Sunday, February 22, 2015

Gonna have to go with Number Two

Catching Fire 

Out of the books of the Hunger Games trilogy, my favorite would have to be the second book, Catching Fire. There are an abundant amount of aspects that this book specifically pulls me into enjoying it the most; for example, how the rebellion of the districts beginning develops a strong sense of anticipation and curiosity for what is going to happen next. With each book, I did feel the "edge of my seat" type of reading, but I found to have this certain feeling the strongest within the second book.
Because the setting, the story, and the characters are all already provided as a background information, a reader's curiosity is increased. Having this specific knowledge will give the chance for readers to predict, to wonder, and to expect how this story will unravel. When the tributes hold each other's hands after the Caesar's interview foreshadows, there is a sense of defiance where the districts can be able to unite even being oppressed by the Capitol. I found it rather endearing to see all the districts' tributes were able to see pass their differences to exploit who the real enemy of the Games is.


Another example that I separated this book from the other two was the character development of each character from the first book. There is a distinct difference between Haymitch in the first book compared to the second one. His personality is rather sobering ever since Katniss and Peeta won the games. Understanding this was an opening for hope, Haymitch realizes and shows care to the overarching situation of the Capitol's plan to suppress the districts further. He presents to be more of a mentor to Katniss and Peeta as if he cares for their well-being. Transitioning from a unforgiving drunk to a respectable teacher demonstrates his true personality and feelings. Expanding my view on Haymitch has given more of an opinion that the rebellion towards the Capitol will have a foundational of experience, knowledge, and strategy.

My favorite part of this book would have to be the diversity of the arena that represented the Quarter Quell. Since it was 75th anniversary of the Hunger Games, the gamemakers obviously had to make the Quarter Quell very special for those participating in such festivities. President Snow announces for previous victors to be chosen to enter another bloodbath to assert the Capitol's dominance over the twelve districts, which consist of Panem. Within the specific Hunger Games, the arena is a model of a clock where each hour divides the arena with a different and profound obstacle that the tributes will have to face. Previously said in last week's blog, there are storms of blood, carnivorous monkeys, acid fog, a tidal wave, and some unnamed. Visualizing the images of these certain obstacles enlisted fear within my mind generating an empathy for the tributes in the games.This setting also exploits the hatred and anger that the tributes have for the Capitol, such as Johanna having monologues with President Snow while trapped in the arena. Johanna represents another individual that is upset and tired of the Capitol's reign of power; Katniss is not the only who is acting defiantly. 






Books:
the Hunger Games
Catching Fire
Mockingjay

Photos:
http://www.myhungergames.com/share-your-reviews-and-reactions-to-catching-fire
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/409475791094271795/
http://www.quickmeme.com/Drunk-Haymitch
http://knowyourmeme.com/photos/403473-the-hunger-games
http://funny-pictures.picphotos.net/funny-hunger-games-arena/doblelol.com*uploads*17*catniss-funny.jpg/

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Between the Book and the Flim...PART 2


Just like the first book and film differences and similarities, there is a bunch of discretion and diversity between the two for the second book and film Catching Fire. Films, again, have a high tendency to leave specific, nitty, gritty details out that were stated in the book; sometimes, they even put their own twist to portray a scene, a character, a setting, etc. Having power to re-create the story can go either good or bad. There may be scenes not depicted correctly or appropriately. There may be actors who are the wrong person to be the specific character. However, there are times when the makers of the film are able to show the book very well to its audience where the criticism is minimal. 


Talking about one similarity and one difference, the book and the film both provide a great image and appearance of the arena during the Quarter Quell. I enjoyed watching the film where all tributes were supposed to swim from their starting spots to reach the land of the arena. Not knowing how to swim has given me more admiration to this book/film because I wish I was able to do that. Both keep the concept that the arena is simply a clock of misfortune; whatever region of the arena that the tribute(s) reside will be their fate. The horrors consist of acid fog, blood rain, a tidal wave, carnivorous monkeys, jabberjays that repeat the sounds of loved ones screaming for the tribute, and some are not even mentioned. Withstanding all of thsoes obstacles while trying to defend against the other twenty-two tributes is no walk in the park.




Shifting to an example of contrast, which I forgot to mention in my previous post, the huge difference that I found to create a new perspective and viewpoint for me was the narration style of the book compared to the movie. In all three books, Katniss is the main character and telling the story in her views, thoughts, and perceptions. I was seeing through the eyes of Katniss instead of an overarching, ambiguous perspective of the events occurring in Panem, the Capitol, or the arena. It does give a completely unseen and new look on the Games when watching the movie though because of the numerous perspectives, such as Katniss, Caesar Flickerman commentating, or the people back in the districts watching. It develops an overarching idea of what is going on as the story develops. We see Katniss, Peeta, and Finnick battling in the games; then, we see their districts, their mentors, and the Capitol all watching them. So simultaneously, there are two events going at the same time that the viewers can think about during this specific event. In the book, there is not much of that chain of events. Instead, there are flashbacks to Katniss's better days and unforgettable memories. There are also types of foreshadowing that give the reader a hunch that something will soon happen to Katniss.






Books:
The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
Mockingjay

Photos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQU6-pKOOFo
http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/nailbiter111/news/?a=108388
http://thehungergames.wikia.com/wiki/Arena
http://imgarcade.com/1/hunger-games-2-arena/
http://lytherus.com/2013/08/30/hunger-games-explorer-adds-final-tribute-to-the-arena-bringing-with-it-a-new-still-from-the-film/



Sunday, February 8, 2015

Between the Book and the Film...


There are an abundant amount of differences between the Hunger Games book and film.  Being the first book I had actually enjoyed, I was able to pick the missing pieces of the book that were not in the film easily. Obviously, there are the similarities between two as well, but the makers of the film cut out a lot of small, important details, which could have developed a clearer impression with the audience.

Starting out with a few similarities, the love interest for Katniss (more like love triangle) is portrayed very well in both the film and the book. Peeta projects his love for her once he is interviewed by Caesar Flickerman. It is more certain with the film due to Josh Hutcherson's acting ability to create the embarrassed, sensitive, love ridden adolescent; this made picking up that his love was real. Not forgetting Gale, in the film, there are breaks from the games that cut to Gale watching. I noticed Gale was peeved by the scene Katniss passionately kissing Peeta; therefore, Gale must have some feelings for his hunting partner. Jealously does not sprout out of nowhere. Gale's initial feelings for her have been threatened by the boy with the bread. In the book, it is very much the same, but Katniss, since the book is in her view, explains her feelings for both Gale and Peeta: how she feels, how she reacts, what her thoughts are on both of them, etc.

Another similarity is the glorification of how inconsiderate the Capitol is. In both the book and the film, the citizens that live in the Capitol are shown as individuals who only care about the surface of the tributes. When Peeta and Katniss are in the chariot, the citizens are only considering how elegant they look in their clothes. Even when Peeta and Katniss raise their hands interlocked, the Capitol only sees a pair of tributes who might be displaying love or unity with one another. In reality, Katniss is not very good at displaying any sort of PDA, especially with someone she just met.


Regarding the differences, there are a multitude of scenes that I could choose. One difference that really hits me in the face is the way Katniss is portrayed in the film compared to the way she is in the book. While I was watching the movie, I noticed her personality seems to be more standoffish and unattractive. Don't get me wrong, Jennifer Lawrence is a beautiful actress, but watching the movie, she seemed rather undesirable based on her actions and words towards others. For example, the scene where they enter the Capitol Circle on the chariots show us how she did not want to be there. The people of the Capitol were overwhelming her, it even seemed that she was not interested in pleasing the crowd. Peeta even tried to grab her hand to help her relax, but Katniss did not want to hold his hand initially. In the book, Katniss is gripping onto Peeta's hand prior to their grand entrance to ease her nerves. Along with that, she accepts the applause and appreciation the people of the Capitol--she is waving, blowing kisses, and raises her hands interwoven with Peeta with unlimited adrenaline.


Books:
The Hunger Games

Photos:
https://litreactor.com/columns/book-vs-film-the-hunger-games
https://andreaserranodotcom.wordpress.com/category/joyce-gilliard-the-hunger-games-hair-stylist/
http://www.polyvore.com/hunger_games_love_triangle/set?id=46873579
http://rebloggy.com/post/gif-the-hunger-games-thg-katniss-everdeen-jennifer-lawrence-josh-hutcherson-peet/21444246945
http://love-death-hungergames.tumblr.com/

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Accomplishment, Desire, and Bread

Why?

Since I was little, I have always been curious about learning new and exciting things, and stories with out-of-this-world ideas have always appealed to me. Growing up, I was never one to read or write; I was more of a video game fanatic, and I loved games like Pokemon, Digimon, and Naruto. Those story lines gave me insight into how people want to participate in fantasy worlds and make them all their own. Diving into the story, being a part of what is going on, and maybe believing there is validity in some of the tale are all things that can capture an audience and help them create a connection with the story.  Being able to connect with a new world or story sends adrenaline through my veins and gives me the exciting feeling of being alive. If the character in my video game can make it through life-threatening missions, what's stopping me from making it through a simple English lecture?

One day, one of my ex-girlfriends was talking to her friends about this book with an obscure design on the front. At the time, she knew I disliked reading, so she never thought to explain the story to me, but me being curious, I asked her about the book. Confused, she told me the book was called The Hunger Games. What was this book about? Was it about people who were hungry? Do the characters challenge each other in eating contests? She insisted that I read the book myself to find the answers to my questions.

After a week, I finished the book. Wanting the see what happens in the final two, I continued to read them. I have never been so drawn, connected, and emotionally torn about a book in my entire life. I was able to widen my interests from just video games to all forms of storytelling including books and their movie adaptations. Reading The Hunger Games gave me a better understanding of why people read; it changes them. It provides different perspectives; It outlines fears, desires, and needs influenced by society. It causes readers to grow in knowledge. It makes readers aware.

Getting to the point, I chose to take this class because I wanted to gain insight, explore unknown concepts, and broaden the opinions I have on the book based on my previous readings of it. I absolutely love this book and all of the symbolism, characters, and themes that make up such a provocative story line. Along with my desire to learn what I do not know, I want to be able expand my view on books, movies, video games, and even people. I want to be able to dig deeper into the story and see Peeta as more than just a lover boy and Gale as more than the jealous best friend. 



What?

Relating back to the first question, I want to be able look past the cover of book. Everyone says "Don't judge a book by its cover," but I feel like I am one those individuals who judges many things without giving myself a chance to like them. I want to be more open-minded, okay with new, obscure things, and be able to accept different backgrounds, perspectives, etc. 

I also want to learn more about the books origin. Again, I was never much of a book worm, but I always wonder how books come to be the wonderful pieces of paper they are today. Obviously, there is so much thought spent on creating the book; editing several times, and countless spell checks. Looking past technical issues, where does the author, in this case Suzanne Collins, acquire the inspiration to create a piece of work to move millions? Does she do it because she thinks it's fun? Did something happen to her when she was a kid? Does she want to give more insight on dystopian government and comment on how close we are to it?

I would like to be able to explore the wonderful world of The Hunger Games and truly expand on my thoughts and beliefs. 


Who?

Out of all of the characters in The Hunger Games trilogy, my absolute favorite character would have to be Peeta Mellark. Reading through the first book, I really loved Katniss, The Girl on Fire, but the Boy with the Bread stood out to me more. Of course, Katniss has impressive survival skills, an attractive personality, and the ability to kill me in a second; however, I saw easier through Peeta's eyes than through hers. A flustered, young man paired up with his long time crush was a very relatable story. His words spoke to me whenever he was talking about Katniss and it was easy to see that he was a genuine character.

From the beginning, Peeta entered the games as Peeta, and left as the same person. I mean maybe a little more mentally scarred from nearly dying twice by Cato's blade, but that is beside the point. Before entering the arena, Peeta said, "I don't know how to say it exactly. Only... I want to die as myself... I don't want them to change me in there. Turn me into some kind of monster that I'm not" ( Collins 141).  This line has stuck with me ever since I first read the book. I was fifteen at the time, and four years later those words continue to resonate with me.


When I was growing up, I was ALWAYS picked, teased, bullied, and criticized for who I was. I was never seen as an accepted individual when I went to school, to practice, to work, or even at home. I wanted to change everything about me, so the world would stop badgering me to be everything I am not. Both my father and mother encouraged me to be strong and continue to be me:"Just because society is telling you that no one will like the color of your hair, how tight your pants are, or what logo is on your shirt, it should not take away from who you are. Embrace who you stand for. You stand for yourself." Through adversity, I haven't changed a single thing about myself, and if I have, it was only to better myself to improve, to surpass those who don't believe in my capabilities. I feel for Peeta because I see a lot of myself in his character. He may not be perfect, but he is pretty damn cool.

  

Books:
The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
Mockingjay

Photos: 
http://imgkid.com/frustrated-meme.shtml
http://www.fandango.com/movie-news/time-for-peeta-vs-gale-744593
http://memekid.com/hunger-games-memes-gale.htm
http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/the-hunger-games/images/30195353/title/hunger-games-gifs-fanart
http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/peeta-mellark/images/29957096/title/quotes-fanart
http://boywiththesnares.tumblr.com/post/11136503657