Saturday, April 11, 2015

To Be Evil Or Not To Be Evil


As human beings, we ask many questions about morality. There is the reoccurring question of "What is the difference of evil?" or "How do people resort to committing evil actions?" I immediately think of the opposite of being "good." For example, superheroes act courageously for those in danger and for those they care about to produce the safety and happiness. They will also selfless where doing the right thing is their mantra. Many people who are "good" follow the golden rule: treat others the same you would like to be treated. Creating that respect for the individual, superheroes choose their decisions based on unconditional care for anyone who is need of help.


Dr. Josh Baron comments we must analyze four different theories before coming to a final conclusion on where evil comes from. First, we must look at utilitarianism and how this creates goodness in people. This ideology is the right to maximize utility or happiness. More so, utilitarian actions produce the greatest balance of pleasure over pain for the greatest number of people. President Snow and President Coin may seem to be maximizing the happiness of the people of Panem or the people of District 13; however, they are more concerned about their desires of order or power over the happiness of the governed. 

Second theory is upholding to duty where people decide to do the right thing regardless of the consequences. Focusing of their obligation to keep order or to maintain happiness at all time high is what should be considered by all individuals. Next, Aristotle created a notion where to be a good person, one must be virtuous. There must be no type of excess or deficiency regarding traits of an individual. If one was to react to fear, one should be able to act courageous to be considered virtuous. For example, Katniss demonstrates virtue immediately in the trilogy when she decides to volunteer for the games just so her sister could be safe from the bloodbath. Lastly, care and love is considered when one makes decisions. Concluding on what is right and wrong for an individual involves the influence of their loved ones and what type of effect it would have on them. Every time Katniss did something in the games, she always thinks about Prim, Gale, and her mother before making a decision. She obviously makes a promise to Prim to stay alive because it would be detrimental for their family if she disappeared and was killed in the games. 

Overall, Dr. Baron uses all of these theories and highlights opposite of good in each. So the opposites of utility, duty, virtue, and care is individual, apathy, vice, and harm, respectively. The definition of evil, in his eyes, is an individual who expresses pleasure from causing harm to others as a result of vice or extreme apathy towards others humanity. President Snow and President Coin both embody this definition clearly.    





Books:
The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
Mockingjay

Sources:
Gresh, Chapter 7 The Nature of Evil
Guest Speaker: Dr. Josh Baron Ethics and Evil

Photos:
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/358388082818634023/
http://www.klce.com/whos-your-favorite-superhero/
http://perezhilton.com/tag/president_coin/
http://www.finalreel.co.uk/the-hunger-games-mockingjay-part-1-teaser-unity/the-hunger-games-mockingjay-part-1-president-snow-portrait-poster-slice/

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Who's Wearing the Pants In District 12?


In The Hunger Games, there is an obvious difference in traditional gender roles and romance compared to the majority of fictional novels. Typically, we have women being the ones pursued and saved, while men are the ones pursuing and saving. In addition to that, men are strong, emotionless, stern, and heroic, while women are weak, emotional, vulnerable, and sexualized. 


Katniss and Peeta are the perfect examples of reversed gender roles. Peeta is a baker who enjoys decorating cakes and painting pictures of nature; however, Katniss is a hunter who provides and protects for her family. Because of her father's death and her mother's depression, Katniss had to assume the role as the "man" of the house. Everyday, she would hunt for tonight's dinner, buy supplies for the house, and comfort Prim every night before she went to bed. Her job in her family is the job that a typical father would preform in his family. While she is in the games, she is a leader, rebellious, and desensitized from violence. Again, in novels, males have those traits where they are always making trouble and leading a justified cause. Katniss embodies more masculine than feminine traits throughout the trilogy.

Commenting on Peeta's demeanor, he is seen more feminine than masculine. Peeta has not endured anything remotely close to Katniss in his life. Being a part of baker's family, he already has the money to acquire supplies, food, and support his well being. Created by dependent lifestyle, Peeta is fragile and caretaker towards his loved ones. During the reaping, it was obvious that Peeta was upset with being chosen as District 12's tribute. On other hand, Katniss volunteered in place of Prim, showing no emotion and pushing her sister away from the scene. Throughout the games, Peeta is never the one to take action; he never successfully uses a weapon in combat either. Majority of the time, he is waiting for Katniss to act instead of deciding his own will. Lastly, Peeta has more sexual and charming appeal than Katniss ever will. The Capitol simply falls in love with Peeta during his interviews with Caesar Filckerman. He has the ability to "woo" the audience as if he was a beautiful girl with an audience full of males. 

In regards to romance in this trilogy, there is a forced romance between Katniss and Peeta. To develop appeal to District 12's tributes, the two must be displayed as "star-crossed lovers" who battle within the arena along side each other. Katniss does not want to be apart of this romance because it portrays her as weak (typically a male response.) Katniss does not want to kiss him either, but is forced by Haymitch to make something happen for the sponsors. This trilogy is not romance fiction, it is young adult, dystopian novel. Romance is lack luster, close to non-existent.



Books:
The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
Mockingjay

Sources:
Dr. Raley Guest Speaker on Conventional Romance and Gender Roles in The Hunger Games
Pharr and Clark Chapters 11 and 20

Photos:
http://www.memecenter.com/fun/1317829/peeta
http://www.dumpaday.com/random-pictures/funny-pictures/funny-pictures-day-80-pics-2/attachment/peeta-and-katniss-funny-quotes/
http://www.playbuzz.com/johnsl11/do-you-know-your-hunger-games-trilogy
http://rebloggy.com/post/mine-josh-hutcherson-peeta-mellark/28751362072
http://pixgood.com/quotes-by-josh-hutcherson.html
https://www.pinterest.com/bloomlolo/the-hunger-games/