Sunday, February 22, 2015

Best in the Trilogy?

Out of all the books in the Hunger Games trilogy, I personally like the second book, Catching Fire, the best. I think it really gives us a good look at Katniss and her life and how the Hunger Games affected her. Also, it shows Katniss' character developing a lot into the Mockingjay she will become.

We could tell from the end of the first Hunger Games book that Katniss was a rebel from the way Peeta and her were going to eat the berries because it was her idea. In the second book, we see how her actions have affected the Capitol and how they are taking it out on her. We see that President Snow pays her a visit, telling her that she is under careful observation and that they do not believe she did her berry act for true love. Under the Capitol's watchful eye, Katniss is still trying to rebel in her own small ways. She joins hands with the other victors at the interviews before the Quarter Quell and her dress even turns into a Mockingjay during the interview.

In the second book, we also see how the symbol of the Mockingjay is becoming the symbol of the rebellion. It has become a fashion statement in the Capitol yet, the Districts all use the symbol as a sign of rebellion to take down the Capitol. Katniss first sees it as the sign of rebellion when she meets Bonnie and Twill in the woods. They were running away from District 8 and had a cracker with the Mockingjay stamped on it showing that they were for the rebellion. I think Katniss seeing that shows how much of an influence she is on the people of the Districts and that she has given them the courage to start the rebellion. When we first meet Plutarch Heavensbee, we see that he has a watch which shows the symbol even though he is supposedly on the Capitol's side of the whole battle (we later learn he is not).

Generally, I also like the plot of the second book. I enjoyed how it focused more on Katniss and her dealing with struggles in her hometown and not focusing on the games like the first book did. The second book was more taking place in District 12 and how Katniss is adjusting back to her "normal" life after winning the games. There is the Quarter Quell but that is not even mentioned until much later in the book. In the book, we see a love triangle developing between Peeta, Katniss, and Gale which I really enjoyed. It was nice to see Katniss' internal struggle dealing with her love issues and the other problems surrounding her.

Overall, I enjoyed the second book the best because it gave us more of an inside look into Katniss' life and all the struggles she is dealing with after the games. The second book also has some very good characters and some great character development for Katniss. The ending of the book gives a very good lead into the final book Mockingjay which I thought was also very interesting.


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Catching Fire: Movie vs Book

Catching Fire is probably my favorite book in the series. The book and they movie are very different in a lot of ways.

We start at the opening of the movie where we see Katniss hunting in the woods with Gale. In the book, we start off in the woods but with Katniss just sitting there drinking tea instead of hunting. The movie shows Katniss shooting turkey and picturing it as Marvel, the boy from District 1 in the last Hunger Games. Katniss freaks out and Gale has to calm her down and bring her back to realize she is not in the games.They showed this in the movie to show that Katniss has PTSD from being in the games and that there are some things she will never get over It also shows how much of an impact the games can have on peoples lives even after they win.

In the movie we see a lot more of President Snow and we even see some shots of him with his granddaughter. These scenes were not mentioned or included in the book but I feel that these scenes are important. It shows how Katniss is inspiring the next generation and leaving her mark on Panem. Having Snow's granddaughter wearing her hair like Katniss does and wanting a love like Katniss and Peeta have shows Snow how much of an influence Katniss has on everyone. It also makes Snow realize how much of a threat her influence is to him and the Capitol.

When she goes for individual assessment in the training center, in the book, Katniss simply sees a mat covering up whatever Peeta did so she can't see what happened. In the movie though, Katniss can see that Peeta painted Rue laying there surrounded by the flowers as Katniss did for her in the games. In both the book and the film, Katniss does the same thing for her assessment, which is "hanging" Seneca Crane, but in the movie she looks much more hostile since she has seen what Peeta painted. It makes her realize that the Capitol is to blame for all of this and she shows her frustration by doing the "hanging."

There are a lot of important scenes in the book that should have been included in the movie and if they had done that the movie probably would have been like 5 hours long. Overall, I think  the movie got most of the major points but missed some little things that could have made it better. I thought the book was so much better than the movie (as is per usual).



Saturday, February 7, 2015

Movie vs Book (Which Do You Think Is The Best?)

We would all like to think that the movie would be the same as the book in keeping with the story line and main points. Unfortunately this is not the case and the Hunger Games book and movie show many differences but also similarities.

A noticeable difference between the movie and the book is the scenes shown of Seneca Crane, the head game maker, and President Snow. These characters are not mentioned in the book much to hardly at all yet they are some of the important characters in the film. We see many scenes in the film of Seneca and President Snow talking about the games and how they can become more interesting and even how to run the games. Most scenes with Seneca Crane involve him in a room with other game makers changing the arena. He and the other game makers see when tributes are far away and try to drive them towards other tributes in order to keep the games moving along and interesting. In the film, we get to see the technology of the Capitol and get to see how they control the arena. Overall, the film did not really add or remove any of the modifications made to the arena except the rain and drying of the stream. Allowing us to see the inner workings of the Capitol during the games gives viewers a look into why and how the Capitol does what they do and how the games are all just for entertainment and to keep the districts from rebelling (even though in the film we see that does not exactly work).

One of the differences that really makes me upset is how Katniss gets the Mockingjay pin. In the books, Madge, the mayor of District 12's daughter, gives it to Katniss when she goes to see Katniss before she leaves for the Capitol. The film shows Katniss finding the pin in the Hob at a vendor's station and the vendor gives it to her for free. Madge is not even a character in the film! I think that she is a good character to have as Katniss almost sees Madge as one of her only friends at school.

Similarities between the film and book are fairly easy to find but when I went to think about it I had to actually really think about it because it was not as easy as I thought it was. The reaping is the same as in the book for the most part (the checking in part with the blood sample was not in the book), but also the way characters act in the book is exactly as they are in the film. The main similarity I want to focus on is the portrayal of district 12. In the book and the film, District 12 is one of the poorer districts and the part that Katniss lives in is called the Seam. It is the poorest part of the district and it is described in the book and very dull and full of grey and black colors due to the coal dust from the mines. In the film, we see those colors and it seems to be a very depressing as most of the people in the Seam are poor. Even when they go to the reaping, there are some colors like in their clothes but even then they are very dull colors and reflects the feeling overall in the district.

Overall, I thought the book was much better than the film. The book goes into much more detail about the characters, the pre-Hunger Games preparation, and the games themselves. The film did a fairly good job of showing the main points of the book but there is more that could be added in order to make it better and give a better view of the Hunger Games.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Why the Hunger Games?

There are a couple reasons why I chose this class. Of course one of them is for the credit but also I really enjoyed the Hunger Games books when I read them. I enjoy reading books that take me to another world, yet these books take where we live and takes it to the future. It also gives us a dystopia which is scary but there is a strong hero who ends up victorious. While reading, I remember thinking about how our lives would be affected if suddenly our country became just like Panem and it would definitely be frightening.

In this class I hope to achieve a better understanding of the books. They are good reads but there are probably some symbols I have missed or hidden meanings I had not thought about. I also wish to understand the trilogy from the perspectives of many different disciplines such as History and Psychology. It will be interesting to see how the different disciplines interpret the books and the events that occur.

My favorite character is Katniss Everdeen because she is a strong person. She stays strong throughout the games and even after to lead a rebellion. She stays true to her beliefs and ideas no matter what people tell her. Even as a child she knew things were messed up and even spoke it sometimes, even if it got her in trouble. Katniss is also a great provider for her family and is always there to make sure they are safe. Even while she is fighting in the games she has people to check up on them.