Sunday, April 12, 2015

Blog Entry 9

            In Dr. Baron’s lecture on Thursday, he talked about what ethics are and what makes a person good, and then we discussed what makes a person evil in turn. He started out talking about ethics, and said that ethics are the study of morality. Since each person is different, everyone has a different view on what is right and what is wrong. One person may think that decision A is good when another person believes decision A is bad and decision B is good. This was very eye opening as we went over multiple scenarios and people had different views on what was right and what was wrong in each scenario. We then discussed this a little in terms of the Hunger Games, and said how the lower and less wealthy districts think that the Capitol is bad, but the capitol and more wealthy districts think that the Capitol is good and the lower districts are bad.
            We next discussed four different philosophical theories on what is good. The first one was called utilitarianism. This says that to determine if something is good, the action produces the greatest balance of happiness over sadness for the greatest number of people. This means that even if something is best for you, but more people would benefit from something else, the best action to take is one that does not benefit you and benefits others. We see this in the Hunger Games when Katniss shoots President Snow. We learn from the beginning that Katniss wants to be the one to kill President Snow, and she gets her chance at the end of the third book. However, in the end she decides that even though she wants to kill President Snow, in the long run, it would benefit the people of the districts to have President Coin dead since she would be a bad leader for them.
            The second theory is called deontology, which focuses on the duties one has to uphold. This is basically saying to treat others as you would want to be treated. In return, never do anything to another person that you would not like for them to do to you. Since the Hunger Games are about killing others to keep yourself alive, if we apply deontology to that, we can say that this does not follow the golden rule, and in turn the Hunger Games are evil, as well as the people who participate in the games.
            The third theory is virtue. This is just basically asking the question “what virtues make someone a good person?” Throughout the series, we hear about Prim and how loving she is and how she wants to help others however she can. These are virtues that make Prim a good person. We also hear about President Snow. We hear about how he poisoned all of his rivals in the presidential campaign so he would win the campaign. He is also one of the reasons why the Hunger Games continue. These virtues do not make him a good person, in turn making him evil.
            The final theory is care. This is when someone makes a decision for the betterment of care of others. We see this in the first book when Katniss volunteers to go into the Hunger Games for Prim. She knows that Prim has a very small chance of surviving the games since she is small and young. By volunteering, Katniss cares for her sister even though she puts her life in danger.

            Overall, it is very interesting to see how different these theories can be. If you take a situation and have two options, one can be good and one can be evil depending on what theory you are basing the decision off of. It is also interesting to see how much this relates to the Hunger Games. We know that President Snow is evil, but looking at these theories, it is interesting to see how for him and for the Capitol, his decisions could be good or evil depending on your viewpoint.

Word Count: 633
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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Blog Entry 8

            Throughout The Hunger Games trilogy, we see a multitude of different gender relations. We see different relations in The Capitol then in the districts, and for both we are able to relate them to our lives today. We also see the role that romance plays throughout the book, not only with Katniss and Peeta, but also with her family and relationships in The Capitol.
            In the Capitol, there aren’t too many differences in gender roles between males and females. Both males and females go through surgical procedures to change their skin color or face shape or any other aspect of their body that they wish, and they believe it makes them beautiful. Also, in the second and third books we learn that Finnick Odair has many different lovers and admirers in The Capitol. We learn that he has spent his time with women and men throughout The Capitol. This further erases the differences in gender roles, since in our society we see men who spend their time with other men as homosexual, yet in The Capitol it is very normal for people to spend their time with whichever gender they please.
            In the districts, there also isn’t a large distinction between gender roles for males and females. All members of the districts wear the same bland clothing, and the women don’t wear makeup or try to better their looks for the men. In Dr. Raley’s lecture, we focused a lot on Katniss’s gender roles throughout the games. We noticed that she does not wear makeup, nor does she really pay attention to her appearance. At home, she takes on the role of the caretaker once her father is killed in the mining accident. She hunts, sells and provides for her family, which is normally the male’s job in most other families. Through this, Katniss takes on some masculine traits. Another masculine trait that she takes on is not wanting to marry and have children. Women are expected to want to get married and create a family and cook and clean for them. Katniss does not want any of this, and in turn takes on this masculine character trait.
            In the lecture, we talked about how Katniss has some feminine traits as well as masculine traits. We see the love that Katniss has for her sister, and she shows this openly. While Katniss is a hunter, which is a masculine trait, she hunts with a bow and arrow, which is a very feminine hunting tool. We also see Katniss embrace more feminine traits when she is around Peeta and performing for The Capitol. She lets him take control and takes on the feminine role in their relationship.

            It is very interesting to see the differences between our culture and gender roles and Panem and its gender roles. We learned that each culture “does gender” differently. Even throughout our own culture there is variation in gender, and we see this in differences between The Capitol and the districts even though they are one country. It is very interesting to learn about the way gender roles are constructed in certain societies, and shattered in others.

Word Count: 522
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