Sunday, May 3, 2015

Final Post.

Over the semester I enjoyed taking this class the most out of all of the others.  The Hunger Games was probably the most enjoyable class I took all semester.  It really deconstructed the world of the Games trilogy created by Suzanne Collins.  Before this, I never even picked up the books or sat down to watch the movies.  Having learned the influences and inspirations only increased my understanding of the Hunger Games Universe and admiration of it.

So far, the readings have been extremely interesting, more then my other ones.  I found the readings on the Holocaust and dystopias especially poignant. Seeing how we are living in a country with signs of dystopian rule, it is a good point for discussion.  The idea of surviving is dual edged. There is living through the experience. Then there is living through the aftermath of it and the effects of the trauma that it brings.  I was also surprised at how Katniss was essentially a female Spartacus.  Having lead a rebellion takes a lot of work.  You can definitely see the Roman influences at work here.  Names like Plutarch and Cinna are Roman names for sure.  We also see the Colosseum at work here as well. The tributes show and the actual fighting is very similar to that off the actual ancient Roman one.               

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Entry 8:the Holocaust and the Hunger Games

The amount of similarities between the Capital and the Germany's Third Reich are quite astounding.  Both are run by totalitarian dictators and have a rigid control of the people.  To be quite frank, there is no humanity within these nations, only death and decay.  Hitler and Snow draw many parallels between each other. Both are charismatic leaders with a deep understanding of politics.   The two are also incredibly complex people.  The reasons for their war crimes, while inexcusable, raise many questions as too why they were committed. Why did Hitler desire the destruction of an entire race? What was going through his head at the time when he and the other Nazi leaders were planning the Final Solution? Whatever his answer might have amounted to, it can never repeal the atrocities committed by the Nazi Party.

Some basic facts about the Holocaust are essential before I move on to the next part.  As we all know, about six million jews were killed in the Holocaust.  This was more then half of the eleven million Jews that existed in the world at the time.  Other groups that were persecuted were Catholics, Gypsies, Russians and POWs.  The work camps that the prisoners were forced to reside in were deplorable.  Imagine the worst living conditions that one could live in and multiply it by three. That's how bad the barracks were. the "beds" were concrete or wood that caused unimaginably painful back problems for people.   Then there are the inhumane guards and their hellhounds. These cujos are trained and bread for the sole purpose of ripping prisoners to death for acting out of line. And that is on a good day. At their worst, these German Shepherds will eviscerate the inmates for literally no reason at all.  All at the drop of a hat.  

Getting to hear Rueben speak was moving to say the least.  I could tell from the moment he started speaking that he had experienced hell on earth several times over.   If being forced to live in a ghetto separate from the rest of their community was not enough, then having to scrounge for food 24/7 would be enough to drive a person crazy.  Reuben and his family had to make ends meet by going from door to door selling their possessions.  It wasn't even close to enough to survive.  Being uprooted from his home was not even the worst of what was to come.  He had to survive death marches, inhospitable living conditions and inhumane Nazi guards.  Don't even get me started on how Reuben was forced to work in dangerous weather conditions. He was stripped of his dignity, had his faith in his God shattered and then was forced to beg for his right to live.  Yet somehow, he never lost the will to live.  Despite always worrying whether he was going to die or whether the next dead body he would see was his sisters, Reuben never quit living.  He learned to not take life for granted. Ruben eventually came to terms about what happened, and while he can NEVER forget what happened. Reuben learned that life goes on by coming to terms with these feelings.  He came to terms with them by living a normal life and educating the younger generations on the horrors of the Holocaust.  Reuben knows that he is the last of a dying breed.  Soon, his kind will die out and all that will be left is what memoirs that are recorded.  The first hand accounts of Holocaust events are soon going to pass away soon.  Everything else will be recorded through the academic journals, archives and other compendiums.  


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Entry Nine. Gender Relations and Roles in the Hunger Games

Hello all! It has been a while since last posted an entry for my journal, right?  Life keeps me busy, that is for sure. Anyway, happy Easter!

Now to get down to brass tacks.  The Hunger Game series is very progressive with its depiction of  gender roles.  Both Katniss and Peeta have mixed traits of both sexes. Peeta is caring and somewhat sensitive while Katniss is the "man" in the relationship.  She hunts and provides for her family while he decorates cakes and is very artsy in general.  Peeta is more outgoing and friendly when compared to Katniss's stoic, brick like personality. Peeta is the one who secures their victory during their interviews with his charming personality. He knows how to work the crowd over by subtly manipulating them. Katniss on the other hand, is about charming as a graveyard.  She tries, I will give her that.  However, her defiant spirit is put to good use when she disrespects the judges during both of her runs in the hunger games.  She is the "brawn" of the relationship whereas Peeta is more likely to run and hide for strategic purposes labeling him the brain of the relationship. Katniss does the majority of the fighting especially during the two hunger games.  Peeta does kill, but he is much less likely to be seen engaged in active combat, instead of planning to manipulate his opponents.

Suzanne Collins defies the expectations of gender roles in the Hunger Games.  Sure, Katniss and Peeta are a bit more like their other genders, but they still are a woman and a man respectively.  Katniss still shows a motherly side especially to younger girls namely Prim and Rue.  Although Katniss is not what I would call a "motherly figure," she still has that instinct that to protect that is biologically prevalent in the female gender.  Katniss is a bit of anti-heroine in the fact that she is quite ruthless in her pursuits of the Capital in her desire to see it burn.  This sort of ruthlessness is typically thought of as being found in men.  In the film adaptions, she is dressed up quite sexily.  She wears alot of dresses for her TV interview.  Katniss typically is very beautiful looking, especially when she is wearing her Mockingjay outfit.  A heroine should be masculine, but not too manly. That would be a sexual turnoff.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Entry Six: Totalitarianism and the Hunger Games

Totalitarianism is defined as the total and absolute rule that a dictator has control over the state that he or she lords over. There are multiple ways to tell if there if a regime is totalitarian. One model which was designed by  two political scientists named Zbigniew Brzezinski and Carl J. Friedrich.  Their model is one of the official templates for political scientists to describe the signs of a totalitarian regime. They are:1. control over the mass media.
                                                  2.control over the military
                                                  3. an all embracing ideology.
                                                  4. Control over the state run economy
                                                  5.  A secret terrorist police force.
                                                  6.  A cult like worship of the government 
                                                  7.   Martial Law
                                                  8. A single political party in power

 The capital of Panam has control over all of these aspects of government,  They would use the power of the media to broadcast the Hunger Games and demonstrate the power that they held over Panam.  The Capitol has complete control over the military and an all embracing idiology of the Hunger Games themselves.  It is a reminder of the 12 district's failed rebellion during the Dark Days.  Their absolute control over the military allows them to enforce martial law.  Their all embracing ideology is the Hunger Games itself.  The tessare's are an example of control of the economy.  They enforce laws with their Peacekeepers.  And finally, the  lavish and fake lifestyle that the people in the capital live is almost like a cult itself.  They are trapped in their own little world.    

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Reflection on other's blogs

Jeff's blog.

For this blog, I like how it is short, sweet and to the point.  The information is prevalent, shows that the blog writer has read the material and is very accurate in his writing.  In fact, the writing style is similar to my own.  I will be critiquing Jeff's second blog entry.  So far I agree with most if what is said in it.  I am in agreement with his description of Katniss and how she hides her emotion about her feelings with the Hunger Games.  

Manny's Blog.   

Wow, just wow with this one.  Really enjoy the background and the memes posted with each entry.  The entries are very thought provoking and insightful.  Especially the first one.  I like how the blog writer is able to relate to Peeta's predicament.  It just goes to show how well thought out the Hunger Game's characters are.  The style of writing is very honest and well thought out.  They are witty and interesting as well as thourough.  It  just goes to show that the blogger is very honest with his feelings. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Post four: My Favorite Hunger Games Book.

Hello all! For this week's blog I will be discussing which of the three movies were my favorite to watch.  The first book set the scene for the Hunger Games universe. It was the basis for which the plot would take place.  Personally, I enjoyed the first book, but it left a lot of questions unanswered.  That is where the second book came in; Catching Fire was the best book in my opinion.  It really brought characters like Prim, Peeta and Haymitch into perspective.  They got the character development that they deserve.

The book also introduces characters like Finnik and Johanna as well as Beetee.  I particularly am taken with Finnik's character,  He hides his pain behind a very flirtatious and easy going persona.  When in reality, he is somewhat bitter, cynical and very troubled.  His love for Annie is what keeps him going. It gives him a reason to fight for his loved ones and to essentially say screw you to the Capital.  He is also a bonafide bad ass because of his skills with a trident.  Finnik goes on to become a good friend to Katniss.  His relationship with Peeta, however, is decent.

The Quarter Quell itself was a much better Hunger Game then the previous one.  I liked how it was much more dangerous then the last one.  The were more traps like the acid mist and blood rain.  The competitors were much more dangerous.  The stakes were even higher then when compared to the last one.    

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Entry Three. Differences bwtween the movie and the book.

Hello All!  Hope you all are staying warm in this crazy Winter weather! For this this week's blog, I am going to discuss the differences between the movie and the book.  For starters, we see that the movie opens with Gale and Katniss hunting instead of  her awakening up in the hospital.  Another scene that is different is Mag's death.  In the movie, her death is not shown, merely confirmed when we, the audience, see her run off and hear the cannon.

Another big difference is Katniss not running into the fugitives from District 8. We do not get to view that in the movie. We also do not see much of Peeta, Haymitch and Katniss interacting with district 12 nor do we see their training.

The movie does not go into much detail about the effects of the fog that is used on the tributes. Finnik and Peeta never make any references to Katniss's fake baby.  There is not that much shown during the training sessions. Also, the scene with Gale being whipped ends up not including the extending consequences imposed on District 12. Also, Gale was whipped for assaulting the new Head Peacekeeper, Thread, when the bastard was attacking an old woman.

Finally, Katniss tried to scratch Haymitch in the book, while in the movie she slapped him while screaming and berating him for being an idiot.
Ok! I think I hit all the major points  In the words of Porky Pig: That's all folks (major stuttering).

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Entry two. The Movie Vs the Book.

Hi everyone!  For my second blog, I am going to discuss the differences between the first book and movie.  Now one of the main differences between the two is the amount of content that is covered.  Since the movie is based off of the book, it is bound to leave out a significant portion of the content covered.  The movie itself was about a little over two hours long so the producers could only fit in so much material.

The amount of differences of the movie compared to the book is a great amount.  I cannot cover all of them as it would take too much time.  I have decided to discuss what I think are the major differences between the two.

1.   President Snow plays a larger role in the movie then he does the first book.  Here he is seen giving speeches to the tributes.  He is also seen discussing strategies with the head game maker. He is also shown to be observing Katniss and Peeta's victory of the seventy fourth hunger game. It sets up his character as being malicious and cruel.

2.  The Cornucopia massacre is actually shown in detail then in the book. It gives the audience a better perspective of the violence that is faced.

3.  In the book, Katniss and Gale are described as having olive skin and black hair.  However, in the movie, they both have brown hair and a pallid complexion.

Well, that's all folks.  See you next time on my blog!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Entry One. Why I Chose the Hunger Games for my SIS.

Hello All! Welcome to my Hunger Games Blog!  Here I will discuss various topics about the novel/movie like sociology, history, political science, mythology, art, gender studies and other fascinating areas of study.                                                                                                                  

The Hunger Games was one of those novels that everyone is raving about so much that you have to check them out.  That is what happened with me.  I was originally reading the first book when I found out I could take an SIS on it.  It was really the perfect chance to learn more about the real world influences that helped shape the Hunger Games universe.  This way I could take a look at Suzanne Collins attempt at world building.  

My favorite characters in the book would have to be either Prim or Rue.  They are both adorable little girls who are forced to grow up prematurely in what I like to call a 'crap-sack world.'  A crap-sack world is a society, usually a dystopia, that is has gone to such ruin that it is not worth saving. Prim is forced to take on more responsibilities while Katniss is surviving the Hunger Games.  Rue came from a district reminiscent of a southern plantation. Though she small and somewhat shy, Rue makes up for this with her quick thinking, agility and trickery.  She misleads her opponents into thinking that she is weak because of her small stature.  In reality, this is Rue's greatest weapon as it allows her to be faster and more agile then her fellow competitors.    

So far the book has been a very grabbing read.  I'll just start reading it and next thing I'll know I've been reading for three hours straight.  The cast is quite diverse and is complex.  It'll be interesting to compare to the movie if I get the chance to see it.