I wrote in my first post at the beginning of this semester that I wanted to come to understand the Hunger Games series on a deeper level, and I believe I have. I think I can see where and how it is drawn from reality, and in fact I think this course has made me better at drawing those kinds of parallels from other forms of fiction as well. Of course, I may have enjoyed some discussion topics more than others. I think that gender, for instance, is a fascinating topic to apply to the Hunger Games. The work, as Danielle F. said in her project, creates a brand new type of heroine that I think we will be seeing more of in the next few years and hopefully beyond. It creates a role model for young girls that is neither over-sexualized nor weak, and it also shows men that they don’t need to be hyper-masculine to succeed, to earn respect, or to ‘get the girl,’ so to speak.
The discussion of Appalachia in relation to the Hunger Games that we had in the beginning of the semester really appealed to me. Having grown up on the West Coast, I had little to no knowledge of the region. I certainly didn’t know about the tragedy of mountaintop removal that is subjugating communities and destroying one of the most beautiful parts of this country. The section on music and poetry in Appalachia was really remarkable to me. I feel I have learned about a rich and beautiful culture, and I wish the hypothetical field trip we had proposed to the Appalachian mountains would have panned out. I want to continue learning more about the culture and issues of this region–this was one of the topics we discussed in this class that really moved me.
In addition, I really enjoyed the discussion of good and evil from a few weeks ago. I think it’s a pretty fundamental question, and it applies to so many stories, including the Hunger Games. I also happened to watch Sophie’s Choice that week, which was a bit rough paired with Ruben Sztajer’s talk. I feel fortunate that this class has been able to expose me to all these different venues of knowledge and experience. I truly feel I have grown as a result of it.
All in all, I have enjoyed the subject matter of this class immensely. Not only do I find myself frequently applying details in my daily life to the Hunger Games (not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing), but I have given serious thought to some of the topics we have discussed in class. I put a good deal of work and emotional energy in this class–I really tried to commit to each blog post and reading, and I wrote my final paper on a topic I love–and I think I got out even more than I put in. I would wholeheartedly recommend this class to everyone considering taking it. It made me think–far more broadly and far more intensely than I ever expected.