Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Hunger Games is not a world all it's own. It has concepts from other tales, ideas seen within modern day antics, and above all, a lesson to tell that has been repeated many times for our own common good.

In considering one prominent event that may mark these years for many decades to come, what does the Arab Spring have to do with the Hunger Games? In his talk, Dr. Shibley Telhami made some interesting points that could link the two very well.

One key ingredient in the recipe of revolution, as Dr. Telhami mentioned, is a strict government control of the flow of information. Beforehand most people within the areas effected by the Arab Spring would have mentioned that their leading source of news was government-regulated television networks and programs, which clearly do not show the people the truth of their oppression. What about the people of Panem? All they see are the countless videos of propaganda, with the so-called 'ruins' of district thirteen and the victory of the Capitol, as well as the brutality of the Hunger Games, all behind the thin, opaque veil of the contest for glory, honour, and prizes. After the Spring, most people would mention that their news came from elsewhere, as in international sources. Panem's citizens had no other nation to go to; however, it is assumed that most of the government-mandated television would be ignored or seen through.

Dignity is also the word with these two scenarios. The people of Panem want to be viewed as competant citizens who work and uphold normal lives every day, to even secure glory for themselves and be recognized within the country. This is not much different from the revolting people of the Middle East. They did not want to be seen as yet another component of their dictatorships' regimes. Instead of 'sucking up' to the Western powers, they wanted to stand on their own, much to the economic demise of nations such as ours. In this case, both the people of Panem and the people of the Spring, want karam, or dignity.

"You are what you have to defend."
-Dr. Shibley Telhami

Sunday, March 9, 2014

When one thinks of culture, a new realm opens, with practices and understandings that cannot merely be seen from the surface. There is food, there is religion, there is a plethora of other things within culture that encourage people to band together and express their common beliefs, views, and actions. One in specific though is music. Song and dance to a culture is like bread and butter to the essential mealtime. Since the beginning of human development, there have been bards and muses, there have been oral traditions handed down from generation to generation (think of the epics).

Within the world of Panem, song and dance holds an important role in the life of the citizens, as well as those in the luxurious Capitol. There are three main songs mentioned within Suzanne Collins' trilogy, one of them being "The Hanging Tree."

How would one find the significance of this song? Think about the power of the words within, dark and bloodstained enough to paint a vivid picture of murder and suicide. This causes Katniss to essentially 'ban' the song, at least around her. This shows it holds a some sort of power over her.