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The Hunger Games- aka hippopotamus
Transcript of The Hunger Games- aka hippopotamus
by: Suzanne Collins Setting The story begins in a small city named District 12 near what was once Colorado in the United States some time in the future. District 12 is a majority poor community known for its coal mining, and is surrounded by an electric fence (though the electricty is rarely on) However, the majority of this story takes place in an arena where they play the hunger games. The arena consists of a vast plain of hard-packed dirt, a forest that appearse sparse at first but turns dense, a lake, and a gigantic golden horn at which all the participants begin. Setting quote: "We're on a flat, open stretch of ground. A plain of hard-packed dirt. Behind the tributes across from me, I can see nothing, indicating either a steep downward slope or even a cliff. To my right lies a lake. To my left and back, sparse, piney woods."(Collins 148) Characters Gale- An older teenager whose father died in the same explosion that killed Katniss's father. He keeps food on the table for his many brothers and sisters and mother by crawling under the electric fence with Katniss to hunt and trap. Katniss- Main character and narrator. Katniss is a young girl of around thirteen or fourteen yet she must provide for her little sister and mother because her father died in a mine explosion, and her mother is usually too depresed to get out of bed. When her little sister Rue is picked to participate in The Hunger Games, Katniss volunteers to take her place because she knows her sister will not stand a chance. Peeta- The son of a baker, unlike many residents of District 12, he is well fed because of his father's occupation. Peeta is incredibly caring, and once, he took a beating from his mother to save Katnis's life even though he was only a little boy. He is the same age as Katniss and was also selected for The Hunger Games. THEMES I believe the theme of this novel was to show the dangers of humanity. I believe the author meant to show that human nature is inherently evil because, although the people in the book are very technologically advanced, they still force their own citizens to compete in a bloody massacre for their own entertainment. The author has a pessimistic view of society in which the many are ruled by few and there is no justice. "Whatever words they use, the real message is clear. "Look how we take your children and sacriface them and there's nothing you can do. If you lift a finger,we will destroy every last one of you. Just as we did in District 13."(Collins 19) "He was only fourteen, but he cleared six feet and was good as an adult to me."(Collins 110) "I volunteer" I gasp. "I volunteer as tribute"(Collins 22) "It didn't occur to me until the next morning that (Peeta) might have burned the bread on purpose. Might have dropped the loaves into the flames, knowing it meant being punished, and then delivered them to me."(Collins 31) Introduction- The protagonist of this story is Katniss Everdeen. She is an established hunter (although the practice is forbidden), living in a country named Panem that arose from the destruction of present day North America. The antagonist is the totalitarian dictatorship known simply as The Capitol, namely its leader President Snow. In Panem there are 12 districts. Each year, The Capitol randomly selects two tributes, one boy and one girl, to participate in an televised free-for-all massacre both in punishment for a rebellion that took place seventy-four years prior, and for the citezen's of The Capitol's entertainment.
"Then came the Dark Days, the uprising of the districts against The Capitol. Tweleve were defeated, the thirteenth obliterated."(Collins 18) Rising Action: Although it is incredibly unlikely that a person would be picked for The Hunger Games on their first time; Prim, Katniss's younger sister, was selected nevertheless. Katniss, being the great sister she is, immeadiately volunteered (and was granted) the opportunity to take her place, a feat almost unheard of in District 12.
"In District 12, where the word tribute is synonomous with the word corpse, volunteers are all but extinct."(Collins 22) Literary Elements Symbolism- I beleive the most important symbol associated with this story is the Mockingjay. This creature began as a Capitol weapon known as a Jabberjay, meant to record conversations during the first rebellion. Soon however, the rebels realized what the birds did, and purposefully sent false information back to The Capitol. Needless to say, The Capitol stopped using these birds when they realized, and released all their creations into the wild to die. Surprisingly, the male Jabberjays mated with female mocking birds, and survive. The mockingjay serves as a symbol of rebellion in the triumph of the rebels over the cruel Capitol. Katniss wears a mockingjay pin on her uniform for The Hunger Games, and unknowingly begins to inspire thousands. Metaphor: "I am not pretty, I am not beautiful, I'm as radiant as the sun."(Collins 121) I believe this metaphor shows that Katniss herself is a symbol. She does not seem to think of her wearing this dress as only a contestant. Rather she symbolizes "The Girl who was on Fire" and she realizes this fire burns within the hearts of the citizens of Panem and gives them hope that one day, the oppressive rule of the Capitol will come to an end. Irony- I think the largest example of irony in this book is that The Hunger Games are intended to end thoughts of rebellion in the districts, but through the actions of Katniss Everdeen, the districts have a new hope of rebellion and The Capitol is fueling the fire all the way. Text-to-World: PLOT Rising Action: So far, in every hunger games it is every man and woman for themselves. Surprisingly, about three quarters of the way through the competition, an announcement is made that if both surviving tributes survive, then they will both be crowned victors. This leads Katniss to team up with Peeta.
"The news sinks in. Two tributes can live this year. If they're from the same district. Both can live. Both of us can live."(Collins 244) Climax: At the end of the competition the only contestants left standing are Peeta and Katniss. In theory they should both have won The Games, but as the last other tribute is killed, an announcement comes over the arena saying that there is no longer two victors, but Peeta and Katniss must fight to the death. In response Katniss gives Peeta and herself poisonous berries in order to commit suicide, but before they can do it the announcer hurridly comes back on and says that they have both won.
"The frantic voice of Claudius Templesmith shouts above them. "Stop Stop. Ladies and Gentlemen I am pleased to present the victors of the seventy-fourth Hunger Games."(Collins 345) Falling Action: The falling action in this story is the post Games interview of Katniss and Peeta. They must pretend that their love story is legitimate in order to keep themselves and their families safe from The Capitol.
"He's kissing me and all the time i'm thinking, "Do you know? Do you know how much danger we're in?"(Collins 368) Resolution: Katniss and Peeta have won the Hunger Games, and their families appear safe for the moment. Katniss and Peeta are unaware if their love trickery has succeded. But now the question is, Can they dodge the wrath of The Capitol forever?
"It's The Capitol. They didn't like the stunt with the berries. -It seemed too rebellious." (Collins 372) I believe this novel shows multiple instances of worldy application, but the strongest influence I see is the Holocaust in Germany. In this book, there is a strong, totalitarian government that is run by an evil leader. Also, In Nazi Germany the totalitarian dictatorship run by Adolf Hitler looked to punish a group of people for all of their problems, in this way, these situations are quite similar. Although in The Hunger Games, only two people are killed from each district in punishment, they are still indirectly being slaughtered by the government. Over seventy-four years a great many people are slaughtered and there is nothing the citizens can do about it.
"Taking the kids from our districts, forcing them to kill one another while we watch -- this The Capitol's way of reminding us how totally we are at their mercy."(Collins 18) Personal Response/ Critique I thouroughly enjoyed this book. From start to finish, I was on the edge of my seat. I really liked how the author used Katniss's voice to show the hardships of living in her district under The Capitol's rule. As I read this novel, I watched as Katniss's character developed, the change in Peeta's relationship with Katniss, and the actions of two people so easily changed their world. There were many powerful quotes through which not only entertainment was gained but also understanding of the world around us. The author reminded me of William Golding's Lord of the Flies in the way she viewed human nature. If I was forced to identify any problem with the book, I would say that I wish she had spent more of the book on the main plot rather than the introduction, but it didn't make enough of a difference to change my appreciation for this book. In short, I would recommend this book to anyone who is searching for a heart-pounding thriller that will keep them excited to read on and on. One of my favorite quotes:
"Then something unexpected happens. At least, I don’t expect it because I don’t think of District 12 as a place that cares about me. But a shift has occurred since I stepped up to take Prim’s place, and now it seems I have become someone precious. At first one, then another, then almost every member of the crowd touches the three middle fingers of their left hand to their lips and holds it out to me. It is an old and rarely used gesture of our district, occasionally seen at funerals. It means thanks, it means admiration, it means good-bye to someone you love." (Collins 24) THE END