For my fourth and final electronic literature blog article I decided to look at the the story “Voyage into the Unknown”. This piece was unlike any of the other pieces that I have looked at this semester. It was a lot more complex and detailed. At first it took me a while to figure out what exactly I had to do, where I needed to go, or how to even get there. But once I was able to figure it out, the rest of the story began to fall into place.
The story took place right after the Civil War and tells the tale of John Powell. The theme is set up like a military map and there is a key that you need to use to help you get around. A long the map that are symbols like “N” or “W” which act like directions to help guide you. It turns out that you can click on these different symbols and small clips of story will appear. This sort of reminded me of hypertext fiction where you could click on different answers or words only these are symbols and they keep you on the same page just give you a little bit more information and detail then you previously had.
As I continued on my journey though the story, I began to uncover more of Johns story. I began to learn how John as set out as a trapper in what appears to be he north/midwestern United States. Throughout the journey, we learn of the hardships that the hunters and trappers faced during this time. In this image below, you can see the caption that is listed on the grey dot which indications events and notes. In this caption John describes some of the hardships that he and the other trappers and hunters had to survive.
As the story continues we learn more and more about John and his voyage into the unknown. There are some historical references included such as some of the Indian tribes that the hunters encountered. We learn about men who abandon the trip to try and seek safety and shelter. I think that this is the overall theme that is trying to be portrayed here. I think that the purpose of this literary piece is to emphasizes the harshness and the intensity of the pioneers voyage out west. By bringing this historic story to life, readers can get a better feel and more realistic view of what the unknown really entailed.
At the end of the story, there are a series of images that were illustrated by John Powell during his trip through the great unknown. Here we can learn more about everything that the unknown had to offer, both good and bad. After the storyline is finished and the pictures have all been seen, the beginning of the story restarts. I think that this is a hidden theme and artistically choice saying that there is no end to the unknown; it just keeps continuing on; that there will always been an unknown. I think that just because there is an unknown doesn’t mean that we should be afraid to explore it and conquer it.