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.

  1. I think you’re right, Christian, to think that a reading of the original text might be a good backdrop for encountering the app.

    I don’t think that we can really say that the app is faulty in a discussion setting. Instead, it perhaps forces us to consider that the way we talk about literature isn’t controlled so much by the stories as it is by the technology that is used in the delivery of the stories.

  2. I agree that the app does not have the same feminist undertone as does Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, which ultimately made reading the text much different. I also think that the point Professor Croxall makes is one I had not thought much about. The way in which the same story is delivered depends on how we will discuss it. In the app, there are not as many voices being heard as in the novel with Victor, the monster and Walton. Since there were less voices being heard from this gave the app, in my opinion, a little less complexity unlike the narrative itself.

  3. I think your analysis and advice are great. Without reading the original text by Mary Shelley, I would not have understood the app and the significance of the story. I believe that the theme Morris misses, which partially takes place in the letters to Walton, is important. One of the themes and moral in this story is how human exploit science/technology, and it is highly related to Walton. Walton receives warning from Victor, but he is still curious enough to ignore Victor’s lesson. This reaction of Walton shows that people will always want to explore new invention and discovery. This is also Shelley’s advice and insight for her reader, but Morris completely ignores this part.

  4. I think you make really great points, Christian. I personally hadn’t noticed the absence of feminism so much, because I also hadn’t really picked them out so much in the first novel, but now that you mention it, it definitely made me think. I did notice that the nature was played up a lot in the app version of the novel, as well as the solitude aspect. Personally, I don’t think the app should have been “allowed” to change the themes of the novel that much. It takes away from the story, and I don’t like it.

  5. […] From Church Tech Google Blogs Source- I think you're right, Christian, to think that a reading of the original text might be a good backdrop for encountering the app. I don't think that we can really say that the app is faulty in a discussion setting. Instead, […]

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