Tag Archives: The Hunger Games

Are different from the Capital?

 

The Hunger Games is a very popular book and movie. Many found the movie to be very entertaining. The biggest part of the movie is the Hunger Games itself. The battle to the death between twenty-four kids between the age of 12-18. When I was watching the movie I was so into the games. I was wondering who was going to win or who was going to be killed next. At the end of the movie I complemented on how entertained I was by the movie. The people who live in the Capital are very entertained by the Hunger Games. They enjoy watching these kids fight to the death and they even place bets on who is going to win. It is like a television show to them.

The thought that occurred to me was, are we much different than the people in the capital? We are entertained by the Hunger Games as well. We enjoy watching the struggle between the characters just as they do. So what makes us different from the citizens of the Capital?

I think that the difference between the citizens of the Capital and us is the fact that we are watching Katniss, not so much the Hunger Games. The capital doesn’t know Katniss or where she comes from. In the beginning of the book and movie they give us some background into where she comes from and what her motivation is. The difference between the Capital and us is that we are watching the struggle of her character in the Hunger Games, not the fight to the death of the Hunger Games.

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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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Would You Volunteer?

At the beginning of the “Hunger Games”, the reaping takes place and against almost all odds, Katniss’s sister, Prim, is selected to represent District 12 as the female tribute. Obviously Prim has no chance of surviving the Hunger Games because she is only 12 years old and has an extremely small build. Katniss has the guts to prevent Prim from being the female tribute for District 12 and volunteers herself. Would you do the same for a loved one?

Although I have not read the entire story yet, I have seen the movie and I tried to put myself in Katniss’s shoes when Prim was selected to represent District 12. I thought to myself if I would do the same for a loved one if they were selected for something like that and they had almost no chance to survive. As I would expect others to do the same, I would volunteer myself if I was also put in Katniss’s situation. Katniss has proven she loves her sister very much and would literally do anything for her. This is why Katniss takes a particular liking to the female tribute from District 11 named Rue. Rue reminds Katniss of her sister which is evidently a soft spot for Katniss. Katniss feels Rue is at a complete disadvantage because she is only 12 years old, like Prim, and when Katniss is comparing Prim and Rue, she says “Neither of them could tip the scale at 70 pounds soaking wet.” This is why Katniss attempts to protect Rue and it is also the reason why she gets so emotional when Rue dies.

I think many people would step in for a loved one like Katniss did for Prim. Even though you are basically signing your own death wish, it is the right thing to do, especially when it comes to family.

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Artful Appreciation

Today we had to think of themes or topics that appeared in The Hunger Games. My group came up with Appreciation and I want to look deeper into this theme, because I think it is composed of several elements.

1)Government- The Capital controls everything and they dictate the present based on the past. They want their citizens to fear them so much they appreciate them. By that I mean that they are so scared to do anything wrong that they fall into a false sense of security and gratitude for what they have. “District twelve. Where you can starve to death in safety.(p.6)” Even though everyone is gated in, they know they are safe and the government wants them to appreciate this (not that anyone does).

2)Bread (Panem)- Technically Panem means bread and circuses, but I want to focus on the bread. It seems every way you turn in this book you find references to bread meaning life and life in Panem is appreciated. Katniss being saved by Peeta with bread (Picture^). Katniss being thanked with bread from Rue’s district. Peeta disguising himself artfully when dying, but could only do this because he was raised with bread (cake). If anyone wants to live in Panem they have to find bread and everyone appreciates/recognizes this no matter what.

3)Relationships- In this world it is hard to come by real relationships. Katniss and Gale was a long process of becoming friends. When Rue snuggled up to Katniss in the sleeping bag was when Katniss knew she had a relationship with Rue. “Rue has decided to trust me wholeheartedly. Nor do I have any misgivings about her, as I take no particular precautions.(p.208)” Finally, the relationship between Katniss and Cinna. “I’m not allowed to bet, but if I could, my money would be on you. (p.146)” Any real relationships are greatly appreciated and coveted in Panem.

These are only a few examples of Appreciation, but I do think Appreciation is a large theme within The Hunger Games. Can you think of any more examples of Appreciation?

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Detachment

I recently watched a movie called Detachment (currently availible for streaming on Netflix, director of American History X) and it made me think about how we can watch things on TV that would be disturbing in real life but the TV creates a barrier allowing us to be detached from what we are seeing.  To see something in person creates much more of a emotional connection that can be lost if the person does not view it happening.  Things that happen in person can sometimes catch us off guard and that may create more of an emotional response because when we watch things on TV we are expecting something to happen (editing can also alter how we see it).

The Hunger Games at its core would be an extremely traumatic event to witness but the way it is manipulated creates it into a spectacle that makes viewers pick favorites and essentially enjoy children murdering each other (something that should be unbearable to watch but their detachment allows for them to treat the participants as characters rather than real people).  The tributes are given stylists which help create them further enhance their image and attempt to project a likeable/sympathetic persona.  The interview with Caesar Flickerman is another opportunity for the tributes to further their image and is essentially a performance to attempt to gain sponsors.  These events at the capital are extremely luxurious and stylized that may create a sense of detachment for the tributes as this game like atmosphere doesn’t let them fully grasp what they are about to engage in.  Later on in the novel Katniss and Peeta become star crossed lovers.  Its interesting to see how Katniss learns to play a character in order for her to gain sympathy.

When I started writing this I thought that the TV was something that really created the disconnect, but I though of how gladiators used to compete in arenas as a spectacle.  I think that the audiences disconnect may not only come from a physical detachment but may rely more on how the event is mean to be perceived.

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