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  #281  
Old March 27th, 2012, 12:28 am
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Re: The Hunger Games

Just put the Trilogy on hold over at my local library. Can't wait to get started in terms of reading them. It'll be sometime before I can though... there are over 200 people waiting for a copy of the first book (down from over 700, which is good).


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  #282  
Old March 27th, 2012, 1:03 am
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Re: The Hunger Games

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Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
Yes - and not only the end of the chapters, either, I was biting my nails the entire time. That was some masterful suspense. I hope Catching Fire is as good!
Catching Fire was my favorite of the 3. I have one word - Finnick!


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Originally Posted by AldeberanBlack View Post
...In punishment, the Hunger Games were created to dissuade the people of the rebellious districts to never rebel again, and the Capitol keeps most of the population on the verge of starvation and poverty.
Within each district there are socioeconomic classes. For example, Peeta and Katniss' mom came from the merchant class. They may not have been wealthy but they are better off than the working class. Plus Peeta was decorating those cakes for someone, so there might have even been an upper class in D12. The Mayor perhaps?

When you have a sense of being 'better off' than someone else it creates a false sense of security. So long as there is someone worse off than you, the need to rebel doesn't seem so strong.

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However if the Capitol depends on the labour of the people of the districts, wouldn’t the workers need to be fit and healthy? Surely poor and starving workers would be weak. They’d be dying of hunger and disease, which means that the labour force would be decimated. I guess it’s possible they keep the adults of working age sustained with just enough food to keep them going, and let the weak, sick and elderly die.
This seems to be how it is in D12 with an industry of coal, which we're not even sure the Capitol really needs. For me, it seemed like D12 was neglected because it wasn't necessary. They're like the people living in the slums that you want to just go away but you can't force them to. So you neglect them and let the fittest survive.

In some of the more 'upper class' districts like 1-4 the oppression and starvation doesn't seem as prevalent. Even D8 with it's textile production is more valued than coal. And D11 seems so vast with so many people (Katniss notes that at some point in the series that the entire eligible population couldn't possibly fit in the public square so there must be a pre-selection process) that sacrificing 2 kids isn't as obscene as when the population is smaller like in D12. Plus in D11 it is mentioned that they get more food during harvest time to keep them working longer hours.

We could get into a discussion of what a migrant farm worker's life is like in the current US vs an electronic engineer's. I'd say it's pretty comparable to Panem - the only difference in the oppression is that in the US our people are 'free' and Panem there is a dictator of a ruler.

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It also raises questions as to why the citizens of the Capitol themselves don’t object to such a vicious system and seem to have no problem watching children die every year. I can understand that the people who actively rule Panem may be ruthless but I have doubts as to whether the entire population of the Capitol feel the same way. They are described as being fashion obsessed and shallow, yet somehow despite having the intellectual capacity of the panel on “Fashion Police” they are able to organise a military and keep an entire nation under their control?
I think the point is that outside the Capitol the citizens aren't seen as people. Capitol citizens live their perverse lives of luxury while 'other people' provide for them. It's master and servant on a larger scale. It's 74 years of this attitude that make both sides so complacent. I mean how long did the US employ slavery as a business strategy? You could argue, why didn't the slaves just rebel? And the answer is torture and death. So in THG why don't the districts just end the madness? Because the Peacekeepers will shoot you down on the spot. When the choice is living with the bare minimum vs death, you can see how there is systematic complacency.


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I question why the districts who suffer the most don’t just rebel anyway. Yes they may get killed, but that’s likely to happen anyway, either via the games or through starvation and sickness. If you are going to die, you may as well die fighting.
That's what a person with resources and education thinks. In most revolutions throughout history it is not the downtrodden who engineer the revolution, it is the privileged who align themselves with the oppressed and they do it for philosophical/ethical reasons, not because they need to.

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I have serious doubts that the population of the Capitol would really be so enthusiastic about watching an event that lasts for weeks with large periods of the tributes doing virtually nothing.
I know someone else mentioned the Gamemakers manipulating the game so that it remains interesting, but more current and relevant is the TV show "Big Brother." It was programmed to be on TV during a scheduled time, but you were able to go online and watch the 'contestants' 24/7. It also brings to mind The Truman Show. Given enough free time, people will watch anything for hours!


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  #283  
Old April 1st, 2012, 9:15 pm
AldeberanBlack  Male.gif AldeberanBlack is offline
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Re: The Hunger Games

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“Catching Fire” and “Mockingjay”

These two novels basically form one narrative, so I’ll review them together.

President Snow threatens to murder Gale if Katniss doesn’t marry Peeta. Snow wants to subdue an internal rebellion by demonstrating to the population that Katniss and Peeta’s unity in the games was caused by love rather than dissent against the Capitol. This didn’t make much sense to me. Would it really be credible that this one girl showing affection to another tribute would be enough to trigger a revolution? Even if a rebellion was brewing for years, there are more than enough reasons for it to have already begun before Katniss even volunteered for the games. I also find it highly unlikely that a wedding would really calm the situation. Unless of course Snow is simply insane and HE is the only one who believes that it will. In any case it becomes a moot point once the rebellion begins. I do feel that by the third book, Gale and Peeta become less important. At that point, the main concern is the war between the rebelling districts and the Capitol. For me, I didn’t really care who Katniss ended up with, or even whether she, Gale and Peeta even survived, because the bigger picture is the overthrow of the Capitol.

I am somewhat puzzled about the system of law enforcement in Panem. Gale hunts a turkey in the woods and gets whipped half to death for it. If the people can’t hunt for food, then where are they supposed to get it from? The novel mentions that criminal hunting and trading is a way of life in District 12 and women have even had to prostitute themselves to survive. Again I find it totally illogical for the Capitol to use brutal methods to suppress insurrection while implementing violent and cruel policies which effectively provoke the people INTO rebelling against them. The government of Panem is completely idiotic. I’m surprised that Panem is even still standing. If they’ve been brutalising the children of the districts for 75 years via the games, and also torturing the rest of the population for the same amount of time, there should be CONSTANT rebellion and civil war in the country. The districts could have gone on strike and the Capitol, which is dependent on the districts, would collapse. If the Capitol destroyed striking districts, they'd be only bringing about their own downfall, because they'd be destroying vital industries which they need in order to survive. The Capitol supposedly rules the entire country with some planes and hovercrafts, which are easily taken down in the third book, and henchmen who once disarmed by a vengeful and aggressive population robbed of their children would be utterly helpless. There’s no reason for the population NOT to fight. Fear of the Capitol is hardly a reason. Yes the Capitol may kill the people. But they are ALREADY killing the people. So there’s nothing to lose that the people weren’t going to lose anyway.

If I was president of Panem I would certainly try a more innovative approach to avoiding a rebellion by going on TV and saying something like “Attention people of Panem. We will no longer murder your children for our entertainment. You will not be tortured for trying to hunt and feed yourself. We will also give you some of our food, because we have so much that we have to make ourselves vomit in order to eat more, so we can definitely spare some for you. Thankyou for your attention”. If the people are really THAT into the games, then it could I suppose continue using only volunteers who would gain extra perks and luxuaries for themselves and their families if they win. They could even use criminals as tributes like "The Running Man" and use those who want to be "careers" as professional stalkers. The Capitol’s reaction to rebellion is bewildering. They destroy District 12 and kill most of them people there. So does that mean that they no longer have a coal supply? Why would they need coal anyway? They seem pretty technologically advanced to have hover technology and forcefields and they can create elaborate arenas for the games, but they still need coal? It would be like the Starship Enterprise running on burning wood. If all the other districts rebelled, will the Capitol destroy them too? What’s the point in even having a country where virtually nothing exists because it’s all been destroyed? District 13 reminds me of the real world in “The Matrix”. Yes, the inhabitants are technically “free” from the oppressive system they escaped from, but it’s not that much better. The government of Panem are certainly evil, but I’m not convinced that the District 13 government would be a significant improvement. When the rebellion begins, the rebels quickly gain the upper hand. So easily that I cannot understand why a major and successful rebellion hadn’t occurred years earlier.

I agree with the point that every chapter in this series ends with a cliffhanger. Collins does an excellent job of motivating the reader to keep reading. I think a trilogy was also the right length for this series. Anything more than that would have been overkill. I do feel that some sort of prequel may be interesting though. The history of Panem could be fleshed out. It would certainly deepen “The Hunger Games” universe to know what occurred to possibly convince people that Panem was the best solution. Things must have been bad if Panem was seen as the preferred option. To the author’s credit, she does shed some light on the origin of the games towards the end of the trilogy when Coin suggests another set of games to punish the children of the Capitol. It could very well be that the Capitol wanted the same revenge on the districts that Coin wanted on the Capitol. I did find it hypocritical of Katniss to object to Gale’s plan for attacking The Nut, while voting to support Coin’s games suggestion. I also feel that Gale was written out of Katiniss’ life way too easily. I don’t feel it was sufficiently shown why Peeta would be a better choice for her than Gale.

The third book drags. There are endless military training scenes. It goes on and on. I found it to be rather boring. The assault upon the Capitol also drags greatly. I found the Capitol itself to be rather comical. It’s as if almost everything in it can kill you such as hidden landmines, monsters and flesh melting pods. The mind control of Peeta was a little silly, but it did at least give him something to do. Both Gale and Peeta are pretty thin characters, especially compared to Katniss. I have never been too keen on the “mutts”. I think they take the story into silly fantasy areas, especially the singing birds, killer monkeys, and reptile men. The existence of mutts also leads me to wonder why the Capitol simply doesn’t create genetically altered humans who would be specialised for various industries, such as mining and fishing. By breeding them to operate specialised high technology such as automated tunnelling machines or robotic fishing fleets, why would Panem even need a large number of normal human workers? In theory Panem could create specialised mutts to fight in the games. Surely that would be more entertaining to the Capitol residents that forcing ancient tributes like Maggs to compete? I liked Finnick. His storyline with Annie was endearing. For all the comparisons drawn between “The Hunger Games” and “Battle Royale”, I found that that’s only really true in the first book, which features children killing each other. After the games end, it really turns into something more akin to John Connor fighting SkyNet in the Terminator franchise, and the games themselves are rarely mentioned again. There are way too many characters in these books. I found it hard to keep track of all of them. In the film adaptations, I would expect many characters to be merged or excluded entirely.

I liked the first book. The second book wasn’t quite as good. The third book is the weakest of the three.

But overall, I recommend the trilogy. It’s bleak and twisted and I’m not sure it would hold up well to repeat readings, but well worth at least one read.


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  #284  
Old April 10th, 2012, 4:42 pm
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Re: The Hunger Games

I just finished readind the series. SOme thoughts on Aldebaran Black's review...

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Originally Posted by AldeberanBlack View Post
I am somewhat puzzled about the system of law enforcement in Panem. Gale hunts a turkey in the woods and gets whipped half to death for it. If the people can’t hunt for food, then where are they supposed to get it from?
Historical and contemporary examples of authorities simply not caring that all their citizens have adequate nutrition at all, alas, abound, despite the seeming illogic. Some of your points regarding the technology I would tend to agree with; I would just say that while this series is technically science fiction, Collins is obviously not the sort of writer who cares about the technological advances in themselves. She is interested in exploring ideas about the individual, society, and government is a setting that is not our own world.

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When the rebellion begins, the rebels quickly gain the upper hand. So easily that I cannot understand why a major and successful rebellion hadn’t occurred years earlier.
I think an important factor in the Capitol's control of the Districts was their isolation. Citizens of the Districts would typically live and die in their own Districts, never leaving, and never learning much beyond generalities about other districts. Thus, coordinating an uprising was extremely difficult.

I thought it was a deliberate and well-wrought irony that the Quarter Quell idea, presumably designed as a way to rid Snow of the District 12 Victors he considered a flashpoint for the rebellion, was what enabled the uprising to be better coordinated. The Victors are among the very few District citizens who regularly met one another and could exchange information and plans, in their roles as Mentors to their Districts' Tributes in the Annual Hunger Games. And suddenly telling all of them that, after all, they were going to die in the Hunger Games after all, gave any who may have remained apolitical, a huge incentive to get involved.

Quote:
To the author’s credit, she does shed some light on the origin of the games towards the end of the trilogy when Coin suggests another set of games to punish the children of the Capitol. It could very well be that the Capitol wanted the same revenge on the districts that Coin wanted on the Capitol.
Somehow I thought this point was explicitly made, and earlier in the series. Maybe in Katniss's musings on the day of the Reaping in Book 1? Or maybe I just jumped to that as a conclusion from the facts we were given.

Quote:
I did find it hypocritical of Katniss to object to Gale’s plan for attacking The Nut, while voting to support Coin’s games suggestion.
I did not. I do not think Katniss favored Coin's suggestion, I felt she voted for it to make Coin think the death of Prim had had the effect Katniss suspects Coin wanted. I think our final indication of what Katniss thought both of this specific suggestion, and Coin more generally, was given us when she took her opportunity to assassinate Coin rather than killing Snow herself.

I did wonder whether the new President ordered the final Hunger Games to continue, or the idea was dropped. The end of the book seemed to focus more back on Katniss's personal life in the aftermath.

Quote:
I also feel that Gale was written out of Katiniss’ life way too easily. I don’t feel it was sufficiently shown why Peeta would be a better choice for her than Gale.
I thought it was shown sufficiently why (despite Gale's undoubted positive qualities) Katniss could never live with him after Prim's death. It was inconceivable to me she would choose him after that moment. There is some ambiguity as to who ordered the use of the munitions that killed her, so Gale may have had either no, or only indirect, involvement in Prim's death. However, even if it was the Capital that was responsible, the mind of the person who conceived the weapon worked the same way as Gale's, and Katniss could not deal with that.

I liked the book overall. I could see why you felt the third book dragged, but I thought it did present a lot of development of the author's ideas, and did a great job of coming to a realistic, rather than happy fantasy, ending.


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  #285  
Old April 10th, 2012, 5:14 pm
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Re: The Hunger Games

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It also raises questions as to why the citizens of the Capitol themselves don’t object to such a vicious system and seem to have no problem watching children die every year. I can understand that the people who actively rule Panem may be ruthless but I have doubts as to whether the entire population of the Capitol feel the same way.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HMN View Post
I think the point is that outside the Capitol the citizens aren't seen as people. Capitol citizens live their perverse lives of luxury while 'other people' provide for them.
I haven't read the books yet (my sister is giving them to me when she finishes them) and I've only seen the movie once so I don't know if this response is entirely relevant but...

This reminds me of the Romans watching gladiator fights; It wasn't so much about objecting to people dying so much as it was the spectacle of watching the fights and not knowing who would come out as the winner in addition to the gladiators being slaves or captured foreigners who weren't considered as worth much because they weren't Roman citizens. To a certain extent the same argument can be made about ultimate fighting (is that what it's called? you know, the boxing type sport where pretty much anything goes?) where fans ravenously watch two guys totally beating the $#!T out of each other for entertainment - only that doesn't end in death. People are into really weird things when it comes to what they call entertainment. (I recall someone mentioning Big Brother )


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  #286  
Old April 10th, 2012, 6:07 pm
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Re: The Hunger Games

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Originally Posted by Goddess_Clio View Post
This reminds me of the Romans watching gladiator fights; It wasn't so much about objecting to people dying so much as it was the spectacle of watching the fights and not knowing who would come out as the winner in addition to the gladiators being slaves or captured foreigners who weren't considered as worth much because they weren't Roman citizens.
I think also the way the Games are presented on television contributes to this. People may realize on an intellectual level that the selection of the kids is random, outside of their control, except in the case of volunteers. However, the kids (volunteers or not) are then shown training, and performing in interviews in which they express willingness and readiness to compete, for what the Capitol viewers believe are substantial rewards (fame, fortune, benefits for their District).


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  #287  
Old April 11th, 2012, 7:08 am
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Re: The Hunger Games

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Originally Posted by Goddess_Clio View Post
This reminds me of the Romans watching gladiator fights; It wasn't so much about objecting to people dying so much as it was the spectacle of watching the fights and not knowing who would come out as the winner in addition to the gladiators being slaves or captured foreigners who weren't considered as worth much because they weren't Roman citizens.
While parallels with Rome are made very obvious in the books (many of the Capitol characters even have names of historical Roman figures such as Seneca, Claudius, Caesar, etc.), I don't think the comparison makes that much sense on a psychological level, because the Roman world was completely different in terms of people's mindset and values - the concept of human rights didn't exist as we know it, along with many other modern ideas and values that make the contemporary world what we've termed "civilised." While Panem is supposed to take place in the future and judging by the District characters' actions, Katniss's internal dialogue and people's interactions, it seems like the concepts of the sanctity of human life, equality, etc. exist as a part of their mindset. On the other hand, the Capitol people seem completely unperturbed by the annual teenage deathmatch and they seem to readily embrace it as sport/entertainment.

To me, it's sort of inexplicable that the District and Capitol people seem to live in different realms when it comes to fundamental values. It strikes me as very unusual that the people in District 12 seem to be kind and compassionate to one another when they are all born and raised in the same merciless regime that routinely devalues human life and forces people to participate. I expected that there would be more theft, rape, murder, etc, instead everyone seems to help one another, even in the face of starvation. I don't know, it seems a bit unrealistic to me.

Quote:
To a certain extent the same argument can be made about ultimate fighting (is that what it's called? you know, the boxing type sport where pretty much anything goes?) where fans ravenously watch two guys totally beating the $#!T out of each other for entertainment - only that doesn't end in death. People are into really weird things when it comes to what they call entertainment. (I recall someone mentioning Big Brother )
Yes, but watching, people know those people volunteered and even take pride in what they're doing. I think that makes a big difference.


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  #288  
Old April 16th, 2012, 11:03 pm
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Re: The Hunger Games

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Quote:
Historical and contemporary examples of authorities simply not caring that all their citizens have adequate nutrition at all, alas, abound, despite the seeming illogic.
That's true, but if the Capitol are so terrified of rebellion that they have organised an annual culling of children, I don't understand why they would be pursuing food policies which would either kill most of the population or antagonise them into violence.

Quote:
I think an important factor in the Capitol's control of the Districts was their isolation. Citizens of the Districts would typically live and die in their own Districts, never leaving, and never learning much beyond generalities about other districts. Thus, coordinating an uprising was extremely difficult.
A coordinated rebellion would be, but internal district rebellions should have been a constant problem for the Capitol, and since their default response seems to be "bomb them into oblivion", they would be cutting off their nose to spite their faces since destroying a district would also destroy the district industry.

Quote:
Somehow I thought this point was explicitly made, and earlier in the series. Maybe in Katniss's musings on the day of the Reaping in Book 1? Or maybe I just jumped to that as a conclusion from the facts we were given.
There are hints for sure, but that scene with Coin made it a little clearer as to what mindset was operating at the time of the drafting of the Hunger Games concept.

Quote:
I did not. I do not think Katniss favored Coin's suggestion, I felt she voted for it to make Coin think the death of Prim had had the effect Katniss suspects Coin wanted. I think our final indication of what Katniss thought both of this specific suggestion, and Coin more generally, was given us when she took her opportunity to assassinate Coin rather than killing Snow herself.
If she was going to murder Coin in plain view merely a few scenes later, I'm not sure what the point of voting yes for the 76th Games was. If she voted no, I doubt Coin would have done anything. I doubt the other characters would have permitted her to injury or kill Katniss when they've spent so much effort keeping her alive.

Quote:
I did wonder whether the new President ordered the final Hunger Games to continue, or the idea was dropped. The end of the book seemed to focus more back on Katniss's personal life in the aftermath.
As far as I'm aware, the games were abolished. I think Plutarch replaced it with a singing contest ("Panem Idol" maybe?)

Quote:
I thought it was shown sufficiently why (despite Gale's undoubted positive qualities) Katniss could never live with him after Prim's death. It was inconceivable to me she would choose him after that moment. There is some ambiguity as to who ordered the use of the munitions that killed her, so Gale may have had either no, or only indirect, involvement in Prim's death. However, even if it was the Capital that was responsible, the mind of the person who conceived the weapon worked the same way as Gale's, and Katniss could not deal with that.
She had no proof that Gale was responsible. It's a bit harsh to dismiss him based on such murky conclusions. In any case, I find it unrealistic that such a military tactic as the one that led to Prim's death would have been completely unknown to the highly militarised District 13 until some kid like Gale suggested it.


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  #289  
Old April 18th, 2012, 2:42 am
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Re: The Hunger Games

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Originally Posted by AldeberanBlack View Post
That's true, but if the Capitol are so terrified of rebellion that they have organised an annual culling of children, I don't understand why they would be pursuing food policies which would either kill most of the population or antagonise them into violence.
But it does not kill them, and nor is there any reason to suppose the Capitol wants it to - as you point out, they need the workers to produce the local goods. Most of them survive, grow up, have children, work in the local industry, and die. The Capitol is not literally starving them to death, it is allowing them little more than a subsistence diet. The idea behind this tactic in RL, as I understand it, is that the struggle to survive in the harsh circumstances takes up the energy and attention of people, leaving them no time for rebellions and uprisings.

Quote:
I doubt the other characters would have permitted her to injury or kill Katniss when they've spent so much effort keeping her alive.
By this point I think Katniss considered the possibility Coin would act clandestinely. She believed Coin had deliberately killed Prim to manipulate her (also in secret).

Quote:
She had no proof that Gale was responsible.
I did not suggest she dumped Gale because he was responsible for Prim's death. I suggested she dumped him because he was (indubitably) someone whose mind worked in the same way as whoever designed the weapon that killed Prim, and she could not live with someone like that.


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  #290  
Old April 18th, 2012, 7:35 pm
AldeberanBlack  Male.gif AldeberanBlack is offline
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Re: The Hunger Games

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Quote:
But it does not kill them, and nor is there any reason to suppose the Capitol wants it to - as you point out, they need the workers to produce the local goods. Most of them survive, grow up, have children, work in the local industry, and die. The Capitol is not literally starving them to death, it is allowing them little more than a subsistence diet. The idea behind this tactic in RL, as I understand it, is that the struggle to survive in the harsh circumstances takes up the energy and attention of people, leaving them no time for rebellions and uprisings.
Even if it doesn't kill them, it antagonises them to the point of rebellion. Had the Capitol used some common sense and moderated their policies even slightly, the rebellion may have been avoided entirely.

Quote:
By this point I think Katniss considered the possibility Coin would act clandestinely. She believed Coin had deliberately killed Prim to manipulate her (also in secret).
Even so I think if Katniss mysteriously died after voting against Coin, I'm sure the others would have been highly suspicious.

Quote:
I did not suggest she dumped Gale because he was responsible for Prim's death. I suggested she dumped him because he was (indubitably) someone whose mind worked in the same way as whoever designed the weapon that killed Prim, and she could not live with someone like that.
I think that's pretty unfair if she did indeed use that logic when deciding between Peeta and Gale. His suggestion, in my opinion, was basic common sense in a war situation. I think Katniss was unrealistic to demand a clean war, particularly when fighting against such a morally bankrupt enemy. Also, if I recall correctly, she murders a Capitol woman without thinking twice in "Mockingjay", so she's hardly in a place to take the moral high ground.


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  #291  
Old April 19th, 2012, 7:19 pm
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Re: The Hunger Games

Firstly, finally got the books and am on Chapter 8 of HG! Whoo!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
While parallels with Rome are made very obvious in the books (many of the Capitol characters even have names of historical Roman figures such as Seneca, Claudius, Caesar, etc.), I don't think the comparison makes that much sense on a psychological level, because the Roman world was completely different in terms of people's mindset and values - the concept of human rights didn't exist as we know it, along with many other modern ideas and values that make the contemporary world what we've termed "civilised." While Panem is supposed to take place in the future and judging by the District characters' actions, Katniss's internal dialogue and people's interactions, it seems like the concepts of the sanctity of human life, equality, etc. exist as a part of their mindset. On the other hand, the Capitol people seem completely unperturbed by the annual teenage deathmatch and they seem to readily embrace it as sport/entertainment.
Again, prefaced my response by saying I am reading the books but have not yet finished them - I'm on chapter 8.

The parallels to Rome, though, are there and while Romans didn't have our modern sense of equality and human rights and all that, they did have levels of status that seem to at least somewhat echo the status levels given or assumed by the districts. A Roman citizen, for instance, had more "rights" than a non-citizen who had more rights than a slave. It seems like the Capitol contains the true "Citizens" who don't have to sacrifice tributes, the favored or flashy districts (what are they? 1, 2 and 4??) might be considered less than citizens but more worthy of "rights" than the grungy, ill-mannered, uncivilized districts like 11 o 12 so 1, 2 and 4 might be sort of the non-citizens and 11 and 12 would be the slaves. Am I making sense?

Gladiators in Rome were often criminals, prisoners of war or slaves, people who were less valued and who nobody really cared about in terms of whether they lived or died because they were either deemed not human, not "as good" as a citizen or deserved to be killed - and if they deserve it why not at least make their death interesting to watch? There were gladiators who volunteered to be gladiators, though. The tributes from the districts seem to almost fall into the prisoner of war category. They are sort of imprisoned in their districts, thought of as lesser beings that the Capitol citizens and sort of deserved what they got when it comes to the Hunger Games because the Capitol sees the games as retribution for the districts rising up in rebellion.

At least, this is my impression so far. We'll see if it changes after my lunch-time reading...


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Old April 21st, 2012, 4:53 am
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Re: The Hunger Games

The events of the "Dark Days" are quite murky. Both sides IMO are unreliable narrators. So it's near impossible to be certain what took place.


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  #293  
Old April 21st, 2012, 11:16 am
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Re: The Hunger Games

Quote:
Originally Posted by yoana
While Panem is supposed to take place in the future and judging by the District characters' actions, Katniss's internal dialogue and people's interactions, it seems like the concepts of the sanctity of human life, equality, etc. exist as a part of their mindset. On the other hand, the Capitol people seem completely unperturbed by the annual teenage deathmatch and they seem to readily embrace it as sport/entertainment.
Honestly I just think you have a really optimistic idea of what people are actually like when they are a) scared or b) do not necessarily feel that others have the same level of humanity as them.


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  #294  
Old April 24th, 2012, 12:43 am
Goddess_Clio  Female.gif Goddess_Clio is offline
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Re: The Hunger Games

Finished Hunger Games and I still stand by my posts above about the Hunger Games being a sort of modern homage to Roman gladiator fights, just on a bigger scale with a more cruel intent in terms of politcal meanings.

My impression of Katniss from the movie did persist throughout my reading of the books, though. Her intermittent gushing over Cinna's costumes for her seemed out of place since she says (at least in the next book, which I'm about to finish) that she doesn't care a lick about fashion and in terms of her character and the way the character is presented, she is such the epitome of a hunter I'm a little confused by her sudden comfort level with being so flashy, so attention-drawing. It seems like she should have been going on about how uncomfortable she was being so noticable, how she's so used to blending into the forest that suddenly being the toast of the town in her flaming jumpsuit and her red dress makes her skin crawl. She could still have had the inner monologue saying how she appreciated the necessity of being so flashy in terms of winning sponsors but I thought the way she showed her appreciation to Cinna and her awe over the costumes wasn't handled with the right tone in terms of her character.

Thought for the day...


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Old April 25th, 2012, 5:53 am
TaafeMJ  Male.gif TaafeMJ is offline
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Re: The Hunger Games

I think being the center of attention is an idea that intrigues her. But since her entire life has been staying in the shadows, out of sight...either to hunt or to avoid the Peacekeepers, it's not a concept she's comfortable with. However, since Cinna's costumes are so well planned and so groundbreaking, she can't help but be excited about them. Plus, she both likes and trusts Cinna, which I have no doubt helps raise her opinion of his work.


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Old April 26th, 2012, 4:25 pm
Goddess_Clio  Female.gif Goddess_Clio is offline
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Re: The Hunger Games

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Originally Posted by TaafeMJ View Post
I think being the center of attention is an idea that intrigues her. But since her entire life has been staying in the shadows, out of sight...either to hunt or to avoid the Peacekeepers, it's not a concept she's comfortable with. However, since Cinna's costumes are so well planned and so groundbreaking, she can't help but be excited about them. Plus, she both likes and trusts Cinna, which I have no doubt helps raise her opinion of his work.
It still seems strange to me. If I were used to being in the shadows and out of sight, even if I loved the dresses someone made for me I'd be uncomfortable wearing them myself, especially in front of thousands of people on a nationally broadcast TV show. Her inner monologue never seemed to reconcile this for me.

I also don't know if I agree with your statement that being the center of attention is an idea that intrigues her. Why? Does she ever say "hmm, I wonder what it would be like to be in the games? To receive all that glory and fame and be in the spotlight?" No. She hopes to god she's never picked and only volunteers to save her sister, not so that she can live out any kind of celebrity fantasies she's been secretly harboring. She seems reluctant at best about playing to the crowd in the Capitol before her games and only does it because she knows that she needs them on her side so she can win and return to Prim and District 12. Based on the character that had been presented up to this point she should have expressed (through inner monologue) more reluctance to wear such flashy costumes not girlish gushing about how stunning they are and what a genius Cinna was. I'm not suggesting that she couldn't have liked them or thought they were beautiful but the gushing seemed completely out of character to me and seems like something that should have taken place in an inner monologue and her dialogue with Cinna should have at leasted expressed her reservations about being so visible, so unique, so stunning. If she had expressed reservations and then sucked it up and told herself that she had to put the dress on for Prim I wouldn't have had a problem with it.

I guess this has to do, on a larger scale, with my feelings about Katniss from the next two books (I'm starting part II of Mockingjay today at lunch) and with the writing style of the author. Katniss seems like a very uneven character, or at least she's written very unevenly. One moment she's totally self-centered and the next she's the picture of selflessness. She vacillates between either constantly sticking her foot in her mouth or spouting off speeches worthy of Shakespeare, there's no in between. There's no learning curve. She either sucks at something completely and utterly or she's absolutely brilliant at it.


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Old May 12th, 2012, 10:33 pm
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Re: The Hunger Games

When Finnick appears in the movies, they better cast him well. He's my favourite character in the novels. A lot of the humour of the book revolves around him. I love the part in the Tick Tock arena where he and Katniss put their faces really close to Peeta's face when they wake him up, and the scene in the hospital where Katniss has to remind him to wear clothes.



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Old May 13th, 2012, 5:11 pm
TaafeMJ  Male.gif TaafeMJ is offline
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Re: The Hunger Games

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Originally Posted by Goddess_Clio View Post
It still seems strange to me. If I were used to being in the shadows and out of sight, even if I loved the dresses someone made for me I'd be uncomfortable wearing them myself, especially in front of thousands of people on a nationally broadcast TV show. Her inner monologue never seemed to reconcile this for me.

I also don't know if I agree with your statement that being the center of attention is an idea that intrigues her. Why? Does she ever say "hmm, I wonder what it would be like to be in the games? To receive all that glory and fame and be in the spotlight?" No. She hopes to god she's never picked and only volunteers to save her sister, not so that she can live out any kind of celebrity fantasies she's been secretly harboring. She seems reluctant at best about playing to the crowd in the Capitol before her games and only does it because she knows that she needs them on her side so she can win and return to Prim and District 12. Based on the character that had been presented up to this point she should have expressed (through inner monologue) more reluctance to wear such flashy costumes not girlish gushing about how stunning they are and what a genius Cinna was. I'm not suggesting that she couldn't have liked them or thought they were beautiful but the gushing seemed completely out of character to me and seems like something that should have taken place in an inner monologue and her dialogue with Cinna should have at leasted expressed her reservations about being so visible, so unique, so stunning. If she had expressed reservations and then sucked it up and told herself that she had to put the dress on for Prim I wouldn't have had a problem with it.

I guess this has to do, on a larger scale, with my feelings about Katniss from the next two books (I'm starting part II of Mockingjay today at lunch) and with the writing style of the author. Katniss seems like a very uneven character, or at least she's written very unevenly. One moment she's totally self-centered and the next she's the picture of selflessness. She vacillates between either constantly sticking her foot in her mouth or spouting off speeches worthy of Shakespeare, there's no in between. There's no learning curve. She either sucks at something completely and utterly or she's absolutely brilliant at it.
To my knowledge, it's never stated in the books that she likes being the center of attention. But it's how I imagined her character to be. Nobody in their right minds (save the careers) would actually want to go to the arena. But I imagined that when she did go, and when she became the girl on fire, some part of her found that she liked the attention. That's not to say she sought attention, or went out of her way to find it. But when she was the center of attention for a good reason (like in Cinna's clothes) she found she didn't hate it.

At least that's my own rationalization of it. I fully admit I may be completely wrong.


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Old May 13th, 2012, 5:53 pm
Goddess_Clio  Female.gif Goddess_Clio is offline
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Re: The Hunger Games

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Originally Posted by TaafeMJ View Post
To my knowledge, it's never stated in the books that she likes being the center of attention. But it's how I imagined her character to be. Nobody in their right minds (save the careers) would actually want to go to the arena. But I imagined that when she did go, and when she became the girl on fire, some part of her found that she liked the attention. That's not to say she sought attention, or went out of her way to find it. But when she was the center of attention for a good reason (like in Cinna's clothes) she found she didn't hate it.

At least that's my own rationalization of it. I fully admit I may be completely wrong.
We've all got our own interpretations, that's what makes it fun to talk about. (I don't think either of us is wrong in our views of the books, we just see things differently)

I never got the impression that she liked being the center of attention. In fact, I got the impression that she resented the fact that the Capitol was using the Tributes like they were, as examples, telling the districts that they have all the power and they aren't going to be shy about wielding it. Gale is much much more vocal about this and Katniss doesn't really see the need to dwell on such topics at the beginning of the book but I thought that by the time she and Peeta had reached the Capitol and were beginning their training that she was already disillusioned about the whole deal, already disgusted with the Capitol and their blatant excesses when so many in the districts have so little.

Spoilers for Mockingjay:
Spoiler: show
Not only in Hunger Games but especially in Mockingjay I very much got the impression that Katniss didn't want to be the center of attention. She kept running away and hiding in mechanical rooms, behind pipes and generally wanted to be left alone and didn't want to be apart of the resistance. She didn't want to be the mockingjay; she didn't think she could be. But then she goes off to... was it district 11 where that hospital was? Awkwardly walks around, has an epiphany about how she needs to be the Mockingjay, is overcome by Shakesperean inspiration and spouts off "the perfect rallying speech" before going back to 13 and being swallowed up by her PTSD again.

The only time she used her "celebrity" to get things was when she got 13 to allow her and Gale out into the woods to hunt and that was very much not a center of attention type move. It was a "let's get the hell out of here" kind of move. She keeps thinking that she and Gale should have made a run for it back before she became a tribute and that's not something someone with a desire to be in the center of attention thinks.


The other issue I have with Hunger Games (and the two following books) is that we're meant to sympathize with Katniss for being a tribute, for sacrificing herself for her sister, etc. but I never really did. She was never the underdog, she was always the favorite. She got the highest score in training, Peeta's mother commented that there might finally be another winner from 12 in reference to her... Peeta was a much more sympathetic character and by the time the games were underway I, frankly, would rather have had Peeta win and Katniss die
Spoiler: show
Although by the end of Mockingjay I was fed up with Katniss, annoyed by Peeta and frustrated that Gale was being a whiny jerk and just wanted everyone to die.


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  #300  
Old May 14th, 2012, 4:15 pm
TaafeMJ  Male.gif TaafeMJ is offline
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Re: The Hunger Games

I'm with you on Peeta. I thought he was easily the most sympathetic character (and my favorite).


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