Sunday, February 22, 2015

Blog Entry 4

            Out of the Hunger Games trilogy, I liked the first book the best, although it was tough to choose between the first and the second. In the first one, I liked getting the back-story of Katniss’ life. I feel like flashbacks from her past are brought up throughout the book, and each time the reader gets to know Katniss a little bit more. This book was really about defining Katniss’ character. One of my favorite flashbacks is when Katniss talks about how her mother froze out the rest of the world when her father died in the mining accident, and Katniss had to take care of her sister. While this is a heartbreaking memory, I feel as if this is the real reason that Katniss is so fond of her sister; because Katniss took care of Prim and loved her not only as a sister, but as a mother as well. There are many other instances where we get a flashback on Katniss’ life which helps us understand why Katniss acts the way she does throughout the three books.
            Another reason that I enjoyed the first book most was because I feel as if this is the book with the most rebellion in it. Katniss is already considered a rebel at the very beginning of the book for hunting outside her district. Then, throughout the book she commits multiple acts of rebellion even without doing them purposefully. I believe that one of these acts of rebellion is when she volunteers for her sister at the reaping. Although yes, volunteering is allowed, it had never happened in District 12, and being the first to do so in a way was rebelling against the Capitol.
            Later in the book, there are much more direct acts of rebellion. These include shooting the arrow at the game makers’ table, covering Rue with flowers, and deciding that both her and Peeta will eat the berries so there is no victor. These are some of the moments that I as a reader really liked Katniss. I believe that she is a pretty selfish person, the way she acted towards Peeta and others throughout the book, but her moments of rebellion in the first book were the reason that I continued to read the next two books.
            One final reason that I liked the first book the best of the three is because of the plot. Since this book was released long before any of the movies, nobody really knew what would happen in it until they read it. I like the idea that family plays a huge role in this book, with Katniss volunteering to save her sister, and then working her hardest to return to her family throughout the book. Although it is sick, I’m fascinated about the idea of the hunger games themselves, how people could be so selfish to enjoy children killing one another for entertainment. Finally, I like the plot of rebellion, just as everyone else. This shows to fight for what you believe in, even if you are going against the world, just as Katniss was going against the Capitol.

            Overall, I believe the books were very good, and set a precedent for future movies and books. Recently there have been many books and movies with many of the same themes as the Hunger Games, but I believe that the Hunger Games is one of the best there is.

Word Count: 568

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Blog Entry 3

            While Catching Fire the movie followed the plot of the book, I believe that many important aspects of the book were either left out or altered that should have been included. The first part that should have been included was Katniss’s interaction with Bonnie and Twill in the woods. We have seen Katniss out in the woods many times, but of course there are no other people out there other than her or Gale. Showing Bonnie and Twill gives the viewer a bit of foreshadowing. In the book when Katniss meets the two, it gives the reader a glimpse of another district. They tell her about their lives in District 8 and also about the uprisings that are going on there. This is also the main part of the book where Katniss being the mocking jay, the symbol of rebellion, is shown. Without this part in the movie, I feel as if a large part of the riots and rebellions are left out, when this is really what the second book is all about.
            Another large part of the books that was left out of not only the second, but the first movie as well was the relationship that the people of District 12 had with the peacekeepers. Cray, the head peacekeeper in the first book and the beginning of the second, was nothing like Thread who replaces him in the second book. We see peacekeepers throughout the movies who are stern and do not hesitate to use force. However, we are told that in the first book the peacekeepers in District 12 are fairly likeable. They go to The Hob to buy and sell as well as to mingle with the people of District 12. If one hasn’t read the books, it is a little hard to follow why Cray was replaced by Thread.
            Also to go along with the peacekeepers, the real reason why Gale was whipped is altered in the movie. In the book, Gale goes out hunting and finds a wild turkey. He knows that Cray pays very well for wild turkey so he goes to his back door to buy it. However, instead of Cray answering the door Thread does. Since hunting off The Capitol’s land is forbidden, even inside the gates, which is where Gale said he found the turkey, Thread takes him to the center of the square and whips him. In the movie, Thread is about to hit one of the vendors from The Hob, so Gale tackles him and is whipped for that. Also in the movie, Gales whipping and recovery is downplayed very much so that it doesn’t seem as big a deal as it is, when in the book it is just another sign to Katniss that President Snow can hurt people she loves whenever he wants to.
            One more part of the books that was left out of the movies was the bread and its significance in the arena. In the movie, the tributes were given 24 rolls of bread from District 3. They are sent this three different times throughout the book. We later find out that this was a signal to those who knew about the rebellion, meaning that they would be rescued on the third day in the arena at twelve o’clock. While this does not change the games from the books to the movies, I believe that it shows more about the rebellion and how many people are involved in it than is let on in the movie.

            While I understand that there is a lot of information to go into these movies, I feel as if some very important parts were left out of the movie. The more information that is included, the more drawn in the audience is to the movie. If they understand every part of the movie, they will be more compelled to read the books and to continue watching the next movies that are released.

Word Count: 656

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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Blog Entry 2

            Since I haven’t read or watched first book or movie The Hunger Games since they came out, it has been interesting to revisit the two this past week. I was easily able to remember the main plot of the first Hunger Games, but there were many details that I forgot. It was also very interesting noticing the differences between the first book and the first movie.
            The first main difference that arose was how Katniss came to acquire the Mocking Jay pin that she wore in the arena. In the book, her acquaintance Madge gives her the pin and says that it will protect her. In the movie, Katniss finds the pin in the Black Market at Greasy Sae’s station and Greasy Sae gives it to her. She then gives the pin to Prim before The Reaping, saying that it will keep her safe. When Katniss and Prim reunite after Katniss volunteers for her sister, Prim returns the pin to Katniss saying that it is now Katniss that needs to be kept safe.
            Another difference about the pin is Katniss wearing it in the arena. In the book, each tribute is able to bring one item from their district into the arena as long as it is safe. Katniss is able to bring the pin into the arena as the Game Makers agreed. In the movie, Cinna pins the Mocking Jay pin under her jacket and motions that it is a secret, as if she is not allowed to have it in the arena. I think the filmmakers decided to change this to add another way that Katniss defies The Capitol since she is not supposed to have the pin in the arena.
            Another large difference in the movie was the role of Haymitch. In both the movie and the book, he is Katniss and Peeta’s mentor. However, I feel as though he plays a much larger role in the book than in the movie. In the book he is almost always with Katniss or Peeta helping them strategize for the games. He is their link to the people of The Capitol, and he is the real reason that they both stay alive during the games. He is also the reason that they stay alive after the games, warning Katniss of how the Capitol is angry with her for beating them at their own game. In the movie, Haymitch does all of these things as well, but I feel as if he is downplayed. He is hardly shown while Katniss and Peeta are in the arena, and is not portrayed as the large character that he is in the book.
            One of the final large differences that I noticed between the movie and the book is how Katniss treats Peeta. In the book, Katniss is not a very nice person. She is always mad at Peeta. For example, when they are up on the rooftop before the games, they get into a fight and she returns to the room. Also at the end of the book, she tells Peeta that she doesn’t know what is going to happen when they return home and completely disregards his feelings for her, showing him that her feelings in the game were just an act for The Capitol. In the movie, Peeta and Katniss have a much better relationship, as if they’re friends, or sometimes even more. On the rooftop before the games, they just talk and then part their separate ways. At the end of the movie, Katniss still plays the part of the star-crossed lovers, never hurting Peeta’s feelings and telling him that she was only doing it for the games.

            While many books and movies have many differences, I feel as if this movie did not have to differ from the book as much as it did. There were small and large differences which all played into the plot of the book and the movie. However, I do believe that both Suzanne Collins and the filmmakers created a great book and movie even with the many differences between the two.

Word Count: 679
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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Blog Entry 1

            The Hunger Games books and movies have swept America by storm over the past few years. When the books first became popular, everyone was running into the bookstore to get these amazing reads. I remember everyone talking about them and how good they were. People would pass around the books to friends once they were done and move on to the next one. Then, the first movie came out in March 2012 and made the books even more popular. I remember lying out by the pool in the middle of summer reading the first book of the series, which I finished in two days. I read the next two books and saw all the movies as they came out, just like everyone else in this country did. I was so interested in The Hunger Games, how someone came up with this idea, and so much more.
            I chose this class to learn more about the books and movies. Even from the first two classes I feel like I have learned so much, and it makes me that much more interested in these books. I never really made the connection with the games and Roman times and the Gladiators, and it just blew my mind when I was reading Gresh and started to see all of these connections. Over the course of this class, I hope to learn more about where Suzanne Collins got her ideas for this series that has everyone talking. I’m also very interested in how this class will be an interdisciplinary study, specifically how it relates to my major of exercise science.
            While I was reading The Hunger Games books, I started to really like a couple of the characters. However, my favorite character in the book would be Cinna. He is one of the only people of The Capitol that Katniss interacts with. Although Cinna is from The Capitol and Katniss is from District Twelve, he treats her as a friend. While everyone else in the Capitol is excited to see her in the arena, whether she wins or dies, Cinna genuinely seems to care about her and wants her to come out alive.

            Although he seems to play such a minor role while Katniss is in the Capitol, I believe that he actually plays a much bigger part than people realize. Katniss trusts Cinna. He is not only the one who dresses her and makes her appealing to those in The Capitol, but he is also a real friend to her. Cinna is the one at dinner who diffuses tension between Effie and Haymitch, which helps Katniss feel more comfortable. He is also the one who gives her advice and genuinely wants her to succeed. Finally, Cinna is the last person that Katniss sees before entering the arena. He is the last face that Katniss sees who will not be trying to kill her. Overall, I believe that Katniss really enjoys Cinna’s company and he is one of the reasons she continues to fight The Capitol.

Word Count: 501

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