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.