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.

  1. I completely agree with you, especially about Frankenstein and how his persona changed in the app. I noticed throughout the app, mainly in the beginning, at how likable Frankenstein was. He makes jokes, refers to the reader as “friend” and asks for our input in making decisions when creating the monster. The reader tends to like Frankenstein, unlike in the book where we are easily put off by him for his ego and selfishness in trying to create life and some may say, over step his boundaries. Maybe the creator of the app wanted us to get a different perspective and try to see things more through the eyes of Frankenstein so that we would be sympathetic towards him.

  2. I’ll agree with both of you that I find Frankenstein to be both more likable and understandable at the beginning of the reading experience on the app. Toward the end, however, he became a much different character. I wonder if that was Morris’s choice or if he felt constrained by Shelley’s text…

  3. I agree with mostly everything you mentioned; however, I disagree that Shelley tries to portray to the reader that the monster as evil and violent. The monster is good at first, but through knowledge and his being unable to join society he becomes upset and vengeful. Except for when we get to hear the monster’s side of the story, everything is told through Frankenstein rather than a 3rd person narrative, so Shelley herself is not necessarily depicting the monster as horrible.

  4. I completely agree with everything you said. There are both negatives and positives to the app. However, i would like to add that aside from changing Frankenstein’s personality into a more humorous one, the changing of the points of views made it very confusing for me.

  5. I agree that Frankenstein’s personality is much more upbeat than the character that Shelley portrayed. I felt uncomfortable reading the perspective of this reinvented character because I had already had Shelley’s imagined personality of Victor in my head. I do not like that Morris changed Victor’s originally intended depression, anger, and isolated personality.

  6. I think this was a very insightful blog post. I like your points about it being an illusion that you can choose your own path, because in some ways you could and in others you couldn’t. Obviously I agree with what you said about the immersion, because I also said it in class.

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