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


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