A Different Experience

Using the interactive Frankenstein application was an entirely different experience than reading a paperback book or an electronic book. For me, what made this experience distinct is based on the concept of choosing your own “path” or constructing your own story. Every individual ends up with a different story by the way it is told or by omitting the parts of the story which were not chosen.

Several key components played into action while using this app but what made this app discrete is the decision making aspect of it. Personally, I have never come across such decision making while reading. Not only did these decisions mould the story according to the user’s interest, it also made the user realize why he prefers to choose one option and disregard the other/s. For example, I tended to choose options which involved more drama or confrontation. Although, there is no clear answer to why an individual tends to choose an option, I bring it down to mere interest. For example, I learnt that I was always eager to see what happens if the monster comes across someone. This component of decision making in the app made it a very personalized experience.

Furthermore, I felt more connected to the story while choosing what I wanted to do. Initially, I thought I was going to be Walton to whom Frankenstein was going to narrate his story. Then I figured out I was his friend who will help him assemble Bill’s body parts. Then, I became Bill. This interaction with the app added another dimension to the experience.

Although, making reading decisions seems interesting, the process has a few drawbacks as well. Firstly, the several number of choices leads to a very low probability of two people ending up choosing the same path, thus, rendering the app to be less effective in discussions. In other words, there is not much to argue about as a person might miss out on something another person has read. Secondly, it was annoying at times to come across the same choices I previously tried to avoid. Lastly, the decisions I made were also based on the original reading I had done. The experience would have been much different if I had not read Shelley’s Frankenstein.

Even though using this application was a very interesting experience, I would prefer reading the paperback version of Frankenstein again if I had to. I find holding a book and reading through pages more convenient rather than having to choose an option every other minute.

Missing Themes?

Although the application was an engaging experience, the application came short in displaying the novel’s themes. While some themes are understated by the application, other themes are amplified as well.

Apart from not providing Walton’s letters, thematic statements of the novel are either absent or diluted. One theme I saw absent from the application was the emphasis on feminism. Considering how the application reconstructs Shelly’s words, some of the subtle feministic statements are either understated or completely erased. Realizing this, I then went on to think what other themes were understated by the application. In other words, this one weakness in the reconstruction of Shelly’s text makes for a big hole in the application.

Although I stated that some themes were downplayed, others were amplified. One important theme that received emphasis was the maniacal development from solitude, as shown by Frankenstein. The application showed more scenes of Frankenstein’s maniacal persona than in Shelly’s text, emphasizing the thematic statement. Another stressed theme was the point of the cathartic result from appreciating nature. When the application allowed one to guide Frankenstein through nature, there were a large number of excerpts of Frankenstein transcending from grief to bliss. So while some themes are understated by the application, there are other themes that are emphasized far more than they are in the original text.

Still, there is the fact that there are many paths in this application, making my point lightweight. In other words, other users of the application could have received different texts, resulting in different themes. Considering this fact, another person could have seen a feministic theme and miss the solitude theme. With this in mind, the application seems faulty in a discussion setting. The fact that every user may receive different text, resulting in different interpretations of the novel, makes for a hectic discussion, futile in making concrete agreements within a group.

Retrospectively, though this application was enjoyable to use, the fact that there are theme “holes” makes me weary to use it. Still, I would not discourage anyone from using the application, but I would advise one to read the original text before coming into the application.

The Purpose of a Setting

What is the purpose of a setting in literature? Why do authors strategically think about where their story takes place? The setting in any form of literature can help set the mood or tone, place a story in context of the surroundings, provide foreshadowing, or add a sense of irony.

One of the main differences we discussed in class between Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Dave Morris’s Frankenstein is the setting in each story. As previously noted, Morris writes the story of Victor’s early experiments in Paris rather than in Ingolstadt. Unlike Ingolstadt, Paris during the French Revolution is of familiar territory, which allows the readers to make certain inferences that were absent in Shelley’s published version. Evidently, Morris chooses the setting of his Frankenstein to take place during the French Revolution for a reason.

As most of us have learned throughout our 20 years of education, the French Revolution was a period of social and political uprising that ultimately transformed French society. Traditional ideas, such as hierarchy, monarchy, and religious authority, were soon overthrown by Enlightenment principles, such as, equality, citizenship, democracy and science. For this reason, it is almost ironic that Morris chooses to create his story in revolutionary France. In both versions of Frankenstein, the monster’s initial goal after his ‘birth’ is to be accepted by those around him. Similarly to the people in revolutionary France, the monster’s only desire is to feel equal among its inhabitants, rather than being treated and viewed like an outsider. It is as if the monster is a member of the common people, fighting for equality and citizenship, against the aristocracy (or in the monster’s case, all people), that believe otherwise. It is ironic that the monster, a creature we imagine to be visually hideous and outside of the human species, appears in the novel to fight for the very same principles that sparked the French Revolution. Therefore, not only does Morris’s change of setting provide irony to his story, but it also gives the readers a frame of reference in which to relate the story.

The French Revolution influenced the progress of science by encouraging scientific research. Traditional science was founded upon tradition, faith, and religion. The Enlightenment period marked the cultural movement of intellect, replacing Plato and Aristotle with reasoning and mechanical laws. In both versions of Frankenstein, Victor’s creation of the monster was something no human was capable of at the time. Victor, going beyond tradition and conducting scientific research (the process of creating the monster), is what led him to his discovery of giving inanimate objects life. The progression of science, for example Victor’s creation of the monster, was another principle that sparked the French Revolution. Overall, I believe Morris’s decision to change the setting of Shelley’s Frankenstein was beneficial because it emphasizes different aspects of the characters’ decisions and actions.

Point of View

In Frankenstein by Dave Morris, the story plot is still the same as Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, but it has different approaches and point of view from the original work. These points of view change the story entirely, since the readers are now reading it through different speaker as if they are the characters themselves. Although it is interesting to read a story in different point of view, it is sometimes confusing and I wish it could just be written in single point of view throughout the story.

In part one, the second person point of view gives readers a sense of companionship with Frankenstein. Readers are helping Frankenstein deciding what to get for the body structures, and I feel like I am one of the creators, which is interesting.

However in part two, it shifts to first person point of view, and readers are now the monsters. This, similar to part one, gives reader a sense of involvement in the story, but in a different approach. Although it is great that Morris is trying different approach to narrate the story, I was sometimes confused of what I am in the story. Also, I find myself still standing on the human part, believing human nature is kind and feeling disturbed when the monster/I kill Williams.

The point of view in the rest of the story is all first person, but the readers are going from Victor’s point of view instead of the monster’s. It really is confusing in the beginning of part three, because I don’t know if I am Victor’s companion or Victor himself. Every time I start on a new chapter or part, I have to question myself whether or not I am on the right point of view this time. I just have to put in extra effort to clarify the story.

Also, the options are mostly in second person point of view asking what “you” want, and I will just have to stop for a while and think about who I really am at this point. Therefore, even though it is interesting the author writes in different approaches and provides many options, I just want the story to be in the same point of view.

Detriments of the app

Although the app was interactive and gave a new twist into reading Frankenstein, a few aspects of the app really hindered my overall experience. First, the pictures in the background really changed my imaginative images of Shelley’s Frankenstein. I really enjoy picturing characters, scenes, and places in a novel my own way and I think that is what makes a book so interesting to read. Like movies based off books, the imagination is taken away, the director or in this case app creator immediately throws these images into the reader’s head and the reader’s imagination is cannot run freely.

Another aspect of the app that I disliked was the tab for a variety of reasons. First, these tabs made each story different and although this is creative, I felt that because I picked a certain tab parts were left out of the story. The tabs perhaps would serve a better purpose if the reader could go back and choose different tabs to get an overall more in-depth version of Frankenstein. Also, having to click the tab after each page distracted me from the story and I felt, even though I was making decisions and now technically a part of the story, that I was some what disconnected. I could not become fully immersed in the story, as after each minute I had to take a step back from the story and think about which tab to pick next.

Lastly, I disliked how I could not find out how many pages were left in each section. By limiting the reader, it makes the reader antsy and the reader therefore anticipates the ending of each chapter. When I know how many pages are left, I can allot a specific amount of time and not feel pressured while reading. Without letting me know that in the app, I found I was less interested in the story and just wanted to know when it would end. The app was done very well, and does give an alternate and interactive way for reading Frankenstein. However, personally, I felt these features made the app less enjoyable and a paperback version is the right type for me.


I don’t know how many of you share this with me, but I love reading. A lot. In my opinion, there are very few things as amazing as settling in front of a fireplace with hot chocolate and a book, especially during the holidays.

I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t really a fan of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, but it did give me the satisfaction that reading a book normally does. I was able to get lost in the story completely, even if I didn’t really love it.

The app, however, did no such thing. First of all, I have to say I don’t really mind reading on an iPad. I’ve done it before without many complaints, but this time was different. I found the background of the app extremely distracting and there’s nothing more annoying than being unable to see how far you have to go and there being no page numbers in general. Not only that, but I hated the way the pages changed. In the Kindl app, for example, you can flip pages almost like you can in a book, this one you had to tap for it to go back up, which I didn’t like.

My biggest dislike, however, was the choices. When you’re reading a book, you need to be a reader. You need to be able to lose yourself in a different world that will take you away from your own, and if you’re making choices to see how the story is going to go on, you can’t do that. Every time I ended the page, I had to pull myself out of the story, look over the possibilities and decide which one was going to be the right choice. And to be completely honest, because I couldn’t lose myself in the story, I ended up picking whichever one I thought would get me done faster. That’s not what a story is supposed to do.

Lastly, I felt that even though the language was easier to read than Mary Shelley’s original work, it took away from the story. Something about her word choices made it more realistic than this new Victor’s easy slang.

I just don’t think that something so classic, should be allowed to be butchered the way it was to be put in this app.

Oh and P.S., Bill is a much better name than Adom. Way to make the reference to Adam and Eve even more obvious, gosh.

pros and cons

In designing this app, Morris put a very interesting twist on Shelley’s Frankenstein. He took a 200 year-old novel and modernized it by using technology to present its content. I found that there were many aspects of this app that made the story more interesting and enjoyable but also took away from the overall reading experience.

I agree with many of my classmates that this version of the novel is much more stimulating than the actual book because of the graphics and animation. In addition to the visual appeal of the app, I liked that it felt as if I was a part of the story and was able to enter into a conversation with Frankenstein. I think that everyone has had at least one experience where they have wanted to say or do something to influence a character’s actions in a book or movie. While reading the app, I thought it was really cool that I was able to choose which questions I wanted Frankenstein to answer. Although the app could potentially have been leading in the same direction regardless of my choices, I still liked that it created the allusion that I was providing my own input.

While I enjoyed this interactive feature of the app, I think it disturbed the flow of my reading. As Emily mentioned in class, it was difficult to stay focused and lose myself in the story when the app prompted me to make a decision every couple of lines. When reading a tangible book is easy to become immersed in the story without paying attention to how much you’ve read or how much is left. The short pages and selection of tabs at the bottom of each section was very disruptive to me as I read the story.

Another aspect of the app that I though was both a pro and a con was that it changed the persona of some of the characters.. In the app, I feel that Frankenstein’s character is much more light and charismatic than he is in the book. He frequently jokes with reader in the beginning of the story and his dialogue exhibits personality. While it was interesting to read a story that presents a different portrayal of Frankenstein, I don’t think Shelley intended Frankenstein to come across as pleasant and humorous.

Between the book and the app, it is hard to say which version of the story I like better because they are so completely different. Both versions have pros and cons but it all depends on who you ask.

Nature’s Benefits

While many blog posts may seem to focus on their reaction to the Frankenstein app, I hope to address an essential part of the novel that has not been fully discussed. This essential component of the novel deals with Nature important role in Victor’s life. Although Victor thinks he can outsmart Nature with his scientific knowledge creation, he certainly benefits and finds some peace and comfort when he encounters with Nature. Victor’s relationship with Nature reflects Victor’s dependence on it and its close bond to Victor.

Victor is physically dependent on the benevolent provisions of Nature in order to help him recover from sickness. He becomes attached to the Natural environment by observing and enjoying the Nature’s provisions. This is noted in his physical recovery process after his professors, Waldman and Krempe, torment him from their commendations of his scientific achievements. Despite Victor’s initial sickness, his “health and spirits [are] restored” and he “gain[s] additional strength from the salubrious air [he] breathes” and “the natural incidents” that occur with himself and Henry (Shelley 94). The kindness of nature soothes Victor’s physical pains and, as a result, it enhances his overall well-being. Nature provides full restoration, which Victor lacks even while Henry is with him. And it is this benefitting relationship that leads Victor to depend on Nature.

This dependence and benefit is not only manifested in Ingolstadt, but also wherever he goes. Victor also is emotionally uplifted as he begins on his journey. When he finally reaches Geneva, Victor narrates that “the calm and heavenly scene” at Lausanne “restore[s]” him. Because of this experience and more of his comforting experiences around the world, he continues by admiring the “palaces of nature” for their great ability to revive his painful state of mind (Shelley 97). In this portion of the story, Victor is becoming totally dependent on Nature’s kindness. His emotions are attached to the beauty of Nature that he sees, and this produces the closeness he experiences. He is certainly comforted, and even gladdened, by how Nature assists him to gain some peace in the midst of the chaos he is going through. This reflects nature’s benevolence towards Victor and he finds appreciates and depends on it.

As the story progresses, Victor becomes more dependent on Nature than on people and this is revealed in his relationship even to his family. Because Victor seems to remain in a depressed mood, his father marries him to Elizabeth who has been his closest companion since childhood. The father hopes Elizabeth will be restore his happiness and his former pleasant character. However, after his wedding, Victor is still unhappy, and as a result, he returns to Nature’s pleasant scenery to cheer him up. Away from his bride and father, Victor watches the scene[s] of beauty still more interesting,” “the innumerable fish that are swimming in the clear waters, where [he] can distinguish every pebble that lies at the bottom,” and observe how “happy and serene Nature appears” (Shelley 196). Victor decides not to enjoy Elizabeth and his family on his wedding night, but finds pleasure and joy with Nature’s benevolent provisions. Instead of drawing closer to his family and wife, he draws closer to Nature. By so doing, he depends on Nature more than his family, to soothe his pain and misery. Victor’s conscious action to attach himself to Nature’s greatness and neglect his family shows his strong dependence on it.

Interesting differences between the App and Book

The app was extremely interactive and made reading Frankenstein much more enjoyable and interesting. Having the ability to pick and choose the tabs after reading to discover more was great for engaging the reader more. The reader, for the most part, was able to choose which topics or areas of the story that they’d like to know more about. The reader had the power to acquire more knowledge about certain topics by simply the click of a button. For instance, I wanted to know more about Victor Frankenstein’s work and so I chose that tab entitled “What is your work?” From there the the app gave a tour of the laboratory and then as the reader I was able to go with Frankenstein to find more parts for his creature, specifically a voice box.

However being able to make certain choses at times, I was able to compare certain parts of the book and app and see some differences. For example, in class we discussed how vague Victor was in giving a description of how the creature ultimately gained life: “I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless think that lay at my feet.” (83) Then in the app Victor says, “Watch as I attach the electrode. And with a throw of a switch…” This is a bit different, but still very vague.

Another difference that I noticed between the app and the book was Victor’s attention to the physical features of the creature. In the book Victor had picked beautiful features for the monster: “his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness” (83) However through the tour of the app that I took, Victor talks of the body parts that the creature will need, but not necessarily of the physical features. This may have just been because of the tour that I specially took, but I found it interesting when Victor, in the app, says, “I created life, but never once gave thought to the life I would create”. Somewhat insinuating that the did not think of its physical appearance, although even in the book thinking of the physical features did not prevent the monster from being hideous.

I just thought those differences and several others were interesting and made the app engaging and interesting to work through.

The Line Between Reader and Author

Typically, when reading novels, the reader is a bystander to the events occurring. In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the reader has no control over what is happening in the novel. When Dave Morris formatted his version of the story, he chose to give the reader a bigger role than he/she normally plays; he decided to incorporate the reader as a main character.

The reader is allowed to advise Victor Frankenstein and make decisions about what happens next. This concept is foreign to most readers. This communication between reader and characters makes the book more interactive and entertaining. I found that while I read the app, I was more interested in what was happening than when I read the paper version.

However, there is a pressure that accompanies this enjoyment of reading. The guilt that readers normally observe the characters feeling is now projected onto the reader him/herself. I was personally affected by the app version of the story because of this uncommon connection between me and the main character. I felt guilty because the directions I guided Frankenstein in impacted his future, sometimes negatively.

With this power comes responsibility. The future is no longer in Shelley’s power, but both Morris’ and the reader’s. This rise in interactivity has both its positives and downsides. While the reader can feel more involved, the pressure from deciding the character’s future can weigh a person down. With the world becoming increasingly reliant on technology, the readers of the future may read more on apps than in paper. More books may switch to this hands-on format where the reader decides the actions of the plot. The readers are essentially secondary authors of the books. If technology continues on the path it is currently on, could every reader eventually become an author?