Hunger Haters on the Scene: Is America Incapable of Understanding Satire?

While The Hunger Games  isn’t likely to garner the sort of opposition we’ve seen from the Harry Haters, it seems it was just a matter of time until the novel upset some angry parent somewhere.  A mother in New Hampshire is kicking up a fuss over her daughter’s school assigning The Hunger Games. She is convinced that the book is giving her daughter nightmares and that it is “wholly inappropriate for her daughter or any other student.” Check out the whole article here, where the mother rails against the book because  “Twenty-four children are pitted in a life-or-death struggle with each other. The reason? Entertainment. That’s sick….You guys don’t want Columbine, but you’re putting forth material that will totally desensitize the children to murdering other children.” No kidding, that’s what she said. [Read more…]

Student Guest Post: On The Hunger Games as Contestant in the Required Reading Arena

In my English 113 classes,  my college students have several topics from which to choose for their first essay. One is an argument for the book of their choice to be assigned reading in school (or, in the case of a controversial book, for it to be permitted for students to read). One of my students, Jordan Hutchins, decided to argue for the Hunger Games as an addition to the required reading list for high school students. The essay was so nice that I asked if we could post it, and Jordan has graciously agreed. I hope everyone enjoys the essay as much as I did and that you’ll give this student scholar some great feedback. Thanks, Jordan!

The Hunger Games: Contestant in the Required Reading Arena [Read more…]

Professor Sprout Goes to District 12 and the Arena: Some ‘Hunger Games’ Plant and Berry Thoughts

As I’ve mentioned, I’m using  The Hunger Games this year in my ENG 111 (Expository writing) classes.  I was just puttering about finding some images to use in class discussion when I came across some interesting material on Katniss’s namesake. So I thought it might be fun to flip a few pages of the treasured family plant book to ponder why Katniss’s name is both symbolic and prophetic while also looking at a few other pertinent wild botanical samples that crop up as people and themes in the books.

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A Curious Cat: Mockingjay’s Tigris As More Than Just Another Freak in the Capitol Circus

Last week, when our esteemed headmaster, John, sent along his amazing three-part series on Unlocking Mockingjay, I was, like John, and several others, still puzzling over Tigris. She’s a peculiar character, and not just because she has had more plastic surgery than everyone on the cover of the latest tabloid put together. In order to get beneath the stripey surface of this intriguing safe-house keeper, it seems we need to look at three possible purposes that she represents outside her mechanical function as plot-propelling individual who takes in Katniss and the remnants of the Star Squad. [Read more…]

Mockingjay Discussion 26: Getting to the Ballad Roots of “The Hanging Tree”

Last week, in Mockingjay Discussion 15: The Hanging Tree, we covered some of the fascinating symbolic possibilities for the haunting song Katniss sings to Pollux, primarily to distract the mockingjays from singing Rue’s four-note tune, but which echoes throughout the novel.   “The Hanging Tree” also connects to real ballad types and actual ballads. Understanding the different types of ballads and where “The Hanging Tree” fits can add to our understanding of the way Collins uses music in general and this evocative piece in particular.

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