Sunday, February 23, 2014

My least favorite Book.

               Which of the three books is my least favorite? Well I hate to go along with the status quo, but I, like most others, have a major problem with the last book, Mockingjay. Since I have to used specifics to back up my intense dislike, the point I will focus on is Suzanne Collin's use of pacing.

               In regards to the pacing of Mockingjay, I think that the book makes a sharp departure from the speed of the other two books. In The Hunger Games the total time elapsed during the book cannot exceed a month. The characters are introduced a short time before the Reaping, the reaping occurs, a week of training and showmanship before the games, and then 15 days in the arena.  In Catching Fire, I can understand glossing over the Victory Tour, as the day to day events would not make for good storytelling. Regardless Collins still does take an entire third of the book to describe the Quarter Quell. When it comes to Mockingjay, it feels like Collins takes all sense of pacing out of the book. A war is fought day to day, not in quick decisive battles, but we only catch highlights while reading. We have whole months and operations just glossed over to move the storyline faster. The only time she slows it down is the actual assault on the Capitol, but even then it is rushed. Immediately after the assault, pacing is out the window again. The book and ends and the epilogue skips 15 years. This lack of pacing leaves you wondering what just happened and why, as the usual amount of exposition is not there.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Catching Fire Caught Fire

               The differences in Catching Fire the movie and Catching Fire the book are much the same, but I will try to focus on a bit different of areas. The book and the movie differ on the use of Plutarch Heavensbee, the Peacekeeper presence in the Districts, and the nature of the uprisings.
               In the book, there is heavy foreshadowing for Plutarch Heavensbee. It is almost obvious that he is on Katniss's side from the readers perspective, even though Katniss does not realize it. He foreshadows that the arena is in the shape of a clock by showing her his pocket watch, while it flashes a mockingjay symbol. This foreshadowing does not occur in the movie, but still comes to the conclusion that the arena modeled after a clock. Another way the movie uses Plutarch differently is you see him and President Snow often having conversations about how to quiet the districts or eliminate Katniss's influence. This makes Plutarch's betrayal all the more personal than is portrayed in the book, but it also leads us away from thinking he is on Katniss's side during the movie. This lack of sympathy also shows in his willingness to kill off Peeta when he says "ready on the cannon" after Peeta's heart stopped.

               The Peacekeeper presence and nature of the unrest in the Districts is  also different between the book and the movie. It is distinctly shown in the movie the increased presence of Peacekeepers in the victory tour, and that people are being dragged away mid ceremony. These events don't occur during the book, and lend more of an air of open rebellion to the movie, rather than the independent uprisings in the book.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Hunger Games versus...The Hunger Games?

               To start off, I have a funny story about the differences between the movie and the book. Both my younger sister and I had read all the books fairly recently, and I thought it would be nice to see the movie together. Being a nice older brother, I bought tickets and we went to see the movie at a unpopular time so that there would not be a lot of people. We sat in the middle of the theater and just counted the differences from the book. "1: she doesn't say that in the book", "27:her shirt is the wrong color" and on we went back and forth the entire movie till about 50 or so.

               But back to the point, the book  and the movie do differ on some key points, such as how information is presented as a whole, the relationship between Katniss and Peeta, and the relationship between Katniss and Gale.

               The book is written from a stream of consciousness first person perspective. This perspective means we only get information from Katniss's point of view. If she does not think about it, hear it, or see it, we do not know about it. Obviously creating a movie with the same effect would be difficult if not impossible. But the movie takes more liberty than just following Katniss around in third person the entire time. In several instances the movie shows a scene completely unmentioned in the book, such as Seneca Crane with the gamemakers or with President Snow and the reactions of the districts to the Games. This gives a more informed approach to the story, but I feel it takes away from the stress you feel from Katniss in the books. In the movie you can see the big picture, but the book is a personal struggle, both inward and outward.

               The relationship between Katniss and Peeta in the book is much different from on-screen. In the book, Katniss is never really sure if it's an act or if its real. She has no idea whether or not she can trust Peeta. This plays through the entire book. However in the movie, the relationship seems more real. In the cave, it does not seem to be an act of Katniss kissing Peeta. She shows genuine concern for him then, and when they are out foraging.

               The relationship between Katniss and Gale also is played out differently. In the book, Katniss just thinks of Gale while she is trying to survive, but it does not really carry a romantic concept. In the movie, it seems the producer were blatantly going for a love triangle set-up. Whenever we see a development in the Katniss-Peeta relationship, it always has to pan away to Gale looking jealous.  

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Tributes and Gladiators

                 The parallels between the Hunger Games and Roman Gladiators are quite obvious. The Romans called the system “panem et circenses,” which means bread and circuses. The parallels exist in location, style, and purpose.
                The Hunger Games and Gladiators both take place mostly in the same place as each other. The Hunger Games are held by the Capitol, and are usually quite close to the Capitol. The same is true of Gladiators. Most of the arenas were either in Rome, the capital, or around the ring of the city. Both events also occur in the same type of venue. The Hunger Games take place in specially made arenas, as do Gladiator Games.
                The style of both of the games is also similar. Pure and simple, they are blood sport, pitting humans against each other in a fight to the death. Even the manner of acquiring the contestants is the same. In the Gladiator Games, there are slaves, criminals, and volunteers that fight for either survival, freedom, or fame. The Hunger Games, being a bit more morbid, picks from all the children, who might as well be slaves, and there can be volunteers as well. Even the goal is still similar, as that you only survive if you win, and the result of winning gets you a version of fortune, fame, and freedom. Both games also employ use of a gamemaker, one is in charge of coordinating and putting on a good show.

                Even the purpose of both Games is the same: Control. The Gladiator Games, by using food and entertainment(“panem et circenses”), swing public opinion in favor of whoever is hosting the games. This means it is quite possible to buy political power being a sponsor of an event. The Hunger Games exerts control by forcing all citizens to watch the Games, thus reminding them that the Capitol has complete control over them. They also it as food and entertainment, as the winning sector gets showered with gifts from the Capitol.