Sunday, April 12, 2015

Predicting the End of the World

The Hunger Games is set in a very unique post-apocalyptic setting, having no distinct causation as to what happened to cause the end of the world, only the condition that it is "the end of the world" per say.

In terms of whether I personally believe in the "ending" of the world, any ending of the planet's current habitation would require significant change of some sort - something to trigger an event happening. Many of the suggested examples (nuclear or chemical warfare) require some sort of man-made motivation for entering such a destructive situation. 

I am fascinated (narrative-wise) by the idea of alien invasion - the idea of encountering a being/species so unlike our own is a very intriguing idea for a Cinema major, rooted by the childlike fantasies of meeting an alien! However, scientists haven't been able to discover (yet) any intelligent life in the outer reaches of space, therefore this notion, while exciting, can be ruled out. 

The most probable way the Earth would end, in terms of humanity, would bed climate changes. History has shown that climate has had major impact on many creatures of the Earth in terms of extinction and endangerment. The dinosaurs are the most famous example of a species of animal wiped from the Earth; a species that survived for thousands of years before being entirely obliterated from the planet.

There's also the threat of humans destroying themselves environmentally. Countries like China and even regions of the US have so much pollution, they have to wear masks to save themselves from the smog. It is most possible that humanity takes this pollution (and possibly global warming?) to the extremes, making the planet inhabitable for us to live on.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Gender Relations and the Hunger Games

In both the reading for class and Dr. Raley's lecture, the characters Katniss Everdeen and Bella Swan were juxtaposed to explain how gender roles in Twilight and the Hunger Games. Both the book and Dr. Raley explained how, practically, the gender roles are switched in the two stories. While Bella represents the stereotypical "damsel in distress" for contemporary teenagers, Katniss is pitted against a world that leaves her more aggressive.

 As discussed in the chapter, Bella is not only a protagonist in a "young adult" fiction, but also fits the character traits of that of a Romance novel, where the interaction between man and woman, inevitably both falling in love, is the most prominent part of the story. This is more stereotypical, according to Dr. Raley, of a female character in a story...... their story arch, especially in a Romance tale, always revolves around a male character. They are completely dependent on the male for their story to drive forward. Subsequently, the male figure (Edward Cullen and Jacob Black) drives the plot and "Gets the girl" at the end, making Bella the protagonist almost a joke.

While Bella is a weaker character, focused on "the man," Katniss, set in a dystopian story, has bigger problems then a male figure. The nature of the dystopian world demands that the protagonist (male or female) must find a way to survive. For Katniss, this means the male figures in Hunger Games, while present, are irrelevant compared to the need to protect those she loves in general, let alone something as trivial as "true love." This completely flips the idea of gender roles, being that Katniss is entirely independent and in control of her emotions. The males, particularly Peeta, are the weaker character, and the more dependent.