Monthly Archives: November 2012

The Good and Bad of E-Literature

Throughout this week in class we have had multiple discussions about E-Literature and they way our society is using it.  There are many good things that can possibly come from E-Literature, but also a lot of negative things that come from it as well.  First off, we have seen through our examples that E-Literature requires people to be able to read in a different way.  They have to digest words, pictures sounds and movements.  E-Literature is also very interactive and engaging for people who use it.  It stimulates many parts of the brain.  Realistically, will our generation use the electronic literature as much as we use print literature?

We touched on this briefly in class and came up with the conclusion that maybe electronic literature is better suited for young kids.  There are many sounds and pictures which would be able to keep kids actively involved in what they are learning.  I know when I was younger that print literature would tend to bore me sometimes.  This is also where we find one of the main negatives for electronic literature.  Print literature gives us room for our visual imagination.  While reading, we get to make our own visual pictures of what might be going on in the story.  Electronic literature pretty much does that for us by showing pictures and movements.  Although we don’t have control over electronic literature or print literature, print books make us think we have more control.  We control the pace of the reading as well as how we think they story goes.  The imagination factor is a clear point that separates these two concepts.  I want to try and answer my question that I posed earlier in this blog.  I think that our generation is too used to print books and enjoys that we can use our imagination when reading.  Maybe kids of later generations will start using E-Literature early on in their education, but I don’t think print literature will ever go away.

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E-readers

All of the discussion and blog posts about e-literature and whether it will cause print to become obsolete has got me thinking about books and e-readers. A lot of people have turned to e-readers as a means to read their literature. I am one of those people. I like how convenient it is to download a book I want and it is just a few clicks away instead of going to a store, looking for the book and paying for it if they have it in stock. A  lot of the books I download are less expensive than if I bought them at Barnes and Nobel and sometimes even free. The most important thing to me however is space. It saves A LOT of it when you use an e-reader. Instead of having books sit on a bookshelf that I paid twenty plus dollars for I no longer need a bookshelf and I do not have books lying around for years.

I think as e-readers become more and more popular and less expensive schools and textbook companies may want to think about using them. If all books in classrooms including textbooks are available on e-readers this would save students a lot of time because they would not have to shop for their school books or switch out the books when going to their next class. It would also save them space which is important in college since students often live in a tiny apartment or in an even smaller dorm room. Since they are not paying for a bound book students would also save money on their school books. Finally, it would help with the back pain every student has endured sometime during their college experience. Since they do not have to carry heavy textbooks in their backpack this lessens the chance of a student having back problems.

It would save the companies that make the textbooks from having to print and distribute the books. Since textbooks are often edited or changed every few years having textbooks on e-readers will help the company. This would save them money as well as time. Not to mention it would help the environment because there would be less trash from the unwanted and or outdated textbooks and less trees would be cut down. Schools in many ways are already headed towards going paperless with all the teaching tools and websites teachers often make so this is just another way they can cut down their use of materials.

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E-Lit VS Print

A question during class was raised whether e-literature will every become mainstream and will print cease to exist?

As discussed in class I think e-literature will have its uses. For example, it can be used to  teach any language not just a second one for a person of any age. It can also be used for history. It may also be used to teach elementary children in the classroom. E-literature might become really popular for these uses but I do not think it will become so mainstream that print will cease to exist. Not only is e-literature something that does not give the viewer total creative control but it does not let one control their pace with it. I was a little frustrated with the videos and wanted them to have a quicker pace.

People like to loose themselves in books and see the characters and places how they want to imagine them. Only a successful book would make someone want to dedicated an entire interactive website to the book so the viewer can read the text, look at the characters and places they live. However, this idea is already moot considering that now a days any popular book gets made into a video game and or movie. This would limit the number of people interested in a website or video that you have to read and watch. If you wanted to read you can read the book and if you wanted to experience the book you can play the video game or sit back and enjoy the movie. There are even theme parks dedicated to some franchises  such as Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando (two photos shown below). Fans of the franchise can interact with the world of Harry Potter as conveyed in the books and movies.

There are many reasons why e-literature will never become more popular than print. The simplest is that reading from a book is convenient and relaxing and e-literature is not.

*Photo on the left shows a few of the cast members from Harry Potter standing in Hogsmeade village created by Universal. The photo on the right shows Honeydukes.

More photos can be found at http://www.themeparkinsider.com/wizarding-world-of-harry-potter/

 

 

 

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Will E-Lit Ever Be The Norm?

When we discussed this question in class, it really made me think. Could electronic literature ever be the norm? The more I thought about it, my stance was similar to what everyone else’s was. I do not think electronic lit will ever be the norm. When we looked at the electronic lit for class, I found it to be a task rather than enjoyment. Although I usually find homework to be a task, when I have to read a book I can usually get into the story and not see it as a task. When I had to click on random things for the electronic lit, I was annoyed because I could not go through the story at my own pace and I was very uninterested in the story line.

Also in class, the question was asked if print will ever disappear. I do not think print will disappear in the near future but I think far into the future there is a possibility print could not exist. With the rapid growth of technology, who knows what we are going to be able to in the future. It will be pretty difficult to get rid of print because of how long it has been around. Print has been around for centuries and it will take a huge advancement in technology to make it not the norm anymore. Electronic lit will have to find a way to keep the reader interested and not make it such a task to do.

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E-Literature

I must admit that I find E-Literature somewhat frustrating. As I began thinking about my frustration with this form, I realized that my main issue with it is that, like many, I read to take a break from the real world. One reason I do not think E-Literature will ever surpass text/print writings is because it is constantly reminding you of your presence/interaction with the story. Personally, when I read I want to get lost in the story and not remember that I am reading from a machine. You cannot get into the flow of reading when you have to press a button every few minutes/seconds. In the context of the adult and young adult leisure reading I don’t think that E-literature does much for the stories or the reader.

All this aside, I do think that E- Literature has major potential as an educational tool.  I think the maps we looked at for today’s class are a perfect example. Interactive maps could be extremely useful in the teaching of history. I think this could also be expanded upon even farther for anatomy and biology courses. I think the main way in which I see E-literature functioning is in children’s education. The interactive set up is a great way to keep them engaged in reading while entertaining them. I also think that these interactive texts could help to make children more technologically savvy.

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Hunger Games-Book vs Movie

In class we watched a short snipit of the movie to compare that scene to how it was portrayed in the book. This sparked my interest so over break I made a point to watch the full Hunger Games movie in an attempt to further compare and contrast the two.  It is always interesting when a movie is made about a book you have previously read to see if the way you imagined the story is similar to how it is depicted in the movie.  Often times this contrast forces the viewer to take a strong stance in favor of either the movie or the book.  In this particular instance I favored the book.

In this movie I felt the producers did a fairly good job portraying characters and scenes similar to how it was told in the book but their were some changes I didn’t agree with. The most notable difference between the book and movie was the view point the story was told from. In the book the reader experienced everything from Katniss’ standpoint and therefore experienced a wide range of emotions.  In the movie it would be much harder to depict the story in this way and therefore had to be told from an omniscient view point allowing viewers to gain a better understanding of the story. In addition to this I felt the book did a much better job explaining the background of each district as well as the reason behind the games rather than just forcing the reader to assume this was natural in this world as the movie did. Finally the other difference I noticed were subtle changes that made the movie appear to be more futuristic and game oriented than depicted in the book. The most memorable example was when the game maker started a forest fire to force Katniss into combat rather than allowing it to occur naturally as done in the book.

This subtle changes are common in many recreations of books through cinema and are often times unavoidable.  Do you think the movie would have been better had it been told and narrated by Katniss as done in the book? Why do you think the producers made the changes they did from the book to the movie? Do you think they focused more on the fighting element than the book did in an attempt to appeal to a larger audience?

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Is E-Literature Art?

In class today we were asked to ponder whether we felt e-literature was art.  At first my initial reaction was to respond by saying no due to my lack of understanding of the subject. Before we can make a decision one way or another we have to define what art is. Art is something that evokes inspiration from the creator and can be viewed by others through the use of images, color, or words. When viewing e-literature keeping this question in mind I find that it fits in this category perfectly. When reading it is common for the reader’s mind to develop some sort of image for the story being portrayed, in the case of e-literature this is already being done for you.  The creature (artist) may take a passage or an entire novel and depict it through pictures, words, and sounds in the way that it struck them. e-literature is art where the origin of inspiration is known to all but the art produced can vary significantly depending on the artist.

Under the broad definition that applies to art it is not uncommon for literature to referred to as a piece of art.  This form of art in my opinion is much more creative and inspiring due to the fact that it comes from nothing but the author’s (artist’s) mind. The difference separating literature and e-literature appears to be that they both are considered to be art but only one can be considered literature. Literature consists of words strung together to make sentences in an effort to tell a story, e-literature follows this at times but isn’t confined to this structure.  In some of the examples we reviewed in class letters would appear one at a time or jumbled across the screen to evoke a reaction from the viewer that may not coincide with the original message of the text. For this reason I find there to be a small difference between these two forms of literature.  In this Technology based world desperate for advancements do you believe this form of literature will ever become more common place than the original?

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Storage Wars

I read the Storage essay because I am hooked to that show in fact I am watching the show as I write this blog. It was interesting to read more about the characters backgrounds throughout the essay as well as the make up of the show. The show has me hooked because I am just as curious as the characters as to what they might find in those lockers. It is almost like a high just from watching what they find and how much it is worth or it’s historical value. I feel like it opens up a little bit of history when they find antique things. The show can almost have a history lesson as they take the items to a store that has expertise in it.

As for how the show is made up I noticed that in each episode they have a commercial just before they reveal what someone has found or if it is actually an authentic item or the price of it. Obviously, I have to wait until the commercial is over to find out what it is because I am hooked. I know that is a simple concept that many shows do but I believe it is played especially in their favor because that is their suspense factor.

Overall, I enjoyed reading the essay. I got to learn more about the show and how it is made up. However, the generalization of American’s greed is an interesting point in the essay. It is a show about profit but I also do see especially with Barry interest in what they are actually collecting. More often that not Barry ends up keeping his items.

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Electronic Literature

Electronic literature has recently been introduced to us in class. At first, I didn’t know what to expect–how can literature be electronic? I started to play around with it and I found out it is actually kind of cool. Not only can you read the words, you get a vision of what the words represent. It may not be how you interpreted the words in your head, but it is the way the creator of the e-lit wants you to interpret them. A good example of electronic literature that we looked at in class was “Crusin.” The story was about  a girl and her memories of crusin’ around town with her girlfriends. The words of the story were displayed moving along a film reel that produced pictures of cars, streets, and other images that went along with the story. There was also an up-beat song playing as the story was being told. Each piece of the literature had its own importance. When it was all put together it really created a sense of actually cruisin around with friends. I think this is a really great example of how electronic literature can enhance a story.

Will electronic literature become more widespread in the future? I think it is possible. Our society is so involved with the on-line world, that I think this could be yet another way to engage ourselves online. There is already so much literature and text online, or produced electronically, such as e-books, online newspapers, and Kindles. Electronic Literature is just another thing to add to the list. It is interesting enough that I think it could catch on and become popular.

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Is E-Literature art??

Is e-literature are? Does it express the way the artist is feeling about a certain situation?  Or is it a poem that people have to try and figure out the deeper meaning of?  In order to answer these questions, we first have to figure out what art is.  In my mind art is when someone express the way they feel through something that they make or produce.  When a person compares this meaning with what e-literature is, then that would make e-literature art.  Instead of expressing a meaning, feeling, or saying in a painting or in words on a piece of paper, e-literature does it through images, media, and sound.  So e-literature is a new form of art that’s moving in a new direction, in the direction of the future.

If e-literature is art, can it still be literature then?  When I think of literature, I think of words written on paper, or at least written together in some kind of formation.  I don’t think of them all over the page then being transformed in to other words which makes them mean something else.  So e-literature then doesn’t classify as literature. Instead it literature with a new twist.  E-literature is what I believe most literature will be like in the future.  The future of literature will be all electronic passages that will have images along with the texts which will help explain the meaning of the words or story, but is this going to help society out? Or is it going to make us next less capable to think for ourselves?  With all our advances with the media lately these are the questions we have to consider when we are trying to advance our world.  Is have literature electronic better or should we keep it strictly on paper?

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E-Lit and the Future

Today our class discussion focused on E-Literature. Before class we were to watch numerous videos of examples of digital poetry and digital narratives. As I watched these videos, in particularly the video Faith I found it very distracting. I wasn’t sure what words to read first as they were “whimsically” placed about the page. For example, on the first page the words “logic can’t bend this,” fell down onto the screen. When I first read it, I read, “Can’t bend this logic,” because I was reading left to right instead of top to bottom. Each of those sentences has different meanings and can change the poem. The rest of the video letters were popping up and disappearing, changing colors, shifting, and falling down the page. I found myself working so hard to keep up with the shifts I didn’t even get the message of it because that seemed to come second to all the other things that were going on. It was all a distraction to me. It really is an interesting concept. Clearly, that took a lot of time and effort. Maybe if I was exposed to things of that nature more before watching the video I could have better understood it and maybe even would have opened a whole new world.

As for the future, I do believe it is something that can have potential. In my case I prefer to read actual books not on a screen but as the generations below us grow up they are stimulated with more and more technology. This could be something that they could enjoy because they get to interact with it as the need for technical stimulation increases. For example, just to start the video you had to click Faith numerous times and then begin for it to finally play in full force. As for the future I do believe digital poems like Faith could become more popular.

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Star Wars E-Lit

Today Craig asked us “What the hell is this e-lit stuff” and honestly, I was asking myself the same question when I first watched the clips. There was a single sentence clip that really caught me off guard and I had no idea what to even think of it. It was the “Devil’s Treasure” and happened to be the first one I watched and thought I was mistaken. It made no sense to me and made me uncomfortable watching it and I just couldn’t comprehend where it was going or what it was supposed to mean. As I watched a few more they were still strange but some made more sense than others. E-lit is an interesting concept and makes us think of poems in a different sense and look at it in a different perspective, but I don’t think it will ever become the only source of reading poetry, or any type of literature. I thought the Star Wars clip we watched in class was interesting because it makes you see it through the eyes of the writer and really makes your brain work to read it. I think whoever made that video was really smart in releasing it because I feel that today we take literature for granted and don’t really stop to think about all the work it takes to write a book, or how lucky we are to be able to read. Many people know what letters are, but there are also many people in the world that don’t know how to put them together to form words. When we read we simply read for pleasure and don’t pay attention to little details, and I think the author of the Star Wars video took that into a different perspective and it really makes us think about what we’re reading and how if you miss just one letter, it can throw you completely off track.

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Electronic Literature- Can this go mainstream?

We had a very interesting class discussion about the topic of electronic literature and how prevalent it is in society.  Electronic literature is unique in that it requires people to read very differently than they have before.  We used the term “trans-literature” meaning that readers have to read and interpret words, sounds, motions, and pictures all at the same time.  This can be a lot to digest.  As we saw with our scheduled videos, this is extremely abstract literature and is sometimes very difficult to fully follow and understand.  We made a very good point in class in that electronic literature may be a symbol for our own specific historical moment regarding new media and literature.

People today are subjected to so much more stimuli in regards to media.  From television, phones, laptops, iPhones, iPads, computers etc.  These electronic literature artists know that literature and media are rapidly changing before our eyes and are trying to accommodate to those changes.  To some people, they may think these artists are way ahead of their time in trying to push forward electronic literature past print literature.  In essence, I think it is fair to compare “E-Artists” to the works of Benjamin Franklin that we read in class.  Many people thought Ben Franklin was way ahead of his time with all his inventions that eventually turned out to be useful in some way for us in the present.  As a society, we are constantly pushing forward with research and finding new and more efficient ways to accomplish our goals.  Electronic literature might be the turning point of a new movement of literary technology.  Although it might be in the early stages only time will tell.

After viewing the videos today, I personally think it is really in the early stages.  I don’t see anytime soon that E-Literature can fully go mainstream and replace the old forms of print literature.  Most people right now don’t have the time and patience to be able to read literature so differently than what they already do.  What I find interesting is that many people probably said the same things about the inventions of Ben Franklin back in the day and look how much we use some of them now.

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Teen Mom Essay

I chose to read the Teen Mom essay because I followed the show pretty closely when it was on air. I think that the points brought up in the essay were relevant and depicted the show well. MTV’s goal was to show young teens the struggles of having children at such a young age. Although I think any reality TV glamorizes its characters and topics, Teen Mom tries to break that standard and really emphasis the consequences of getting pregnant while still considered so young. The problems with money and balancing caring with school, as well seeing relationships fall apart within their families and friends shows the reality of having a child. One watching the show can’t help admit that they would never want to be in any of the mother’s situations.
Another point I had never really thought about was the kind of characters MV chose to pick. I agree that they tried to mostly find girls that had the typical involved high school student. Their lives would have been considered normal if not for getting pregnant. I think they ‘re target audience was exactly what they’re characters were like, because it is a very wide kind of audience. In future 16 & Pregnant (the show before Teen Mom started) different races come into play, but the first seasons were all white teens.
There were many good points in this essay and I enjoyed reading it because it made me think deeper into a show that I was addicted to for the longest time. It was interesting to read and think about how MTV structured the show and why the characters were chosen and what kind of messages MTV tries to send.

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E-future

Today we talked about electronic literature and if it is art or literature or just plain weird. I do think E-lit has a place in this world. I do think it will not be as big as regular books or even online books or poetry. E-lit is hard to understand because it requires a level of thinking that we are not used to. We may not be used to this because of technology, but wouldn’t you think that because of the increase in technology this E-lit would be popular?

Literature is “writings in which expression and form, in connectionwith ideas of permanent and universal interest, arecharacteristic or essential features, as poetry,novels, history, biography, and essays” (dictionary.com).

Art is “the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful,appealing, or of more than ordinary significance” (dictionary.com). E-lit combines art and literature to create an interactive 3D experience that we are not used to yet. E-lit involves writing and expression to convey an entirely new meaning to a piece that you would not normally think about. E-lit either is very confusing or very intriguing just like poetry (as we talked about today). Even though it could be confusing I think the fact that it is electronic makes it interesting for this generation.

E-lit has potential for the future because it combines the deep level of thinking of a book and the playfulness of the internet. It is not popular yet, but I think it could take off very soon.

 

 

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Reality TV: Duck Dynasty

I chose to read the Duck Dynasty essay because it is a show I have never watched and had no idea what it was about. After reading this essay, I feel like I have a good gist of this show. I really like the message that is brought up about how the family is quite wealthy but they still go about their normal ways of doing things (hunting for food, fishing, etc.). I think it is very influential for reality TV shows to show positive and hard working families so viewers can know that there are productive millionaires in the world. The Robertson family is also very outdoorsy, and I think that is another great aspect of this show. Even though not every viewer watching this show may be willing to hunt or fish for their own food, seeing the family outside and having fun may influence them to be more active outside which is something almost any American should start doing more of since they rely so much on modern technology.

Another interesting point this essay briefly touched on was the music that was played during the one on one interviews. Upbeat country music is played in the background during these side interviews. It was a very close and important observation because music is a key factor to any reality TV show. Not only can music influence the mood of the show but it can also influence what the viewer thinks of the show and it’s characters. While I don’t think Duck Dynasty is a show I would watch on my own, I still think it sounds like a quality TV show with good values.

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Electronic Literature

In today’s class, we looked at various e-literature examples and discussed how they relate to written literature. I found this to be very confusing because I didn’t look at the videos we watched as literature. I found it really difficult to compare them to books and poems that are written out. The e-literature that we focused on mainly reminded me of films, which sparked my interest in whether or not films were literature.

I think there is a lot of gray area when it comes to literature because not all books are considered literature, yet we are supposed to see a single sentence animation as a piece of literature. I don’t have a broad perspective on what is included as literature, but I see films and movies not falling into that category. That’s why it is difficult for me to find e-literautre comparable to novels and short stories we have analyzed in class.

Because I was so confused on what literature was, I looked up a definition where is explicitly says “written” work. This only made me think stronger that this new form of “literature” isn’t here to stay. I don’t think it can gain enough likability and interest among watchers because of how confusing it is. Some of the pieces were hard to understand and they had many different ways of interpreting what the author meant. I don’t see films, movies, and now electronic literature as piece of written work so it was difficult to compare these pieces to stories or novels we have read in class.

Literature dictionary definition

 

 

 

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Hunger for Fire

While reading, A Grosser Power: A Contrarian Look at the Hunger Games by Ned Vizzini, I came across a few of his observations that I did not like. Being an avid fan of the Hunger Games book series I have to say I am biased towards my love for Katniss and will defend her in this post.

The first challenge Vizzini brings up is that Katniss does not look outraged when Gale interrupts her from catching a deer. This could be because she is glad that someone other than Gale did not scare her or that if she yells/screams she will for sure chase the deer off for good. Also another reason could be that it is reaping day so Katniss has other things on her mind and she is grateful Gale is even there.

The next opinion from Vizzini is that Katniss does not run to the food on the train. Katniss has just volunteered to basically die. I do not think food would be close to my mind either, in fact it would make me sick. Yes, Katniss has scraped by with barely enough food, but after what she has been through that day being excited over food is not something I would expect, especially out of strong headed Katniss. Later on she will come to adore the food, but the second she walks onto the train she has been almost condemned to death, so food is not a big priority.

The last portion I would like to comment on is when Vizzini says, “Watching in the books is mandatory (which never made sense to me, because it seems like a big waste of resources to stage the Hunger Games when you have to force people to see them)” THIS is not a waste of time. Did he even read the books? This is what I kept asking myself when reading his evaluation. Watching is mandatory because the Capitol is making a statement and showing complete control. District 13 rebelled, so the Capitol extinguished them. In order to not have a rebellion the Capitol has reapings (sacrifices) from each district in return the Capitol won’t kill the entire district and they make them watch to show the people the Capitol is in charge.

Most of what Vizzini says is challenging the idea of the Hunger Games, but he better be ready for some major backlash from Hunger Games fans such as myself.

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Why are we drawn to The Hunger Games?

In class we have discussed many reasons why audiences are so drawn to The Hunger Games series. Along with the basic idea of competition and entertainment, I never looked at the games like a reality TV show until this class. There are many aspects of the novel that relate directly to different reality television shows that we watch today. I compared specific scenes in the novel with different shows I know of on the air. There is a fashion show in the book where they compete to gain access to sponsors. There are many reality tv shows that relate to this like Project Runway for example. The actual games I found relatable to Survivor because you literally have to survive on your own in the book.

I thought the different comparisons were key in thinking about the story as a reality tv show. What makes this different than reality shows we watch is that the contestants are actually killed and that is the one thing that doesn’t compare. The reality TV show assignment where we analyzed a show, many people found that producers and directors were very manipulative over the turnout of how viewers saw the show. In The Hunger Games, the gamemakers are also very manipulative over the games. You can see that in the clip we watched in class where the head gamemaker arranged for a fire to happen to move Katniss towards the Careers and to move the games along quicker. There are so many comparisons between The Hunger Games and our reality tv show assignment we wrote about. I think this is the main reason we are so drawn to the novel because we are also so drawn to the scripted “reality” tv shows we watch today as well.

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Katniss’ tribute to Rue

There are several instances in the book when Katniss defies the capitol, whether she means to or not. One of these instances is when Rue is killed and Katniss covers her body in flowers. By doing this she is showing the capitol that she actually cared about Rue, and cares that she gets a proper burial. She is showing them that they are actual humans, and not just pieces in their game. During the Hunger Games, the impression is that the tributes are supposed to be blood-thirsty savages, hunting down the other tributes. They aren’t supposed to like each other. Yeah, there are allies that are formed, but everyone watching knows that they will eventually break apart or kill each other. One tribute isn’t supposed to care if another tribute dies. After all, they can’t win and make it out alive if everyone else doesn’t die. By covering Rue’s body in flowers and giving a sign to the camera to let Rue’s district know she is sorry for their loss, Katniss is going against the norm of the Games. This probably leaves the audience in shock because Katniss defied the capitol–whether she meant to or not.

Katniss gains power in this scene. She is now seen by all the districts as a symbol of hope. If she can stand up to the capitol and go against their usual ways, they should be able to, too. She is the beginning of a new way of thinking for the people of the districts. She has possibly changed the Hunger Games forever.

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