Archives for September 2011

CNN Tries to Catch On with Hunger Games–and Fails Miserably

Today, CNN posted an article that predicts, wow! That this Hunger Games thing just might be a big deal. The tone of the article is ridiculously glib, apparently in an effort to deflect from the fact that such an article makes the folks at CNN look further behind the times than the crowd that keeps popping up with “Hey, this Harry Potter stuff is actually Christian! Who knew?” The reporter, who is listed as being “special” is evidently either not familiar enough with the book to get the basics correct (like the relationship between Katniss and Peeta prior to the Reaping) or is trying too hard to be cute. Once again, the mainstream media is missing the real power of this story, thinking that it will be a big hit because of the sex and violence factors, and completely failing to notice (again) the power of this story or its razor-sharp critique of that very gore and smut industry. After all, The Hunger Games uses a story of real, sacrificial love to reveal the tragedies produced by a culture obsessed with violence as entertainment. As the movie’s release date draws near (posters are already up at the local cineplex) we can expect more of this nonsense. But then again, how likely is CNN to get what this story really does? After all, the mainstream media and its news-as-entertainment focus is part of the beautifully woven (and very sticky) web Suzanne Collins has woven. It really isn’t that shocking that they can’t see the message our crafty spider has posted with her riveting tale.

Guest Post: Aristotle’s Look at Suzanne Collins’ Mockingjay

Today’s guest post is a special look at Suzanne Collins’ Mockingjay in light of the Aristotle’s ideas of friendship that are found in his Nichomachean Ethics. The writing and subject matter are challenging, edifying, and simultaneously raise our understanding of the text(s) in play while stretching our way of thinking about life as we live it. I look forward to reading Hog Pro All-Pro’s response to this guest effort almost as much as I do to the hoped-for next dispatch from our newest contributors (short bios at end).

Katniss Everdeen is a one of the more fascinating characters of contemporary young adult literature. More fascinating still is Katniss’ relationship with Peeta Mellark.  It is hardly an exaggeration to say that their relationship drives the trilogy.  We would go so far as to say that the trilogy is a essentially a love story between these two characters. Although the Hunger Games–brutal and hellish–are meant to keep the tributes disunited, we see a uniting of hearts between the tributes of District Twelve.

What makes their relationship so intriguing is its ever-changing dynamic.  Peeta repeatedly sacrifices himself and declares his love for Katniss, both on camera and off.  Katniss responds in a variety of ways, ranging from shoving him into vases to spoon feeding him broth.

However, just because something is dynamic does not mean it is unpredictable.  We propose that Katniss’ feelings for Peeta evolve over time through Aristotle’s levels of friendship, as outlined in his Nicomachean Ethics, Book VIII.

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Guest Post: Was Stephen Meredith Potter Harry’s Inspiration?

A guest post from Viktor Richardson:

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Is the First ‘Hallows Quest’ in Philosopher’s Stone? Yes.

Right on the heels of William Sprague’s fascinating connection of Literary Alchemy and Ring Composition published here last month, Adam Ross has made another great catch affirming the loop of the series in the conjunction of Philosopher’s Stone and Deathly Hallows. Read ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Hallows’ at his site, or make the jump below where I have posted it with his blessing. The Ring Composition formal structure of the series grows in importance with each one of these discoveries and I’m delighted that HogPro All-Pros are sharing their finds here.

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Mailbag: Why is the Magical World Invisible to Muggles?

A note from Christopher De Morrow about seeing and not-seeing in the series:

Dear John,

I recently finished Order, and came across a passage that seems to make sense of an aspect of the series that I’ve been wondering about. Everyone in the parallel magical world is able to hide their great secret, although it seems pretty haphazzard. So many of the people, actions, and even buildings of the magical world intrude upon our own muggle world that it seems impossible that they aren’t more widely known. I think Rowling let us in on the principal reason why when the group visits Mr. Weasley at St. Mungo’s:

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