Date of Award

5-2013

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

English

First Advisor

Patricia Chu

Second Advisor

Jil Hanifan

Abstract

Homestuck by Andrew Hussie is a work developed entirely as an experiment in using the internet as a storytelling medium. In order to analyze this drastically new form of story, born and grown on the internet, I must initially analyze the two genres it best fuses; Homestuck is published serially and episodic, and largely contains media elements of the Graphic Novel. However, Homestuck also mixes into the story areas where reader choice and interactivity, animated cut scenes, and music in a fashion that imitates a video game. I’ll be examining Homestuck as a primary text, first inspecting its form and narrative vehicle through a comparison against traditional Graphic Novels in order to establish some boundaries of digital narration. Then, I’ll examine the more advanced multimedia elements that appear throughout Homestuck, namely the longer animations and interactive game segments, in order to establish what is lost and gained through digital interactivity within a narrative. Finally, I examine the core of the mythos and meaning behind the plot of Homestuck, and its concern with breaking boundaries between what we perceive as the scope of our digital reality on our physical existence. Ultimately, Homestuck illustrates through its development and narrative a positive, yet wary, support of our ever expanding digital existence.

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