Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Blog Entry-Children of Men

Children of Men was an extremely interesting movie to watch when analyzing it through the perspective of the Hunger Games. In the movie, the people of the world can no longer reproduce and the youngest man in the world, baby Diego, has just died. The world has descended into chaos and anarchy because the government is detaining people and attempting to deport them, and the future is bleak. This is similar to the Hunger Games because of the oppressive regime and the fact that people were moved into their districts and forced to stay there with no potentiality of mobility. The entire movie itself involves a lot of death and destruction, much like the Hunger Games. We are then introduced to Key, the one woman who miraculously conceived. She is attempting to get to the Human Project, an apparent safe haven where she would be able to keep her baby safe from the government and other rebel groups. The baby represents a new hope for the people, and like in the Hunger Games, hope plays a major role in turning around the dystopian society. In Children of Men, the government does not play as much of an active role. Snow is clearly the charismatic ruler of Panem, but there is no clear leader in Children of Men. The military plays an active role in maintaining some level of compliance, but the rebels are well armed and have a lot of support from the public. While the Hunger Games has a resolute ending, Children of Men ends on a cliffhanger, and we never really find out what happened to the baby. While the movie and the books have many similarities, they are also distinctly different types of dystopias.

Blog Entry #10

Dr. Mazeroff’s lecture on the hero’s journey brought up some interesting questions based on the Hunger Games. As Dr. Mazeroff pointed out, there are other hero’s journeys that more clearly follow procedure but Katniss definitely tranforms during the books. When analyzing Katniss, it is very clear to see that she matures and changes throughout the series. Katniss has always been selfless, but the level of her selflessness increases as she goes on her journey. In my opinion, Katniss’ story is a coming of age story coupled with a hero’s journey. Katniss goes through some highly relatable struggles that most people go through, like finding their place in their family and falling in love. The hero’s journey aspect of her story comes into play because of the dystopian society she lives in and the situations she is forced to act in, like the games and the rebellion. When Prim’s name is called, Katniss unknowingly makes the decision to start her hero’s journey. She then goes on to rebel against the Capitol, again somewhat unknowingly. Katniss’ intentions were never to cause a rebellion, but rather keep Peeta alive. Snow understands this on some level, but the people of the districts use Katniss as their mockingjay, and as Snow says, fear is stronger than hope. Throughout the rebellion, Katniss takes on a leadership role and she eventually kills Coin in what some people saw as a lapse of judgment, but because of her journey Katniss was able to make the right call. At the end of the series, Katniss completes her journey by returning home, having changed herself and her world around her.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Blog Entry #9

In my opinion, feminism is an immensely prominent theme in the Hunger Games trilogy. The fact that Katniss is female changes the conversations surrounding the books. When JK Rowling was writing the Harry Potter series, people discussed what an amazing story she was telling and how important the themes of friendship and leadership were but there were no conversations surrounding gender. Collins caused a new conversation to take place that made people discuss what it means to be a leader. Dr. Raley’s lecture on gender also raised some interesting points surrounding gender. All too often, gender becomes such an important part of everything that takes place on a daily basis. Gender changes how we interact with each other and how we view each other. In the books, Katniss is described as being a relatively small, yet strong and quick, female. Because of her appearance, she probably would not have been considered a threat had she not been given such a high number before the games started. Katniss continues to assert her dominance and her legitimacy as a threat throughout the novels, which ultimately leads to her ability to lead the districts through the rebellion. I feel as though Collins did an excellent job presenting Katniss as a person capable of great things, rather than a woman striving to fill a role that could easily be filled by a man. Another example that comes to mind when discussing female leaders is that of Tris from the Divergent series by Veronica Roth. Tris leads her society through a rebellion and the fact that she is female is never a reason for questioning her authority or potential to change things. I hope that heroines like Katniss and Tris can pave the way for more female leaders and allow for a time in which the gender of a leader/hero is no longer a topic of conversation.