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This paper uses The Autobiography of Jane Eyre (Nessa Aref and Alysson Hall’s 2013–2014 transmedia adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, hereafter AoJE) to explore the impact of characters’ social media accounts on user interactivity and immersion. AoJE employs the powers of social media to create a modernized and fully-fledged storyworld, yet the users’ overall experience is undermined by the very strategies meant to facilitate engaged interactivity. When social media posts become sites where users not only actively seek additional content but also ‘read’ traces of other users’ interactions with the content, those traces function as paratextual commentary, creating dialogic metaphors. In AoJE, the characters’ social media accounts demand that users remain in a near constant state of metalepsis by accepting and even inverting several previously accepted ontological binaries: character/actor, reader/writer, passive/ active, immersive/interactive. The effort required by users to interact successfully with the various platforms additionally underscores the difficulty of consuming (and prosuming) a story that unfolds over multiple platforms, especially once the social media components no longer exist in the immediate present.


This article was originally published in the journal Adaptation: Kate Faber Oestreich, Immersion vs. Engaged Interactivity in The Autobiography of Jane Eyre’s Storyworld; Or What We Can Learn from Paratextual Traces, Adaptation, 2023;, apad016,