How Has the Digital Age Changed Literature?

People around the world look back on how society has changed daily. Trends and technological advancements as caused these changes to happen. As the age we live in advances, new ideas are brought into our minds out of our curiosity. We think of better ways to innovate and think of ways to make our lives easier. As the world innovates, the world around us changes, including literature. Literature has changed from technology through periods. Well-known novels and classics were written in the changing digital age of technology, including new genres. The digital age has affected literature by the creation of new genres, books that have technology affecting the plot, and creating morals of stories.

From changing times, original books were inspired by the recent technologies and ideas from their time. ThPublicationecame easier and many authors were inspired by the recent technologies being discovered and published at the time. “HG Wells followed the same trajectory from science education to journalism to fiction in the 1890s and acknowledged a debt to Allen for his debut, The Time Machine, sometimes claimed as the “first Science Fiction” (Roger). Allen could not find a professional career, and these advancing printing techniques arguably made his career successful. These advancing printing technologies made his printing career successful because these unique spaces of printing created original fiction stories and genres. The new markets created distinct and exciting ideas for literature. “Allen and Wells were created by the modern mass market for literature. Genres like serial detective faction with recurrent characters, spy fiction, or invasion fantasies were the result of the serial logic of huge selling magazines” (Roger). From the peculiar interest of people, unusual stories were created because of the changing technologies of the time and the latest ways to publicize. Fresh magazines created short stories like Sherlock Holmes, A Study in Scarlet, and others. The latest pictures could be reproduced and costs were down, the recent journals created the latest spaces for original stories and genres. “The late 19th-century literature that followed the revolution in electrical machinery produced several enduring fictions that addressed the weirdness of the merging technology as content, not just form” (Roger). Unfamiliar technologies were odd to people, and people resist change often. Phenomena stories were produced from this because of the changing world in innovative technologies. Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Story of the Japanned Box (1899) reveals that the voice of the dead heard through the locked door every night is preserved on a phonograph. These ‘Voices of the Dead’ represent the peculiar phenomena of culture in books being created from the latest machines being invented. This created a different ground for different literary genres and stories. “After the Civil War, the increasing rates of democracy and literacy, industrialism, and urbanization, an expanding population base due to immigration, and rise in middle class provided fertile literacy environment for readers interest in shifts of cultures” (Campbell). America was rapidly growing in population. As the population grows, society changes to that growth. Hardships and immigrants coming to America created distinperspectivesive and genres because of their difference from the normal American life. America was a young nation and was changing to find its own identity, especially in literature, during the changing of the culture. Distinct literature pieces were created from the changing culture and unfamiliar technologies spurring unique genres and classic authors known today. Many books about technology are written to this day and are usually popular. These books can be so popular that new movies are made from these books. Visually movies can show the conflict with technology.

Technology in Science Fiction stories afaffectshe the plot and the characters that are in the plot. The technologies can cause complications for characters. A love-hate relationship is made with new technologies in plots. For example, well-known modern digital age literature books, The Giver, The Death Cure, and Ready Player One show the relationship of technology with the characters and how it affects and makes their lives in the book. In the book Ready Player One, it states, “No one could even touch me, in the OASIS, I was safe” (Cline, 26). The OASIS made the main character Wade Watts feel safe from his horrible life in the real world. The new technologies made him feel good because it was an escape from his horrible life in the modern world. Humanity had no hope, but the OASIS made others feel like they had hope and joy in the world. People can be whatever they want to be. Similarly, The Death Cure states, “Filling a place with people who had no hope and knew they were about to descend into a rotten, horrific spiral of insanity ended up creating some of the most wretched anarchic zones every known to man” (Dashner, 3). WICKED is the form of “government” in the book, they are supposedly attempting to find a cure for the horrible disease that took over the world. However, there are no results. The characters feel turned from WICKED because they have all the new modern technology in the world, but are making little progress. There is no hope for many of the people living in the world, but Thomas needs to find a way to get that cure. He was standing up for himself and everyone else around him. “I created the OASIS because I never felt at home in the real world. I didn’t know how to connect with people there. I was afraid for all my life. Right up until I knew it was ending… because the reality is real” (Cline, 52). OASIS creates a shield for people from the deprived world, but they also know that this technology is hiding them temporarily from the real world. OASIS has a love-hate relationship. Many people know that reality in the real world is awful, and the OASIS can only fix their problems temporarily. “The humans of the community are also tightly regulated by technology. The use of genetic engineering has created different racial or ethnic groups; therefore, most people are similar-looking” (Lowry 52). The main character in, The Giver, Jonas is realizing what society is genuinely supposed to be like and how technology has created a “fake perfect world”. Technology is hiding the hardships of the real world and making it seem like everything is perfect. He realizes that technology in a sense is “an enemy to people” and he must fight against the higher power. The same sense is created in Ready Player One and The Death Cure, on how they must fight with or against technology to have a better life. Technology is not capable of solving everything, it is sometimes just a human spirit.

Books that have technology as the source of the character’s problems have old morals to the story. Morals have guidance to the characters in the stories. Morals act as guidance to the characters, instead of technology ‘helping’ them all the time. In the book The Giver it states, “Sometimes I wish they’d ask for my wisdom more often–there are so many things I could tell them; things I wish they could change. But they don’t want to change. Life here is so orderly, so predictable—so painless. It’s what they’ve chosen” (Cline 26). Jonas wants society to know the inner workings of society, and what it is supposed to be like, but he is in a dilemma because technology is working against him. Just wanting people to accept change in a technologically advanced society will not work for him, because the odds are against him. Jonas can not expose what society is or he will be killed. “Technology in White Noise is mysterious pervasive, only seemingly under control” (Little). Technology is mysterious in the book because the media are shown to be a force for change in the relationships between parents and children, and between humans and their surrounding world. The Death Cure and White Noise show that technology has become as much a part of the texture of daily life as humans are themselves. The two seem inextricable, Don DeLillo the author of White Noise, weaves seamlessly between human and mechanical voices. Technologies prove to work against characters in books.

Thomas and his group need to find a cure and survive. The current technologies are only using trials on people like himself (Little). In the whole Maze Runner series, technology proves to work against Thomas and everyone else in the world. Technology is used for self-interest. The pervasiveness of the digital age and technology makes characters turn against technology and use morals and the human spirit to solve their problems.

Original books and classics were created from the changing world of technology and the digital ages of that time. Classics created from technological advancements have changed the way modern literature was written. These classics givgivethors ideas and inspiration on what to write. The digital age has affected literature by the creation of new genres, new books with the effects of technology, and the creation of corals in stories. Innovative technologies in the 19th century, 20th century, and in othperiodsods created books like The Time Machine, White Noise, and others. Some of these books would become classics and represent the changing mind and way to think in those ages. Different books are created with a love-hate relationship with technology.

Characters have realized how society is not living up to its standards, for example in The Giver, Ready Player One, and others. Technology created problems for the characters and at times acts friend or foe. The effects of technology created morals in the stories for or against technology. The technology could pull characters against each other or unite each other to fight against a greater technological force. Is society moving towards a more digitally controlled age, instead of the human spirit?

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How Has the Digital Age Changed Literature?. (2022, Jun 14). Retrieved from

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