece of literature, delving beyond the surface level to understand its deeper meaning, significance, and how it achieves its effects. It's like dissecting a frog in biology class, but instead of organs, you're exploring themes, symbols, characters, and literary devices.

PROMPT:: give me a literary analysis for this chapter: {paste chapter here}

And now what? What is Bard going to report to us? Bard has that answer handy for us.

Read the chapter carefully and attentively. I will pay close attention to the chapter's structure, plot, characters, setting, themes, and symbols.

Analyze the chapter's literary devices. I will identify and interpret the author's use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and other literary devices.

Evaluate the chapter's literary merit. I will assess the chapter's strengths and weaknesses, and I will place it in the context of other works of literature.

Write a clear and well-organized critique. I will present my findings in a logical and concise manner, and I will support my claims with evidence from the text.

In addition to the above, I will also consider any specific instructions that you give me. For example, if you ask me to focus on a particular aspect of the chapter, such as its themes or its use of symbolism, I will do so.

I am still under development, but I am committed to providing you with a thoughtful and insightful literary critique.

Which is impressive, but that is just the generic analysis, what else can Bard do as a literary critique?

BARD: I can do a lot to help you with a literary critique, including:

Analyze the work's structure, plot, characters, setting, themes, and symbols. I can help you to understand how these elements work together to create a cohesive and meaningful work of literature.
Identify and interpret the work's literary devices. I can help you to understand how the author uses figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and other literary devices to create a particular effect on the reader.

Evaluate the work's literary merit. I can help you to assess the work's strengths and weaknesses, and to place it in the context of other works of literature.

Compare and contrast the work with other works of literature. I can help you to identify similarities and differences between the work you are critiquing and other works of literature, both within the same genre and outside of it.

Provide my own original insights and interpretations of the work. I can help you to see the work in a new light and to develop your own unique understanding of it.

To get the most out of my help, it is important to provide me with a clear and concise thesis statement that expresses your main argument about the work you are critiquing. You should also provide me with evidence from the text to support your claims. I can then help you to develop your argument and to write a clear and well-organized critique.

BARD: Here are some examples of how I can help you with specific aspects of a literary critique:
If you are struggling to identify the main themes of a work, I can help you to brainstorm and to develop your ideas. I can also provide you with examples of how the themes are developed throughout the work.
If you are unsure how to interpret a particular passage, I can help you to consider different possibilities and to develop your own interpretation. I can also provide you with background information on the work, such as the author's life and historical context, which may help you to understand the passage better.

If you are evaluating the work's literary merit, I can help you to identify its strengths and weaknesses. I can also provide you with examples of other works of literature that are similar in style or subject matter, so that you can compare and contrast the work you are critiquing.

So let's try something

PROMPT: Analyze this poem using OCEAN and then a critique:

Wind bent boughs,
stripped leaves
with long howls.
Blusters edge
serrates through coats
kicking up waves
Rain tapped windows,
a hundred children fingers
drumming glass. Slapping.
The street lights flickered,
brightened, then went out,
plunging strugglers
into ink-night and terror.
Shouts drifted, carried away,
shrieks clawed for each other
then fell silent in the storm.

GLENN: OCEAN is a personality model which has been adapted across several gnostic pursuits. If you prompt and run the analysis as is, Bard will evaluate the poem as a whole, using these five traits. But you can ask for evaluations per verse, per line or per word. I mean, it gets a little messy down at the word level, but you are free to go there.

The big five personality traits, often referred to as OCEAN are: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. These five traits represent broad domains of human behaviour and account for differences in both personality and decision making.

(read more about OCEAN)

BARD: Sure, I can help you with that. Here is the analysis of the poem using OCEAN:

Organization: The poem is organized in chronological order, starting with the wind bending the boughs and stripping the leaves, and ending with the street lights going out and the shouts and shrieks falling silent.

The poem does not explicitly name any characters, but the reader can infer that there are two main characters: the wind and the rain. The wind is described as being strong and destructive, while the rain is described as being more gentle but still disruptive.

Events: The main event of the poem is the storm. The wind and the rain cause a lot of damage, and they also create a sense of fear and chaos.

Atmosphere: The atmosphere of the poem is dark and stormy. The language used is full of harsh sounds and images, which creates a sense of tension and suspense.

Narrative: The poem does not have a traditional narrative structure. Instead, it is more like a series of snapshots that capture the different aspects of the storm.

Here is a critique of the poem:

The poem is effective in creating a sense of the power and destructiveness of a storm. The language is vivid and descriptive, and the imagery is powerful. The poem also effectively captures the sense of fear and chaos that a storm can create.

However, the poem could be improved by providing more context. For example, it would be helpful to know where the storm is taking place and who the characters are. This would help the reader to better understand the poem and connect with it on a personal level.

Overall, the poem is a strong example of how to use language to create a vivid and memorable image of a storm.

If after you have done these analysis and you still feel that you need something more, try this prompt

PROMPT: What did I miss? Where can I improve?

Bard will then give you pin point area you where tightening up the tale will see the most benefit.

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