Monday, January 27, 2014

Hunger Games: Blog #1

Question/Subject: Why did you choose this class? What are you hoping to accomplish in the course? What is your favorite character of The Hunger Games and why?

 The Hunger Games was and is a craze that has taken a fierce grip on the minds and imaginations of the younger populace of America. As an older brother to 3 sisters, I understand the craze better than most. I watched as my siblings burned the midnight oil to finish these books, devouring them with a zeal that unnerved me slightly. They'd stubbornly withstood my every attempt to convince them to read The Hobbit, Harry Potter, and other such books, so I was slightly (majorly) offended, not to mention surprised, when they took up the call to literature on a single 12 year old's say-so. This was in the early days, and I assumed that it had to be something along the lines of Twilight, so I dismissed the series as something for young girls and confused boys. Little did I know... As the word spread and more people flocked to the growing global fan club, I continued to resist. I was much to proud to indulge in this fad. My time was too valuable and the books were too popular to have any real merit, obviously. Popularity was for romance novels and flashy fiction that appealed to the masses, not serious novels of any worth.

When I begrudgingly gave in, I was surprised. I was fascinated by the world the author had conceived, by its rules and histories. It was primitive and futuristic all at the same time, something that really piqued my interest. I finished all three books within a month and put them down, having decided that I approved of the ending and the opinions I had created about the characters within the pages. Now, however, I look at this class as a chance to re-examine what I'd originally thought within a different kind of setting. How often have I sat in an English class and wished for a modern book, something that I could really engage with. You know, something from this century. Now here it is! So really, this is a life-long English student's dream come true and I can't wait.

The only thing I'm looking to accomplish in this class it to leave it with an expanded idea on what The Hunger Games means as a set of novels within a dystopian setting. I have never done any deep thinking on the books or the characters, but I do know something about Dystopian Futures and settings, so I am very interested to see what the series bring to the genre.

My favorite character is actually the Capitol, as in the entity itself, the governing body. I understand all of the characters that the author touches on within the Capitol, what motivates them and why they make the political moves that they do, but I was fascinated by the way the Capitol worked and how the author made it a separate character all on its own. The soldiers, the citizens, the politicians, they all combined to create something distinctly different from the districts and it became the ultimate enemy of all the characters. The idea of the Capitol itself, the yoke that was placed upon the districts and made them bow to a group that conceived messed up ideas like the Hunger Games and fences to keep them constrained and in poverty while the privileged citizens lived like royalty. I find that aspect of the novels interesting and that is why I consider  the Capitol its own character with its own motivations and moves to make throughout the course of the series.