By Arvind Dilawar

Most Internet users are aware that the World Wide Web can be a strange place. There are forums dedicated to uncovering the connection between Aaliyah and the Illuminati. There's the entire dark web, where you can trade in weapons, drugs and other contraband. There are photos of a drunk guy dressed like Santa getting a handjob in public in New York City.

But not every online oddity is conspiratorial, criminal or — in the case of that last one — cringeworthy. Some of them are as harmless as they are bewildering.

Case in point: There are half a dozen Twitter profiles based on characters from the 1900 novel Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser, which are, for some reason, reenacting the book's plot. There are two accounts dedicated to the protagonist, Caroline "Sister Carrie" Meeber; one for her initial romantic interest, Charles Drouet; another two for her homewrecking second lover, George Hurstwood; and a final one for other additional characters. Together, they are all recounting Carrie's tale of traveling from her farming hometown of Columbia City, Illinois to Chicago, where she struggles with work, love and success. The tweets don't pull lines or dialogue from Dreiser's novel verbatim; instead, they summarize the characters' sentiments at each plot turn.

It's easy enough to follow the story, but the bigger questions is undoubtedly: Why? Why go through all the trouble? Is this a computer programming exercise? A homework assignment from a tech-savvy English teacher? An avantgarde exploration of storytelling in new media? An early sign that Skynet is approaching and that it happens to be a fan of Victorian literature?

We, unfortunately, have no answers. But you can take a shot at figuring it out yourself (or just gawking bewilderedly, as we were) with a sampling of the tweets below.

Arvind Dilawar is senior editor of The Airship. Follow him on Twitter: @ArvSux

This coverage of Sister Carrie is brought to you by Clementine Classics: Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser, the first installment in the Clementine Classics e-book series from Black Balloon Publishing.

Sometimes reading the classics is a chore, but not so with the snarky annotations by Clementine the Hedgehog. Having made her debut as a weekly book reviewer of note on Tumblr in 2012, Clem now takes on Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser. On each page, she inserts her keen insights, dark sense of humor and cut-the-crap commentary.

Clementine Classics is a new series from Black Balloon Publishing that gives classic works of literature the contemporary annotations they deserve. Obsessed, possessed and thoroughly distressed by the originals, today's writers riff, rant, praise and flay these old books, giving them new life. The series' beautifully designed e-books are both an act of sincere literary criticism and a new, composite form of humor writing.

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