Post 1, due Wednesday, January 9th

Prompt: Why did you choose this class? What are you hoping to accomplish in the course? What is your favorite character of The Hunger Games and why?

I found this class, among others, by searching on Archway for Honors Program credits. What drew me to enroll in this class in particular was what was, at the time, an entirely newfound respect for and interest in the Hunger Games series. Unlike many of you, I have not read all of the Hunger Games books. I enjoyed the first movie, but thought very little about the series until seeing Catching Fire in theaters. The second film, as you all saw, went much deeper into the societal issues plaguing Panem and the heavy weight carried by the main characters. I was struck by the complex interactions between the districts and the Capitol and the implications of such a regimented social structure. I finally saw that what I had taken for a fantastical, if dark, flight of imagination was in fact a thoroughly well thought out story of a corrupt and crumbling world reflecting the most sinister parts of our own history and nature. I decided then that Collins’ story was worth deeper study.

From this course, I hope to gain an understanding of the Hunger Games series that will allow me to appreciate in all its intricacy what I see as a genius work of fiction. I have always enjoyed parsing my way through literature as long as the story being told is engaging. Because I know from seeing the first two films that I enjoy being immersed in Collins’ universe, I truly think this class will be a pleasure, and I’m hoping for an interesting and, above all, thought-provoking semester.

While I’ve yet to finish reading the series, by the end of book one, I think that Haymitch is my favorite character. I tend to be a fan of anti-heroes, and he seems to be one. While Haymitch is gruff and a bit unpleasant, especially at first, he agrees to help Peeta and Katniss once he realizes they are serious competitors. I think Haymitch’s character flaws can be mostly overlooked because of his circumstances: he is a victim of unspeakable trauma and is suffering all the nightmares, guilt, and depression that goes with it. Every year, he is forced to become responsible for two more children who will invariably die, laying still more guilt on his head. His drinking and poor attitude are defense mechanisms against what is doubtless a very painful task he must repeatedly carry out. Despite all this, he manages to see the good in Peeta, connect with Katniss, and keep faith in both of them. He is a very sharp man who understands the system that controls them all and is eager to use his knowledge to prevent two more young people falling into the hands of the Capitol. Haymitch may be guarded, but he is also intuitive, honest, and extremely brave.