Sunday, April 12, 2015

Entry #9: Evil

When something or someone is described as evil, what do they really mean? Clearly it is a negative characteristic, but Dr. Baron describes it in a different way. It is something or someone that receives individual pleasure from causing harm to others. A perfect example of a person like is this President Snow from the Hunger Games trilogy. President Snow creates the hunger games as a punishment for the districts, but he also enjoys watching children kill each other, along with the entire capitol. Dr. Baron explained that an evil person can do good things, but that doesn’t make them a good person. For example, when President Snow is with his granddaughter, you would think he is a very nice man.

In the book The Hunger Games Companion by Lois H. Gresh, he explains that President Snow and everyone who follows him like the capitol people and the peacekeepers use excuses for their behavior just like the Nazi’s did in World War Two. Their excuses were that Hitler made them ignore the killings and torture. However, this is all of their faults, Hitler and his followers.

Dr. Baron explained to us different theories about morality. The first one was utilitarianism. This says that the right action is the one that maxims utility. Morality is based on how you feel. The second theory is Deontology, which says the morally right action is independent of consequences and focuses on duties and obligations. The third theory is Virtue Ethics. This basically describes the ideal person through traits and says that everybody should to be those traits so we can be the ideal person. The fourth theory of morality is care ethics. This is basically how much you care for a person. It says that you are more willing to save or help someone you care about. The one thing all of these theories have in common is that an evil person doesn’t believe in any of them. Snow and Hitler both lack the ability to believe in these theories. Based on these examples, I know there were evil people and I believe there still are.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

#8 Gender Relations and Romance in the Hunger Games

The Hunger Games may be an action packed trilogy, however it is filled with romance. The relationship between Katniss and Peeta may be forced at first, however it undoubtedly turns into love throughout the books. The gender roles in the Hunger Games are very different than social norms but in a good way!

Like Pharr and Clark state in their book Of Bread, Blood and the Hunger Games, girls and boys are put into two different spheres in society. Girls are supposed to be weak and non athletic. Boys are supposed to be athletic, strong, brave, etc. It's funny because Katniss fits in the "boy sphere" and Peeta could fit in either or. This is the reason Pharr and Clark believe the Hunger Games was so popular. It denies the theory about girl and boy spheres. The book also complicated gender binaries of masculinity and feminine portrayal of war and romance. This makes it new and exciting and also less predictable especially to readers who were brought of thinking pink and blue.

Gender roles are a huge problem in society. Think about a toy commercial. Within the first five seconds of watching it, you will be able to determine if it is meant for a boy or a girl. Television shows are also stereotyped. For example My Little Pony. Children consider it a girly show based on the way it is advertised, but who says a boy can't watch? Gender roles in books are slowly becoming less stereotypical. For example, Hermione in Harry Potter is a powerful female character with a strong presence in the book. There are not many female characters with her presence. Collins was able to change our traditional understanding of the heroic modernist narrative by creating Katniss, a female character with the physical prowess.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

#7 Dance

District twelve and Appalachia have many similarities which is understandable considering District twelve is located in what used to be Appalachia. One big similarity is that the people that lived in Appalachia were miners and District twelve is known for mining. That is the only way they supply the capitol. Another big similarity between the two is music. During Mr. Walt Michael's lecture he talked a lot about ballads in Appalachia. A ballad is a song that tells a story. In Mockingjay, Katniss sings a lot. One of the main songs she sings is "The Hanging Tree." This song stuck with me the most because of how "gruesome" it is. Katniss' father taught her the song. Her mother caught her singing it one day and punished her. She wasn't allowed to sing it anymore. The first line of  the song says "are you, are you, coming to the tree." When I read this line, I believe it is saying that they have the choice of ending their life and that is the only choice they have. This song is also a Ballad because it is telling the story of the dead man hanging in the tree. This song is very important to Katniss, probably because her father taught it to her. However, just like the Appalachians, Katniss sang this Ballad that was close to her heart. It is interesting because Katniss doesn't seem like the type of girl who would sing, but all the songs she sang, her father taught her. I believe she sings these three songs (one being "The Hanging Tree"), because it reminds her of her father and happier times when he was alive. Even though the songs are gruesome, it brings her to a happy place. That is the neat thing about Ballads. Although they may be songs that tell stories, you can create your own stories with the people who sing it or teach it to you! 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Totalitarian Regimes - Blog #6

In the United States we do not have a totalitarian system, luckily. A totalitarian system is when the government takes control over society along with every aspect of the citizens lives privately and publicly. A totalitarian system is ruled by a single party who has control over the military, communications, police and the economy. An easy example of a totalitarian system was the Nazi's in Germany. Hitler took complete over the government. He is known for his concentration camps where people were placed if they ever spoke out against the government. In chapter two of Gresh's book, he talks about how the government and its power are known as "big brother." This term means that they can see anything and everything that they want to, which the United States government has the power to do. This is definitely a characteristic of a totalitarian system, which is why some people argue that the United States is one. 

In todays day North Korea, China and Iraq are all totalitarian governments. In North Korea, there have been reports that human rights are being violated/abused. Some example are torture, slave labor and public executions. In China, students were shot by police because they were using their freedom of speech to ask for a greater democracy. Other people have put themselves on fire to protest the governments demolition of their homes. In Iraq, Saddam Hussein is the best known leader who had a totalitarian system. There were many executions and other violations of human rights. While they are trying to become a democratic country, there are still many violations of human rights that occur today. 

When I compare of a totalitarian system to the hunger games, I think of the capitol as Big Brother and the districts as the people. They are forced to follow the rules of the capitol. Their human rights are taken away. There are public executions and whippings, they are sometimes starved and they have little no privacy. There are electric fences that surround some of the districts (if not all) that are meant to keep people in their own districts. In Gresh's reading he said that wealth leads to power. The Hunger Games is the perfect example of this. The capitol people are wealthy with unlimited food, fancy things and nice clothing. The districts starve and don't have a lot of clothing. In the Hunger Games, Panem was originally a peaceful place until the districts rose up against the capitol (Clark, Chapter 2). President Snow then created the Hunger Games as a reminder that there should never be another rebellion. This is something that would only occur in a totalitarian system, which is why the Panem is a perfect example. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

In Class Reflection

After viewing my classmates blogs, I found many some features that I really enjoyed about their blogs. I really enjoyed Haley's blog and her format. Her pink background is fun and compliments the filmcards nicely. On her blog, she has flip cards for each blog. In order to get to one blog, you have to click on the picture. It makes the blog look very organized and "clean."Haley's blogs are very long and detailed as well. Although she only has one picture per blog, she does a great job of choosing a picture that represents the blog topic nicely. 
 I like Brianna's blog because she includes pictures that compliment what she is discussing very nicely. Her background is a picture of the mockingjay pin. It catches the readers eye and compliments her blog nicely. Her blogs are also very long and detailed, which helps the reader understand what she is trying to say. She also does a great job of citing the sources she uses in her blog. In her last blog, The Condemned, not only did she compare the Hunger Games to the film, but she also found other television shows and films as well. Both of these blogs have a lot of great features that I plan on using for my blog! 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Influence of television on society (Extra Credit)

What is the relationship or influence of text/ television on society? Make sure to include the reading (Chapter 5 by Henthorne) and compare the film The Condemned with The Hunger Games Trilogy in your reflection.

Television has a huge influence on society, sometimes for the better but most of the time for the worse. Both the film The Condemned and the Hunger Games trilogy are perfect representations of television having a negative influence on society. In the Hunger Games, the capitol films the games and it is shown live on television. The districts are forced to watch children they know fight to the death. This is a horrible influence because the people don't have a choice or say about the games. They are forced to watch it and the children are forced into fighting. In the film The Condemned, a director decides to make a television show that is streamed live on the internet. People have to pay fifty dollars to watch it. His idea is to get ten criminals and put them on an island together. Whoever is the last one alive wins and freed. A lady from a news channel interviews the director about this show and asks him how he can live with himself directing something so horrible, however she soon realizes that there are millions of people paying to watch this show. While the director may be in the wrong for producing it, so are the people who paid money to watch it. Television makes people do crazy things whether they are on the show or watching it. As we saw in both films, being on a show like this makes people do whatever they can to stay alive. It is very interesting how people in the film The Condemned paid to watch it. The director says this is because people love violence. I agree that action movies are fun to watch, however watching people kill each other because they are trying to survive is not the type of action I would hope people would enjoy watching. This movie made me question if that television show really did exist, would people actually watch it? I hope not, however that is not how I felt after watching the film. 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Dystopian Fiction

After listening to Dr. Carpenter's lecture and reading Henthorne's chapter, it is clear that The Hunger Games can be seen as a Dystopian fiction. As Dr. Carptener mentioned, a dystopia is an attempt at a utopia that has gone horribly wrong. This definitely explains Panem. Another fun fact about dystopian societies is that they serve the interest of a particular group. When you think about the hunger games, this explains the capitol. They only serve the interest of themselves and the people that live in the capitol. Nobody else matters to them. Dystopian societies value stability about everything else. The capitol also does this in the Hunger Games. The capitol punishes the districts by taking away their food. The capitol also takes away some of the districts rights when they are being punished. 
In Henthorne's reading he talked about how a dystopia and the hunger games are similar. In both, media is used to control people. In The Hunger Games, the games is used to control people. They have to watch kids from their district fight to the death. This dehumanizes the children along with the people from each district. Another interesting thing Henthrone mentioned was that the readers can picture themselves living in Panem through Katniss. Since she narrates the books, it is easy to "become" Katniss when you are reading them. He also says that district thirteen is more of a Utopia then a dystopia. He states that District thirteen is modeled after the attacks on 9/11. These are all interesting similarities that Henthrone and Dr. Carptener mentioned about the Hunger Games and Dystopian fiction.