Modern Technology: The Ultimate Plot Changer
We live in an age where technology rules everything. Almost every person has a cellphone and a Facebook profile, and those that don’t are seen as outcasts. For many characters, their stories were written either before our lives were so intertwined with technology or their authors conveniently ignored the advancements. This has been generally a good thing for the reader, because many of our favorite stories would look completely different with the addition of devices like cellphones or a GPS. Some changes we don’t quite mind, but as you’ll see others have disastrous consequences for the plot.
Source: College Humor
And just like that, Sirius lives. Alexander Graham Bell’s invention, which has rapidly evolved into the one device none of us could live without, would’ve drastically rewritten the ending of Order of the Phoenix. While most fans would be ecstatic with Padfoot sticking around, it would also mean serious (pun intended) repercussions for the plot. If Harry hadn’t gone to the Ministry of Magic to search for Sirius, Voldemort wouldn’t have showed up to kill him, their fight wouldn’t have been witnessed, and thus there’d still be no proof of Voldemort’s existence—putting the plot for the rest of the series in question.
It must have really been awful for Noah to be writing Allie every day for two years and hear nothing back. It must’ve been just as terrible for Allie to realize after her engagement that her mother had been keeping those letters from her, and now she would have to choose between two men who love her. If Allie and Noah had been able to Skype, none of this would have happened. Lon wouldn’t have had his heart broken, Noah wouldn’t have spent years feeling rejected by the woman he loved, and Allie wouldn’t have to live with the knowledge that she hurt them both. So much drama would’ve been avoided, though at the cost of a much less exciting love story.
Spawning the heir of Satan isn’t your typical pregnancy. Before she gives birth, Rosemary knows something is off, but she doesn’t know exactly what. The way that her neighbors are acting, she thinks they want to offer her baby up as a sacrifice to Satan, but the reality is much worse. Of course, if Rosemary had been pregnant now, she would have been given an ultrasound and it would have been immediately clear to her that something was wrong with her baby.
“They took off on a Tuesday. On Thursday they landed to claim their prize.”
Around the World in 80 Days? Try Around the World in 48 Hours! Phileas Fogg and Jean Passepartout had to deal with mistaken identity, a wild herd of bison, and many other hijinks to win their prize. If they had taken an airplane they could have won their bet with little opportunity for trouble. On the other hand, it would be a pretty short book.
As Dorothy goes off on a wild and complicated goose chase, Glinda tells her to “follow the yellow brick road!” What Glinda could’ve told Dorothy instead is that the ruby slippers could take her home if she simply concentrated and clicked her heels together. (Apparently you can’t rely on witches, even the “good” ones.) If Dorothy had a GPS, she could’ve gotten directions home on her own. Of course, this means no Cowardly Lion, Tin Man, or Scarecrow, but at least Dorothy could avoid becoming a murderer… again.
“It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s… Clark Kent?”
At the first hint of trouble, Clark Kent ducks into the nearest phone booth or utility closet to transform into Superman. With him moving at the speed of light, few even notice Clark changing in and out of his suit, but today’s smartphones would capture this transformation in the click of a shutter. It would take nothing for someone to spot that red and blue blur on their phones and slow it down until Superman’s mild-mannered identity is revealed and posted to YouTube.
So you’re Prince Charming. Life is good, but your dad is putting pressure on you to get married. At a ball held in your honor, you’re surrounded by women—but none of them really interest you. Then she arrives, and the whole world changes. You feel yourself falling in love as you dance the night away. At midnight, the clock strikes and she runs. How will you ever find her? All you have left is a slipper. Instead of scouring the kingdom and asking to see girls’ feet, a modern-day prince could perform a quick Facebook search and maybe creep a bit through mutual friends. A simple friend request and the two lovebirds would’ve been reunited.
“Totes gonna fake my own death. B2gethr soon xoxo.”
Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers meet their tragic end due to a misunderstanding when Juliet fakes her death. Romeo, who didn’t know of her plan, actually kills himself. When she awakens to find him dead, she follows his lead. If they both had phones like normal teenagers, Juliet could’ve shot Romeo a quick text and prevented the whole debacle. Whether this is good or bad, of course, depends on the reader’s perspective.
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