Wednesday, January 29, 2014
I chose to take this course, The Wonderful World of the Hunger Games, for a number of reasons. The primary reason is that I am a huge nerd for dystopian literature! This includes classics such as 1984 and Lord of the Flies, as well as newer books such as the Chemical Garden Trilogy, the Divergent series, and of course, the Hunger Games (If you haven't read any of these, I strongly recommend all of them)! Another reasons why I took this course is because I really enjoy getting to discuss books. Reading is something I'm passionate about, so its always nice to get to hear another person's perspective on a book, sometimes the most amazing insights come from totally random conversations! My final reason is of course that I needed an honors credit, which was, admittedly a factor, although it acted as more of the cherry on top of an excellent course. In this course I am hoping to achieve a better understanding of dystopian literature in general, as well as a new perspective on some of the themes and literary elements used in the Hunger Games. Overall, what I want most is to get a chance to have good discussions, and deepen my own knowledge of what these types of books are all about and how they can reflect on society. My favorite character from the Hunger Games is Effie Trinket, because of her character growth. This is a woman who starts out as a detestable puppet of the capital, who views each of the tributes as little more than a tool for her own success. However, before you judge her, it is important to remember the circumstances under which she was raised. The principles of nonviolence tell us that we should learn to blame the circumstances of evil, not the person committing it, as well as to use agape, or universal love for everyone. Effie is easy to hate, but then she learns to overcome her weaknesses, and by the end she exemplifies the idea that everyone is a mixed bag. The system of the capital is evil, the hunger games are evil, but Effie is just a woman who is capable of both good and evil, and who has been taught terrible things. By overcoming it, Effie proves that no one is black and white, and through her the reader is able to see that even those capital citizens who do not have such a dramatic change are not going to be totally evil, so much as a product of a brainwashing environment. These are people who should be reasoned with, not attacked, and to me, Effie shows the humanity in every person.