Traditional Novel versus StoryCenter

Critical Analysis

In the digital story “Lost and Found,” by Jeff Leinaweaver, the 1958 Piper Tri-pacer N8722D airplane connects two fathers and orphans.  The narrator mentioned above is an adopted orphan who describes how this particular airplane has been the central object in his family. Overall, Leinaweaver tells the story behind this aircraft and uses images and music to tell the new owner and other viewers its true value.

StoryCenter is a digital storytelling platform which allows its users to use voice, music, style and images to deliver a message in short 3-4 minute videos. The stories focus on deep emotional issues such as this one to engage the viewer. This platform allows the viewer to make a connection with the narrator which would otherwise not be possible with a traditional novel since the reader can only make connections with the fictional characters instead of the voice behind them. StoryCenter also allows the viewer to visualise the story through the images displayed and the many sounds of music played throughout the story. However, since these videos are very short, topics are only lightly touched on and characters are briefly introduced and the stories lack a sense of attainment since the conclusion leaves the viewer with far too many questions. Compare this to traditional novels where the characters are fully developed and the story is complete since there is no limit to the chapters.

Technology has advanced and has forced traditional industries to change. Although StoryCenter has certain advantages, it still lacks to fully migrate into a successful medium and replace the traditional novel. Also, shouldn’t some things be left traditional to fully enjoy the experience?

Joe Idoni; 1958 Tri Pacer;;SmugMug; n.d.; web; March 24,2017.

Story Gallery. (n.d.). Retrieved March 24, 2017, from


The Evolution of Crime Scenes

Being a Criminal Has Never Been Harder

Detectives in today’s day and age have several advantages over criminals that didn’t exist in the previous century. New breakthroughs have led to the innocent being exonerated as well as easily put away guilty humans. In “How to Solve a Murder” by Jill Hilbrenner, a veteran detective on the Los Angeles police force Tim Marcia helps explain these advantages in a podcast as well as how he is using said advantages to solve a cold case about a teenage girl killed in South Central Los Angeles in July 1980.

Two new breakthroughs from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have helped detectives gain advantages. Advanced Fingerprints Identification Technology known is Afit has improved the accuracy of fingerprint matching from 92% to 99.6% through a complicated algorithm. Fingerprints that were not previously visible can be created with the new strategies and technologies put in place. Detective Tim Marcia hopes running fingerprints through this new algorithm as well as developing new fingerprints will help him crack the case.

The second technology breakthrough from the FBI is the Combined DNA Index System known as Codis. Codis contains the information of nearly fourteen million offenders and arrestees. Information from the crime can link a crime to any on of these individuals fitting the description or the individual can be linked to multiple crimes taking place with the same M.O. Detective Tim Marcia can use Codis to search for crimes taking place with this M.O. outside his jurisdiction and can only hope it allows him to collect more evidence from crime scenes and possibly catch the killer.

Hilbrenner, J. (2016, March 09). DNA evidence and cold murder cases: when hidden clues catch killers. Retrieved March 27, 2017, from

Suddath, C. (2009, February 03). How to Clean Up a Crime Scene. Retrieved March 27, 2017, from,8599,1876549,00.html

Visualisation: A Powerful Tool


“Sandition”, originally called The Brothers, is an unfinished novel by Jane Austen. Austen’s illness prevented her from finishing this novel. “Sandition” takes place in the early 1800’s and the setting describes the pinned pictures. Sandition is a fishing village being constructed into a seaside resort. The story revolves around Charlotte Heywood who is the daughter of the gentleman that helps Mr. and Mrs. Parker (the leaders of Sandition). Mr. Parker takes this young lady back to help promote his town and turn the seaside resort into a thriving business.

In Sandition, there are many materialistic objects that are significantly related to the plot of the story. The pictures help the reader visualise the story in a way once unimaginable. Pins such as the horse toppling the carriage shows the reader how and why all this story is allowed to take place. If the carriage doesn’t topple, Charlotte cannot spend her summer in Sandition and the town cannot get promoted. The picture on top of the fireplace is another powerful pin since it allows Charlotte to interpret information on Lady Denham and how she values her title over her wealth. Additionally, the pin of the sea helps the reader understand the business aspect behind Mr. Parker’s obsession. Nowadays seaside resorts in Mexico and California  make a lot of money and are booming tourist industries which is what Mr. Parker was trying to promote all along.

Seeing all these pictures together lets the reader compare this town of 1817 to today’s world and how successful of a town it would be today due to congested cities and people eagerly looking to sit seaside.


The Inaccuracy of First Impressions

A Bogus Connection


The author of the short story “Reunion”, John Cheever, is known as one of the greatest short story fiction writer of the twentieth century according to Marvin Chilton of the Telegraph.Enlisting in the army led him to become an alcoholic and have marital problems. This is relevant because one of the main characters in the story faces similar problems in his life.



The story begins by Charlie feeling a very firm relation to his father and wishing for moments like this last forever. The boy “[wishes they] could be photographed…[and have] some record of [them being] together.” Charlie and his father go into restaurants only to get kicked out due to the father’s belligerent behaviour. As Charlie spends more and more time with his father,he realizes his father is impolite and arrogant. Ultimately, Charlie realizes why his mother divorced him and he too discontinues his association with his father.



Deborah Triesman and Richard Ford’s discussion of John Cheever’s classic story “Reunion” in the New Yorker Fiction podcast adds life and discovers hidden meanings. Ford’s vocal performance throughout his reading of the story helps the reader to understand the themes of the story and the background of the characters. For example, when Charlie first sees his father, Ford shows excitement through his voice since the boy hasn’t seen his father in years.When the boy is about to leave, Ford’s voice shows disappointment, since Charlie realizes his first impression of his father is inaccurate throughout the story.



The main themes of this short story are disappointment and separation. Charlie and his father don’t get any opportunities to bond and talk since the father is determined on beingdisrespectful of servants. In the end of the story Charlie says, “I have to go, Daddy,”…”it’s late”(Cheever, 1962, p.45) without as much as a hug or a kiss or any other emotion. This occurs because Charlie regrets contacting his father in the first place since he isn’t a changed man.Charlie states two times about him and his father being separated; “The last time I saw my father was in Grand Central Station” (Cheever, 1962, p.45) and “… [I] got my train, and that was the last time I saw my father” (Cheever, 1962, p.45) are two quotations from the text that help me understand Charlie’s disappointment and separation from his father.



The story leaves a very big hole in the beginning and at the end. It is briefly mentioned that the mother divorces the father but the reason is lost in the boy’s happiness of seeing his father.As the story progresses, the father’s boorish behaviour helps me understand why the mother divorces him and why Charlie never sees him again, filling in all the holes.



This story has been successfully migrated into a new medium; a podcast. The voice of Richard Ford helps the reader understand the voices of the characters and why they are projecting certain voices at certain times. The hidden meanings in the text are left to the listener to comprehend in any way they want. John Cheever leaves much to the imagination and Richard Ford does an excellent job helping the listener interpret the meanings.



In conclusion, it is Richard Ford’s voice that helps me bring John Cheever’s words to life and fill in all the gaps left to the reader’s thought. At first, I led myself to believe reading rather than listening to the story helped me understand it better until I paid attention to voice projection, which is the inaccuracy of first impressions, as Charlie realizes throughout the story.







Treisman, D. (2016, May 10). “Richard Ford Reads John Cheever”. The New Yorker Fiction Podcast from Conde Nast Publications Retrieved February 06, 2017, from


Cheever, J. (1962, October 19). Reunion. Retrieved February 06, 2017, from


John Cheever. (n.d.). Retrieved February 06, 2017, from

Interrelated Connections

Critical Analysis of Theme and Irony

In “Lamb to the Slaughter”, by Roald Dahl, the central theme of the story is connected to the irony displayed.

The story begins with Patrick, a police officer, coming home to his wife Mary and is acting in a strange manner. Mary tries her best to cheer him up but he instead asks for a divorce. Mary, in a state of shock, ends up killing her husband with a piece of lamb which is supposed to be their dinner. Trying to save the life of her unborn child, Mary goes through a sequence of steps to ensure she has an alibi.

The central theme of the story is underestimation. Irony is first displayed when the police notify Mary of the kind of murder weapon used. The detectives underestimate the weapon which leads to Mary being exonerated. Mary also thanks the officers for helping her find the killer which is ironic since it is her and the police underestimate the lengths she will go to for the sake of her unborn child. Lastly, as the officers are eating the lamb, one states that the murder weapon is “probably right under [their] very noses.” The officers underestimate the cooked lamb could cause such damage to Patrick since they underestimate the power of a frozen lamb which is considered to be a weak animal in the first place.

Dahl, R. (1953, Sep 01). LAMB TO THE SLAUGHTER-A story. Harper’s Magazine, 207, 39. Retrieved from

Crime Scene Cleanup – Nationwide & Local Services. (n.d.). Retrieved February 19, 2017, from

Accuracy of Life Through Symbolism

Critical Interpretation of a Digital Story

In the digital story “Signs and Symbols,” by Vladimir Nabokov, a Russian couple are on their way to the nearby sanitarium to wish their mentally ill son a happy birthday.  The opening paragraph helps explain the most significant theme of the story which is suffering.

In the beginning on the story it states that the couple have moved to New York to seek refuge since Germany has come under attack from Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. The family is fully dependent on the husband’s brother Isaac who they have nicknamed the Prince. The boy suffers from a mental illness called “referential mania” which allows him to believe everything happening around him is tied to his existence.  The mother of this child goes through emotional suffering as she “remember[s] the shame, the pity…and the ugly, vicious, backward children he was with in the special school…” Aunt Rosa had her fair share of trouble in life as well since she had to deal with bankruptcies, train accidents and cancer until the Germans killed her.

The symbol of the bird is of paramount significance in this story due to the time and place when it is mentioned. As the couple exit the sanitarium and wait for the bus to arrive the couple see a helpless bird twitching in the puddle. A reader is left to imagine the couple think their son is going through the same suffering especially since the husband is later moaning and wants the boy to come home. Another thought left to the reader’s imagination is that of the third call which might make one believe the boy has succeeded in committing suicide.

This story is converted into a fiction podcast and is read by Mary Gaitskilli. This digital format explores the theme of suffering by the emotions expressed and the various voices projected by Mary. Mary also accentuates the hardships the characters face and lets the listener sympathize with them.

Mary Gaitskill reads Vladimir Nabokov from Conde Nast Publications. Retrieved February 19, 2017, from

Naturespeak. (n.d.). Retrieved February 19, 2017, from


The Power of Remediation

Critical Interpretation of a Digital Surrogate

In the short story “Black Box”, by Jennifer Egan, much of the plot is in the hands of the reader to determine.  The stories protagonist is a voluntary spy who has an assignment to extract information from a dangerous terrorist.

The original story is written in lines of two which is what makes the remediation to twitter very successful. This is so because the two lines fit in a single tweet and the reader is allowed to visualise and interpret information for themselves and even ask themselves questions such as “why she is doing this as a voluntary act?” or  “why does the  terrorist need her for this particular moment in time?”

In the original format of the story, a white space separates thoughts the reader should experience. A lot of readers, however, make the mistake of scrolling down and reading rather than exploring. Therefore, a lot is gained for the reader in the translation to twitter format because if each two-line composition is not thought of carefully and the questions the reader has are not answered before moving on, the story quickly falls out of the reader’s grasp. Each tweet indicates to the reader as a single thought in the head of the subject or an actual occurrence of events in that particular moment of time.

In conclusion, the space left between the lines by the author allows the reader to abstract lessons the subject learns rather than the events themselves.

Egan, J. (2016, May 26). “Black Box”. Retrieved February 19, 2017, from

Water Villa Balcony – Picture of Medhufushi Island Resort, Medhufushi Island. (n.d.). Retrieved February 19, 2017, from