Thursday, May 8, 2014

Blog #14: Reflections

As I reflect on this semester, I look back at our class from a slightly different lens than my classmates because I was the only student who had not read the books prior to signing up for the class. I was falsely under the impression that we would read the series through the semester as a class, on the first day of class I was abruptly informed that I would have to read the books on my own, and very quickly. I ended up reading the series within a week or so and for the most part enjoying the books. This gave me a different perspective on our in-class discussions, as the trilogy had, had time to ferment in the minds of the other students while for me it was still fresh. In terms of the other class material we had to read, I thought that the Gresh book was very elementary and did not enjoy reading it, and did not learn much from it; in comparison, I thought the collected essays in the Pharr and Clark book were much more informative and better written. Some of the other readings were useful, while some did not really resonate with me. The blogs were a well used tool, expanding on topics we discussed in class and giving us more space to express our views, but perhaps we could have been given more creative freedom in our writing. Overall, I am happy that his class introduced me to the world of the Hunger Games and found our journey through it quite interesting.

I have now completed my journey through The Hunger Games. 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Blog #13: Reflections on Presentations

The first round of presentations were all pretty good, the one that stood out to me was Danielle's about gender roles in the Hunger Games. I found it very interesting how gender roles in series were very undefined compared to traditional ideas, especially in the capitol. At the beginning of the first book we get an idea that gender roles will be different in this trilogy because Katniss illegally hunts on her own and supports here family. There are some vestiges of defined gender roles in that it is still the men who work in the mines, Gale symbolizes the typical male hero and Prim is a more typical feminine hero. But for the most part as Danielle pointed out the lines are blurred, in the capitol everyone cares mostly about dress and fashion, Katniss and Peeta are both 'mixed gender' hero's and in District 13 everyone is equal and expected to do their fair share of work for the rebel cause. I think perhaps one thing Danielle could have mentioned is the importance of Katniss being a female hero with masculine qualities in a wider, cultural aspect. Many feel that the books and movie would not have been as popular if Katniss was a boy, that because she could stand up and fight for herself was appealing to young girls and fulled the series success. At the same time Peeta was not the typical male hero, which added to the appeal of the couple, but overall I think Danielle did a good job in discussing the topic of gender in the Hunger Games.