Monday, December 12, 2011

5. The Hunger Games Analysis

Summary: Katniss's prep team from the Capitol scrubs her down and rids her of body hair. Then she meets her stylist, Cinna, who is very much unlike the rest of the people in the Capitol. For the Opening Ceremony, she and Peeta are dressed in identical outfits of a black unitard, cape, and headdress, that are lit with a synthetic fire. Cinna instructs Katniss and Peeta to hold hands, and then they go out on a chariot to the Opening Ceremony. Their outfits make a sensation, and the people love them. They leave the ceremony and their outfits are extinguished. Peeta says something nice to Katniss, but instead of ignoring it, she plays along and kisses his cheek.

Description: The Capitol is a complete contrast to the Districts, and so the colors here are vibrant--aqua, pea green, purple, pearly white. Of course, if the entire book had been written with this much in it, it would have become overbearing. But in the introductory chapter on the Capitol, all of the colors mark the difference in the drab world we've been in before.

World building: Much to what the description attests to, the Capitol is a complete 180 from what we've seen before. What really strikes us, though, (or at least it strikes me) is when Katniss tries to figure out how she'd make the meal she's had in the Capitol at home. On top of that, Katniss is being beautified. When she's going to her death. And her prep team notes how awful she'd been coming in, and how much better they made her. Collins shows us firsthand how horrible this place is. Not only do they starve their people and force them to participate in the Games, they also expect beauty from the Districts.


  • The prep team: A bit more good-hearted than Effie, but still, very shallow and they don't have their heads screwed on straight. Not all that smart. Katniss doesn't meet many Capitol people, and so the prep team is crucial in completing the characters in the Capitol. While Effie is a good character to have, it's wrong to judge a society based on one member alone. They confirm the attitudes of the Capitol people.
  • Cinna: He's a character that neither we nor Katniss were expecting. It's been hard for Katniss so far. She's literally had no break in the awful things happening. Cinna, however, is her one blessing so far. He really helps her make a sensation, which will help her in the Games.
What we can learn in a nutshell: When dealing with a duplicitous world, make details that will vividly portray their differences. Portray a society through their actions and people, but make them layered as well. Give a fair amount (but not too many) characters of a society to show their common norms and values. And as much as we're told to create more and more conflict for the MC (which we definitely should continue doing) it's okay to give them a hand once or twice--especially by creating a character the readers can love. Give the reader and the character hope. 

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely loved Cinna. Did I say I loved Cinna? I think I did but let me say it one more time. I loved Cinna.