Have Your Own Say

This section of the website provides you with tools for making your own interpretation of To the Lighthouse. It gives you the ability to annotate the same two sections covered in “What the Class Said,” I:1-4 and III:7-13. It also includes a game, “Who Reads Best?” which allows you to decide which subset of readers produces the best interpretations of the novel: students, our computer algorithm, or “experts.”

Instructions for Annotating To the Lighthouse

Before annotating the novel, you may wish to consult our essays “What is Free Indirect Discourse?” and “FID and Modernist Dialogism.”

In the interfaces for annotating the novel, proceed as follows.

  1. Identify a span in which a character is speaking. Highlight this span with your cursor. Note: your highlighting cannot cross paragraph boundaries, since this would violate the XML rules by which our underlying TEI code operates. If you highlight across a paragraph, you will get an error message.
  2. For the highlighted span, indicate the character by selecting from the list on the left hand bar. If more than one character is speaking, select “group.” If it is impossible to identify of the character speaking, select “unknown.” If the speech belongs to a known character we have neglected to include in our character list, select “other.” Next, use the options on the right hand bar to indicate whether the speech is introduced as direct, indirect, or free indirect discourse, and to indicate whether it is spoken aloud or thought silently. When you have selected all of your options, click “Add Annotation.”
  3. The text you selected will now appear with formatting (background colour, outlining, bold or italics) indicating your selected interpretation. If you find you have made an error, double-click on the annotation to remove it and enter the correct interpretation.
  4. If you feel that there is embedded character speech in a given section (for example, that while we are taken into Mrs. Ramsay’s thoughts via FID, Mrs. Ramsay then introduces the speech of another character via indirect discourse), simply select this span and annotate it as above. It will now appear visually embedded within the existing annotation. (Unfortunately, our code does not make it possible to remove an embedded annotation without removing the parent annotation. Double-clicking will remove both.)
  5. Continue until you have finished your annotations, then click “Submit Annotations.” (You do not have to finish the entire section: partial annotations are perfectly acceptable.) If you wish to save your in-progress annotations in TEI format at any time, click “Generate TEI” and save the linked file. You can do this as often as you wish.
  6. Clicking “Submit Annotations” will take you to a new page that presents a customized edition of the novel based on your annotations. You may save or print this view, and you also have the option of saving your final annotations in TEI format by downloading the linked file.

Note: You may wish to consult the official annotation guidelines we distributed to students in the Spring 2013 session of ENG 287. While these instructions refer to manual TEI XML coding of the novel, they may assist you in performing your own annotations using our (considerably more user-friendly) interface.

Instructions for Playing “Who Reads Best?”

The game “Who Reads Best? Student, Computer, or Expert” randomly presents two different interpretations of the same passage of To the Lighthouse, without indicating whether the interpretation was produced by a student, by our algorithm, or by an expert. Click on what you regard as the best interpretation of the passage. You will then be given another randomly-selected passage, and again be asked to click on the best interpretation. You can repeat this as many times as you like. When you’ve had enough, click “I’ve Had Enough,” and you will be shown your preferences. The results page also gives global results taken from all visitors to the website.

Yes, our game is a species of Turing test.

Understanding Our Visualizations

For more on reading our editions, see the “Understanding our Visualizations” page.