Using Google Maps with My Favorite Book

I used Google Maps to map the locations, fictional homes placed in real towns, of my favorite novel, Pride and Prejudice.  I used points to show the different locations mentioned, with different colors representing different homes or towns.  I also used the map to show the probably route that Elizabeth Bennet travels with her aunt and uncle, the Gardiners.  All of the locations from their trip are in the same color of blue to show the route that they took.  Unlike in Araby, there are no clear directions in the novel as to exactly their path, but multiple cities and towns are mentioned that they stop through.  So, I mapped the towns and drew a connect-the-dots-style pathway between them to suggest how they might have traveled.  

Using Google maps to trace my favorite book gave me a whole new perspective on the story.  I had not realized just how far away everything was from each other.  When reading the novel, distance didn't seem to me to be an incredible factor.  I assumed that all the towns mentioned were relatively near each other location-wise.  I had no idea that Rosings Park and Pemberley were 145 miles apart, as the crow flies. I would have thought that they were much closer, seeing as how Darcy just shows up at his aunt's house because he wants to.  I would have thought that London would have been a bit farther from Longbourne than 22 miles, since the Bingley's early withdrawal to town created so much drama for the small town.  Using the map is a whole new way to experience the story, to learn more about what life was like for the characters.  I really enjoyed this project!

The Faces of Dublin

I have to say, I've been quite captivated by my wandering through the streets of Dublin. I've been pretty shocked by the juxtaposition of old and new. The picture below is what the boy would have most likely seen as he walked down Buckingham St towards the station:


This is Connolly Station. The building looks like it hasn't been altered too much, so I assume that this is what the boy would have seen also:



It's really cool seeing some of these buildings and streets and getting the feeling of walking through them in person. I can only imagine what character these faces take on at night. I bet that the streets of Dublin could be quite eerie (or at least to me) in the dark. If only Street View had a night feature...



Map Revised (slightly?)

I traced the narrator's walk from the Araby house down North Richmond Street, North Circular Road, Summerhill, and finally down Buckingham Street. These lines are marked in blue. After that, the boy takes a tram across the river to Westland Row. Apparently I'm terrible at working Google maps because I couldn't find a tram, so I put him on a train starting at Connolly Station. That line is marked in black. Even though it isn't exact, the map marks (in general) how the boy reached Westland Row from the Araby house with limited directions. This time around was much easier because (even though I still suck at using Google maps) I did manage to actually make lines appear and distinguish the two from one another. So that's a plus!

Looking at the story this way is really interesting to me. I can imagine in my head where the boy actually walked and what a long distance it was rather than relying on my imagination. Oftentimes I'm frustrated when stories or books are focused on travels or a quest but don't provide you with a map (a lot of fantasy novels do provide maps, which I love). It was nice making one of my own and being able to relate that to the story itself. 

Walking Araby

After basically giving up on trying to pinpoint the exact location of the Araby market, I decided that it would be interesting to get a first-hand experience of the boy's journey in the story. Using street view in Google Maps, I decided to walk the route from North Richmond St, turned onto N Circular Rd, onto Summerhill Parade, and finally onto Buckingham St. I know that my experience is a century removed from the boy's walk, but I was still struck by the streets of Dublin.

The first thing that surprised me is that the building in this neighborhood, even in modern times, are very small. Nothing is over 2 or 3 stories. I am used to big cities having tall buildings and narrow streets. Dublin, on the other hand, has short buildings and the streets are quite average-sized. However, the streets still felt incredibly claustrophobic. There are so many buildings packed together on a single street that you feel almost always like you are walking down an alley or corridor. The other surprising thing was the maze of streets you walk through. I am used to the grid system layout of Tulsa; it is simple and logical. Dublin is one jumbled mess. It is a labrynth. It seems like every hundred feet some side street branched off into another corridor. I felt trapped. It made me think how Joyce must have felt walking through these streets, using them even as inspiration for his works. There must have been such a unique atmosphere (especially back then when I'm sure the conditions of the streets were much, much worse). The streets of Dublin seem to be characters in and of themselves in Joyce's works, and I can certainly see why that is.

Mapping Visual Themes in Araby

My map seeks to trace the theme of visual obsession between the boy and Mangan's sister in the storyline of "Araby." The map provides the physical locations for each time the boy references Mangan's sister in a visually romantic way. At each marker on the walking map I inserted the quote that carried this visual theme. 

In my second lab working with the map, I finished marking the locations in which the narrator visually interacts or thinks about Mangan's sister. I also added a picture to each marker of the location, but now in thinking about it more, I wish that I had also put in pictures that helped more with the visual theme that I'm tracking rather than just images of each of the locations. If I was going to work further on this, I think it would be interesting to attach pictures like that of a girl on the steps or of a market scene. 


Araby Neighborhood Map

One thing I noticed while I was in Dublin this summer is that everything is incredibly compact--it really doesn't cover that large of an area. If this was the state of the city in 2014, I bet it was even more compact in Joyce's time. The neighborhood in Araby is no different from the rest of the city. Many of the main buildings that would have been important to families living on North Richmond Street were very short distances away from their homes. Though Joyce never explicity mentions a church in Araby it's a fair assumption that the people mentioned are practicing Catholics. After looking around on Google Maps for a bit, it seems likely that they would have been in the parish of St. Agatha. It's only 0.3 miles from the Araby house, and construction was completed on the church in 1908, making it a viable church for the people in the story. The same goes for St. Vincent's Girls School, the school probably attended by Mangan's sister. Since the boy goes to a school that is specifically for boys, I assumed that there had to be a Catholic girls school nearby. St. Vincent's is, approximately 0.25 miles from the Araby House. Adding further credence to my guess is the fact that a convent is attached to St. Vincent's, and Mangan's sister specifically mentions that she has a retreat at her convent during the weekend of Araby.

Between school, church, and playing in the streets, the children in Araby probably did not spend much time more than a half mile from their homes. This makes the boy's venture to the bazaar all the more notable. It is over 3 miles from his house--a true quest for someone who rarely gets more than a mile from home. 

Mapping Araby

I mapped the pathway that the boy takes to get to the Araby bazaar.  Using details from the text as well as my own research to find more specific locations, I mapped out the trip that the protagonist makes going to the bazaar.  Each segment of his journey is colored differently to represent the walking, tram ride, train ride and final walk to the bazaar.  Mapping the route of this story was a really fun experience, getting to play around with google maps with multiple trial-and-error moments to learn how to use the map best. 


Araby map

I mapped North Washington Street and contrasted its current state with its depiction in Araby. The houses and Christian Brothers School are still there, but the lanes where the boy describes playing have been turned into parking lots and a paved street. Two street lamps are present on the street, as they're described in the story, and one stands almost directly across from a row house. This could be the boy's house, as the narrator describes "the light from the lamp opposite our door."

Mapping Araby

Instead of just looking at Dublin, I tried to map the foreign references in Araby. I ended up with 3 places- Arabia from the reference to The Arab's Farewell to His Steed, France because of the french name of the Cafe Chantant, and England because of the English accents of the stall merchants. I noticed that in regards of the order they are presented in the story, the references go from the furthest away and get progresssively closer to Dublin. I think this parallels the boy's collapse of his naivete. When we're young, it seems like the world is so close and reachable, but I think that as the boy became more aware of 'reality' at least in the 'seeing through the mirages that make things seem magical' sense, the more he sees how small his world actually is. He said, "the syllables of the word Araby were called to me through the silence in which my soul luxuriated and cast an Eastern enchantment over me." (2) The boy saw Araby as this magical place, but when it turned out to be quite the opposite, it changed how he saw the world and himself. 

Even if that wasn't Joyce's purpose with the foreign references, they do give the sense of how far away from home the boy is. When the poem is mentioned, we're reminded that it's not his father he's waiting for, it's his uncle, which seems out of place and furthermore, he's drunk and forgot about him, which isn't very 'home-y' at all. And then at Araby, it's definitely not what he's used to, which is the little square that he's used to calling home, but it's also a let down because although they are different places, they aren't magical places at all.