Thursday, May 8, 2014

Final Blog

I learned a lot this semester about not only the hunger games and the lecture topics, but also how each optic can be expanded to apply to more than I would initially think. I did not expect to be able to make meaningful connections between all the topics and The Hunger Games. It was challenging at times to go deeper than the obvious connections and similarities to the hunger games. It was also challenging to keep improving the blogs each week and add more media, like pictures, gifs, and videos. The required material of the companion books were very helpful, and it would be very interesting now to reread the Hunger Games trilogy after having the knowledge from this class and the books. I bet I would notice a lot of new symbols and connections. I wrote my blogs on:
Dystopian Future
The Arab Spring
Gender and Romance
The Hero's Journey
Children of Men (film)
The End of the World
The Nature of Evil/Holocaust
I found Appalachia's connection to the Hunger Game sot be the most interesting to learn and blog about. Now knowing the similarities between appalachia and District 12, they seem so obvious, but I had no idea before. I learned so much about Appalachia itself in current times, which allowed me to understand the nature of District 12 so much more.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Gender in the Hunger Games

Due to the gender of the protagonist of the Hunger Games and her stereotypically mismatched characteristics, femininity becomes a popular topic when discussing the trilogy. Danielle points out the distribution of power among genders and the situations in which gender plays a big role or does not.  In District 12, gender does not affect education or chances in the reaping, but it does dictate clothing options and most likely career path, with men in the mines and women in the household or making medicine with herbs. In the Capitol, the power belongs to men, President Snow, Seneca Crane,and Plutarch Heavensbee. But fashion in the Capitol is not dictated by gender at all. People in our current world would most likely evaluate their fashion as defying many gender stereotypes. The use of hair dye and make up is very common for Capitol men. Bright colors, ridiculous amounts of time spent on appearance and gaudy outfits is socially acceptable for both genders. Rugged manliness is a style choice reserved for the lower districts and exemplified by Gale Hawthorne. The sexualization of Tributes by the Capitol targets both genders as well. The setting in which gender influences are most absence is District 13. uniformity outweighs any gender differences, with similar duties and the same uniforms for men and women. The leader, President Coin is a woman, but her team and confidants consists of both genders.

Peeta and Katniss are easily likable and relatable characters because Suzanne Collins, unlike many other authors, incorporates traits typically associated with both genders into their personalities. The same cannot be said for Gale, who is stereotypically masculine. Danielle showed this by using online polls and comments about the reactions to and descriptions of the three main characters.

This topic was very interesting and easily relatable. Danielle was very effective in her transfer of information and incorporation of the audience.

Nature of Evil

The Evil in the Hunger Games trilogy seems fictional and unimaginable. Killing children, mass torture and altering people's bodies against their will are all actions taken by the Capitol. However, genocide exists in our current world and perhaps the most horrifying genocide and most shocking violation of basic human rights happened around 70 years ago.

The Holocaust was devastating, with horrors going beyond what anyone would think a human could do. The horror of the Holocaust can never truly be compared to or matched by anything, but doe details form this atrocity were used in the Hunger Games. The people Hitler viewed as lower class citizens, were dehumanized and turned into nothing but numbers, with numbers literally tattooed onto their arms. At the reaping, District citizens are turned into nothing but a number in the chance of the drawing. The readers do not even learn all the tributes names, some are just referred to by their gender and home district number.

Millions of people were forced into concentration camps, which odds are meant death and were not even afforded the chance to say goodbye to their families. In Catching Fire, Katniss does not get to say good by to Prim before entering the Arena, which it is likely she will not return alive from. Unfortunately, in both Panem and Hitler's Germany, children were not treated as too young to witness or suffer from the inhumane treatment. Teenage men and women were subjected to horrible treatment. With such unimaginable cruelty occurring in Panem and our own world, the only thing we can be sure of is that evil persists.

But was every Nazi in Hitler's Germany born evil? Were each of them systematically turned evil? Or were they good people who just did evil things? A popular saying, easily applicable to the Holocaust says "There are two kinds of evil people in this world. Those who do evil things and those who see evil things and don't try to stop it." So is either type of evil worse? Is Hitler more evil than the man who released the dogs to tear concentration camp prisoners to shreds? Is President Snow more evil than the Capitol spectators who take delight in the hunger games and provide its demand? Evil is an extremely complicated concept because everyone has the potential to be evil but everyone also has the potential to stop evil.