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Hunger Games

Jarah Smith, Courtney King, Rosa Alvarado, Lexi Miller

9 chapters per week for the next 3 weeks

"On other days, deep in the woods, I've listened to him rant about how the tesserae are just another tool to cause misery in our district. A way to plant hatred between the starving workers of the Seam and those who can generally count on supper and thereby ensure we will never trust one another. "It's to the Capitol's advantage to have us divided among ourselves," he might say if there were no ears to hear but mine."
       This passage relates to freedom a common theme that we have been recently engaging with in class. We can easily see the similarities between Whitman and his shared feelings for nature. Katniss and Gale, only feel safe when they are in the woods, this is the only time that they are truly able to speak their minds. They are able to escape from the few bits of modernity that exist in their district, and say what they want, and live off of the land. Even though they are out in the woods for duty they are repressed by the capitol, and the woods give them shelter. When they are back in the Seam, or society, they are forced to mask themselves, in fear of what may happen to them or more importantly their families. This passage is also like Douglass’s narrative because he as well was trapped in a world he was not able to escape, he was forced to do work get paid little if any, be controlled by a master and to stay put. Katniss is to illegally go into the woods to try and provide for her where she will receive little money. The Capitol controls the people of the districts; the people of the districts are not able to travel from district to district, because of the Capitol’s fear of rebellion. This sounds very much like the masters fear of a slave gaining knowledge that the knowledge they obtain could be used against them in a way. The people of the districts have no control over their fates and in a way have been enslaved by the Capitol.  (Lexi)

“No,” says Haymitch, stopping him. “Let the bruise show. The audience will think you’ve mixed it up with another tribute before you’ve even made it to the arena.”

This quote relates closely with that in Douglass’s narrative where he realizes he is living in a world of where things are doubled. Nothing is was it appears to the eye.  In this section Haymitch is teaching the two characters that about survival in a world different from that of home, and you must put on acts, and pretended to like those who bring your people tyranny. We see the manipulative things Douglass does in order to gain his knowledge in his own ironic world. From this point on it is meant to be understood that nothing is what it appears. (Courtney)

"Here's some advice. Stay alive," Says Haynitch, and then bursts out laughing. I exchange a look with Peeta before I remember I'm having nothing more to do with him. I'm surprised to see the hardness in his eyes. He generally seems so mild.

Survival is the most important theme in this book. Once Katniss and Peeta arrive at the city where the games are goi to take place, they are under supervision of someone who already has won this tournament. He states that staying alive is the key to winning. Haymitch is always under te influence when it comes to advising the two but his presence is of some importance to them. He is not at all completely committed to the games entirely, he is just giving them straightforward comments. An author that comes to mind is Douglass, with the shift he has from changing environment, he had to survive in order to keep on with his life. There is no knowing what a new city can bring forth, but one thing is for sure, one has to survive in order to proceed in life. (Rosa)

"When I was younger, I scared my mother to death, the things I would blurt out about District 12, about the people who rule our country, Panem, from the far-off city called the Capitol. Eventually I understood this would only lead to more trouble. So I learned to hold my tongue and to turn my features into an indifferent mask so that no one could ever read my thoughts."

Katniss shows a lot of similarity to Douglass in this passage. Just like Douglass she explaines the difference between being a "slave in fact" versus a "slave in form". Katniss is forced to live in District 12, forced to live a life of poverty, forced to live the life the Capitol has formed for her and her family, but she does not give in to the Capitol mentally. Despite living like a "slave in form", Katniss and many others in her District are not "slaves in fact", just like Douglass. If Katniss was a "slave in fact" she would agree with the ways of the Capitol and willingly live the life she has, but this is not the case. She lives the life she has because she has to, and she maintains her freedom in the same way Douglass maintained his, with her freedom of thought. (Jarah)

Rue's eyes widen. "Oh, no, we're not allowed to eat the crops."
"They arrest you or something?" I ask.
"They whip you and make everyone else watch," says Rue. "The mayor's very strict about it."  (202)
    This relates to Douglass's slave narratives because the districts of Panem are enslaved to the capitol. They do not even have the right to feed themselves; the crops that they are forced to harvest are for the people in the Capitol. Rue goes out into the Capitol’s fields everyday; she is paid unfairly for the work she does and goes home hungry everyday. Through out the novel the reader is subjected to the cruelty of the Capitol, and as the novel goes on we come to understand that they could not survive without their slaves, or the districts. There is a strong correlation between this passage and slavery. It seems morally wrong to risk a child’s education for one group of people to be well fed, while the group that sacrifices goes hungry, is trapped regionally, but also educationally. The Capitol is breaking the district’s spirits, keeping them uneducated so that they may continue to receive their cheap labor. There is no road not taken there is only one steady path or death; either by the Capitol or starvation. (Lexi)

"I feel a second sting on the cheek, a third on my neck, and their venom almost immediately makes me woozy. I cling to the tree with one arm while i rip the barbed stingers out of my flesh. Fortunately, only these three tracker jackers had identified me before the nest went down. The rest of the insects have targeted their enemies on the ground." (190)

This scene relates to Elliot's Wasteland because of the atmosphere, or setting, that the characters are in. Katniss and Rue are currently in the arena, fighting for their lives, and in the arena, there are many things that they do not see or experience back home. The presence of being attacked by fire and in this case, tracker jackers, which is a species of insects that only exist in the city where the games are being held are obstacles that they must face. Since these are games that are meant to entertain an audience, deadly things are what creates a scene. This is an example of an unreal setting, just like Elliot's Wasteland. It is a struggle to survive with so many obstacles. It is rapidly becoming such a disorderly and destructed/decomposing setting for those still alive. Not only is there a collapse occurring in the arena, but also in the amount of tributes that are still in the game in their quest for the title. (Rosa)

Whatever words they use, the real message is clear. “Look how we take your children and sacrifice them and there’s nothing you can do. If you lift a finger we will destroy every last one of you.

This is another passage that we can relate to the Narrative of Douglass. In the story we have a clear understanding that what is presented on the surface and what’s underneath are different things. It is understood that one should know there place, and the majority happens to be inferior to the few. Now the fact that the characters understand what is really going on, and what change shows their freedom of mind. Douglass had this same feeling growing up and planning his own escape from his oppressors and like in the Hunger Games it the idea of freedom and how to gain it must me thought out strategically. This also ties into the thoughts of Emerson; it all starts with the mind.(Courtney)


"I don't know how to say it exactly. Only....I want to die as myself. Does that make any sense?" he asks. I shake my head. How could he die as anyone  but himself? "I don't want them to change me in there. Turn me into some kind of monster that I'm not."  I bite my lip, feeling inferior. While I've been ruminatingon the availability of trees, Peeta has been struggling with how to maintain his identity. His purity of self.

In this passage I see a similarity to Emerson's The American Scholar. The people who live in the Capitol have all conformed to the ideologies, customs and lifestyle that their government wants them to. There are no free thinkers in the Capitol. In the districts there are free thinkers, the people in the districts conform out of fear, and some of them only conform to the point of not being found out or killed for their disbelief. In the above passage Peeta is showing how he is a free thinker, and despite being faced with his own possible death he wants to hold on to that, even as he dies. To him importance lies in being recognized as an individual and a free thinker, even if it means dying, he would still rather not conform to save his own life. Peeta and Katniss are great examples of what Emerson means by being a free thinker-both of them exercise free thought, question what they are told and shown, and determine for themselves what is true and what is not. (Jarah)

"Hold them out. I want everyone to see," he says. I spread my fingers and the dark berries glisten in the sun. I give Peeta's hand one last squeeze as a signal, as a good-byeand we begin counting. "One." Maybe I'm wrong. "Two." Maybe they don't care if we both die. "Three!" It's too late to change my mind.

This is when Katniss and Peeta decide that they are no longer going to be slaves to the Capitol instead they are going to become their own advocates of their own future. The only way that they can accomplish this is through escaping the Capitol and they know only one way to do this, through death. They have spent their entire lives in slavery and know nothing else, this is exactly like  Douglass and his own escape from slavery he knows nothing else except obeying. Douglass was willing to die like Katniss and Peeta in order to obtain his freedom from a commanding force.  I believe this entire book to have been a modern day slave narrative and I feel like The Hunger Games is a more effective narrative if it is read as such.

"It's interesting, hearing about her life. We have so little in communication with anyone outside our district. In fact, I wonder if the Gamekeepers are blocking out our conversation, because even though the information seems harmless, they don't want people in different ditricts to know about each other."

With so little communication there is no way that the tributes, as well as the people back home can have a conversation, much less any contact between districts. With so much intent to kill, Katniss and Rue were able to bond and work together to stay alive. The communication that they are experiencing now is helping them acknowledge not only their background but what is happening in the stadium as well. When it comes to "In Our Time," we also see a connection between Nick and another individual in the woods. The gentleman speaks of his past and his experiences. Nick learns about strength and takes notes on how life can be. (Rosa)

There’s usually a lag of a few days between the end of the competition and the presentation of the victor so they can put the starving, wounded, mess of a person back together again.

This quote in the book makes me think of the book in our time and the representations that he gives on war. In the story where Krebs’s goes home and he is no longer himself, nor does he really fell he has a place to identify with. By putting on this show for the people in the capital that they leave the arena in good health and standing allows the audience to stay detached to the fact that they were just at war, and will never be mentally the same. Though they are no longer captive to the arena or the battle grounds in which they fought; they are now bound to false representation.(Courtney)

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