Monday, February 9, 2009

Inanimate alice : Andy P

I loved this site and would really like to see more from alice and brad. I think i’ll concentrate on the text of the stories more so, since if we begin to break down the sound and pictures too much, we stray from textual art to pictoral art (even if text is simply a series of agreed upon symbols of common meaning by society....but thats not the point).
I love that the language used is made to fit that of and 8,10 or 13 year old though subtle drops in grammar and sentence structure that if you weren’t thinking about, could quite easily miss. It reminds me of another story i read where the grammar and complete lack of punctuation is what builds the character:

“Mommy is dead.
She is dead and there are no rats left. The water has turned very hard and thick now so we cant fish. And we cant dig roots because the ground is hard too. There was a cold-white when we woke up and found Mommy dead. That was three days. She is cold and thin and stiff and still. She is dead. She is like the rats we trap or throw stones at when they are dead. Except they are sometimes fat and she is very thin…
We all cried when we saw her. She had told us she would be dead soon. When the rats were all gone from round here before the water went hard and the cold-white she said it. She told us I am going into town for rats I will be back soon. If I don’t come back keep warm. Eat roots and rats and drink river water.”

(If i can, i’ll try to have typed the full story up by tomorrow for any interested parties....but i do recommend it)
The story itself tends to take the reader in a series of ‘hold your breath’ moments for the first 2 episodes where at each turn, alice’s apparent problems eventually turn out to be a series childish cuteness (eg. She’s fallen in the snow and cant see...panic...but realises she actually has her hat over her eyes when she calms down) . due to the nature and timing of how the text is presented (interactive) it is the only reason any ‘hold your breath’ moment is possible, lest a person reading text normally might read on without pausing to think “what has happened that she cant see?”. Again this lets the readers mind play with its own interpretation of what is going on.

The story itself often leaves the reader in alices shoes. However, any sadness about a child moving around so much and being so isolated that she would make up a friend (who is almost her reassuring pseudo-parent) because she really cant have a dog is more than likely a projection of the readers feelings and not alices. The reason for this in episode 1 at least is that as a child of 8, alice would have no reason to think that anything was too far out of the ordinary. It would simply be ‘some things that happened’. At age 13, it is clear this reasoning could have changed.

1 comment:

Jess said...

With multimodal interpretations (we'll talk more about this when we get to our lectures on hypertext) you, as the reader, can definitely talk about ALL aspects of the work. So, when you talk about Inanimate Alice, you can certainly talk about how the sounds, images, user interaction AND text work together (or in fact, against one another) in the story.

Your interpretation here has concentrated on the textual aspect of the story, you notice grammar and phrasing as well as the story itself. I wonder how your interpretation might change if you look at the role of sound (when Alice is scared and then when she calms down) and the role of visual qualities (scenes which are dark and then those that are brighter).