Theory in a Digital Age: A Project of English 483 Students, Coastal Carolina University

Step Three: Application to the Reader

Once the reader has experienced each room, the outside spaces, and all the objects it offers; the doll is full. Now the doll has a different connotation. She is full, she is different and colorful, but does she have meaning? That all depends on the connotation associated to each item found and the reader’s own decision whether to drag the object into the doll. The reader is given a choice. Through interactivity, the reader is given power in the outcome of the story.

These three signifiers are not the only ones the reader is allowed to experience. Everything from the sound, the position of the objects in the room, the timing in which they are revealed, and the shapes and colors have meanings. This is where the line becomes blurry between affective personal and connotation. Yes, the doll is prefaced by Davis explaining a crisis in identity. However, it is hard for the reader to focus on the idea of “feminine embodiment” when the reader is now a part of a “hyper-reality” and he or she becomes the doll. The simulation of private and public space transcends into the reader’s own primary and secondary discourses. Although there are clear connotations throughout the game, Davis is able to relate her theme to the reader while connecting with the reader on a personal and resonating level.

So what does a representative doll have to do with you? The idea of identity is tremendously relevant and personal to each American in the moment we find ourselves in. Especially with the division our country is in with our “political identity” defining us on a deeply, personal level. Through my own interaction, I felt a personal connection to the doll in “Pieces of Herself” and agree with the theory it presents: it’s the people, objects and ideas you surround yourself with that defines you as a person- not your gender, race, or even political views.

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