The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1: a Detailed Analysis
The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 1; an Uninteresting Bridge to the Finale
Following in the footsteps of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows, the Hunger Games trilogy has taken the final book and divided into a two movie part. The first part, Mocking Jay Part One is extremely different from its previous two movies. With no actual Hunger Games in this movie, this one focuses on the revolutionary aspect and uprising of the districts against the tyrannical capitol.
Jennifer Lawrence stars in the movie as our heroine Katniss Everdeen picking up right where the last movie left off. After destroying the stadium and being rescued by District 13, Katniss has been recruited to be the face of this new revolution. District 13 is a rebel society hidden underground for years as they slowly build up the military power to take down President Snow (Donald Sutherland). At the beginning of Mocking Jay Part 1, District 13 has decided to come out of hiding and start a series of advertising campaigns made to rouse the other districts into joining the rebellion. Only one problem though, the capitol has captured Katniss’ previous sidekick Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and are using him for the same thing – to encourage the districts that the capitol is the only thing keeping them from total and complete anarchy.
The love triangle between Peeta, Katniss, and her best friend from home Gale (Liam Hemsworth) has seemingly been put on hold as Katniss’ main priority in all of this is breaking Peeta and the other tributes being held captive by the capitol free. With her new gang of allies (Jullianne Moore, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Natalie Dormer) Katniss is brought to the frontlines to lead the revolution. The whole movie is a power struggle as the rebels can’t seem to catch a break. With every victory they seem to gain, President Snow has a quick comeback that puts them right back to where they began.
The ending of the movie also takes a few dramatic turns that will leave the viewers wondering who will really win once everything is said and done.
Though this has been one of the highest grossing movies of the season, mostly because of the gigantic fan base that follows it, it doesn’t quite seem to live up to the previous too. It’s quite lengthy at a little over two hours, but at the same time it seems to be ridiculously drawn out. In fact, it could be argued that there was absolutely no reason to break the final book of the trilogy into two movies. A lot of the scenes are unimportant or boring and could’ve been cut completely to make room for it to just be finished already and the only actual reason they probably divided it up was to suck as much money out of this thing as possible before it ends.
The whole movie seems to be building up to something but at some point it just starts going back downhill. The excitement was pointless for there was no real climax and the ending leaves the viewer feeling unsatisfied for there is no real conclusion at all. If they were in fact following the footsteps of the Deathly Hollows, they should’ve taken better notes because this whole experience could be summoned up to one word; mediocre.
That being said, the actors were very well cast and played, per usual, and can’t be blamed for Hollywood’s new obsession with taking a decent plot and dragging it out way too long. The movie itself seemed to follow the books pretty good, enough to make the readers happy, and the actual idea behind it is grounds to make a kick ass movie. The tension built up in this part will seemingly and hopefully lead to a much better second half, and hopefully there won’t be as much criticism with Mocking Jay Part 2.
A Review of Suzanne Collins Novel the Ousting of the Capitol in Mockingjay
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay is the final installment in the Hunger Games series. The book main revolves around Katniss’ plot to overthrow the Capitol. After surviving two Hunger Games, Katniss and her family/friends have to live in District 13 because the Capitol destroyed their homes and everything in District 12 with bombs. The book gets going with Peeta on national television (The Capitol was holding him prisoner) calling for a cease-fire. Katniss does not like that idea. She agrees to be the “Mockingjay” – the face of the rebellion against the Capitol. Trying to gain support for the war, Katniss travels all over the country. In District 8 the Capitol sends bombs and kills hundreds of innocent people. They are trying to prove they are still able to fight. This happens again back in District 13. The president of District 13 sounds the alarm just in time, thanks to a hint in one of Peeta’s cease-fire campaigns he is forced to do for the Capitol. Everyone in District 13 goes to the shelter miles below ground. While down there, they start making war preparations. The first is to kidnap Peeta from the Capitol. They succeed, but the Capitol has altered his memory and he attempts to kill Katniss. The next is to join forces with District 2. Again, many innocent people die, but District 2 joins the rebellion. Next, they start assembling a force to take the Capitol. Katniss, Gale, Peeta, Finnick, and a bunch of others go on a mission to assassinate President Snow, leader of the Capitol. They finally get to his mansion after many deaths, including Katniss’ sister. However, Katniss shoots Coin, the would-be-president, because she is just as bad as Snow. Luckily, Snow is killed anyways by a mob of people. Katniss cannot attend her own trial because she is locked up. Haymitch, one of her friends and her mentor during the Games, got her out of it and took her back to her old, nearly destroyed home in District 12 to live with Peeta.
One of the things I learned about myself reading this book is that I shouldn’t trust people easily. In our society today, many people are too outgoing and get into unfavorable situations quickly. For example, when Peeta returns to District 13 from the Capitol, Katniss should have been more cautious. Instead, she assumed that he had not changed at all. Of course, this is incorrect. After being beaten and threatened by the Capitol for nearly a year, obviously Peeta would have changed. He proves this when he tries to strangle Katniss at their reunion. If Katniss would have been more aware and realized the potential that there might be a problem, she would have not spent the night in the hospital. People should not assume things, either. It is just like making a prediction that influences the way you act. Many times, assumptions are wrong. Why? It’s just a guess. There was no prior conversation or anything, just a hunch. This is what happened with Katniss and Finnick in the second book. When Finnick gave Peeta CPR, she assumed that he was doing it to earn respect from her. She was angered at this. What was really going on is he was trying to protect Peeta. Because Katniss assumed that Finnick was doing this for himself, she had a bias against him. When she found out the real answer, she still found more dark clouds because she had assumed something negative. A final example of this is when Coin trusted Katniss at the end when she was to assassinate Snow. Coin trusted Katniss, and she was wrong in doing so. Because she assumed she could trust Katniss and was wrong, she was shot dead. Coin should have been more cautious and realized what she was up against, but because she was arrogant and consumed with herself, she was killed. From this, I learned that even someone I have known for awhile could be unpredictable. While I should not keep everything to myself, I shouldn’t give away information like it’s rainwater.
Not only did I learn things about myself, but in reading this I learned things about other people, too. One thing I learned about people who are different from me is that they don’t care. This really confuses me. They just do not care about human quality of life or natural rights. President snow is a good example of this. He doesn’t care about his country. All he cares about is getting to eat in a 5 star restaurant and sleep in a 10,000 sq. foot mansion. He became president for his own good, not for the people of his country. He tried to destroy them. He tortured their children in the Hunger Games. Doesn’t he have a sense of righteousness? How can he lie to himself? Does he go to bed every night and say, “Oh, everything will be okay”? Because it won’t. It amazes me how much people can hide things from themselves. Inside he has to know that something is wrong. People can’t just pretend that everything is perfect. He should wake up one morning and say, “Wow, I was stupid”. He was. But, because he doesn’t care, this won’t happen. But, of course, if he cared, this wouldn’t have happened at all. To paraphrase a quote, “A government that is big enough to take away everything is big enough to give it all back”. President Snow should do just that. Wise up. If he cared, then the country would function properly. If he cared, things would be normal.
Summarizing Suzanne Collins Dystopian Novel Mockingjay
Mockingjay is a dystopian novel by Suzanne Collins. It is the last book in the Hunger Games trilogy. Because the book is dystopian, it takes place in the future. They live in Panem, which is in North America. The Capitol is a wealthy city that is surrounded by twelve (originally thirteen) less rich districts. The Capitol rules all the districts. Things aren’t looking good for Panem, and Katniss Everdeen is in the middle of it.
Katniss has survived the beginning of the war. Her home, District Twelve, is bombed by the Capitol and now she is staying underground where District Thirteen was. The nation is in conflict, the Capitol versus the districts. All districts, aside from District Two, are fighting to not have the Hunger Games and to get rid of the ruthless President Snow. Katniss agrees to be the face of the rebellion and the Mockingjay. So, being a leader in the war, Katniss goes to many battles. Unfortunately, during this, Peeta, Katniss’s good friend, is being tortured by Snow. Even though he is rescued and brought back to District Thirteen, they realize he has been poisoned with Tracker jacker venom. The venom messes up his memory, and Peeta is under the illusion that Katniss is a horrible person. Peeta even tries to strangle her. The doctors eventually cure him so he improves a little but still has feelings of hatred. Katniss starts to prepare for war. She goes into war with Gale, Peeta, her protectors, and a camera crew. They travel through the districts and ultimately get to the Capitol. They are on a mission to kill Snow, but it ends up getting a lot of team members killed. Katniss watches many innocent children on the rebel’s medical team, including her sister Prim, die. The rebels capture President Snow. Before his execution, President Coin, who is in charge of the rebellion, tells the remaining Hunger Games victors to vote on whether the new government should start another Hunger Games to punish the people of the Capitol. It is Katniss’s job to execute President Snow with her signature bow and arrow, but she kills Coin instead. Snow is found dead anyway, probably from choking on his own blood or crushed by the crowd.
Katniss Everdeen is the protagonist of the Hunger Games She came from District Twelve. Katniss likes to go with her gut and does what is best for those she loves. Her father dies in a mining accident, and she becomes the main caretaker for her younger sister Prim. She is a skilled hunter and very independent, which helps her win her first Hunger Games and her spot as the Mockingjay. She has romantic feelings for Gale and Peeta and that confuses her. Peeta Mellark also grew up in District Twelve. Peeta is committed to protecting Katniss no matter what. When he is taken by the Capitol, Snow uses him as a weapon to make Katniss suffer. On Peeta’s arrival to District Thirteen, it is made known that he has been “hijacked”. He thinks Katniss is the enemy, but they both go back to District Twelve. They end up together with two kids. Gale Hawthorne is Katniss’s best friend from District Twelve and is in love with her. But during the rebellion, he creates a weapon that leads to Prim’s death. Katniss can’t forgive him for that. He doesn’t go back to District Twelve and moves to District Two. President Coin is the self-righteous leader of District Thirteen and war against the Capitol. She doesn’t like Katniss but puts up with her because she is a crucial part of the rebellion. She tries to start a new Hunger Games but is publicly killed by Katniss. President Snow is the former President of Panem. He came into power by poisoning his partners and allies. He got rid of suspicion by drinking poison himself. He is defeated and killed in a mob.
My Opinion About the Book Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
The book Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins continues the series “The Hunger Games”. This book is a dystopian novel, along with the rest of the series. The book speaks of a young girl named Katniss Everdeen. “My name is Katniss Everdeen. Why am I not dead? I should be dead” (375). In the distant future, in a country of the name Panem, on the grounds that was once called North America, a cruel and unjust capital, holds the 13 districts by the throat. When her sister, Primrose Everdeen, was called at the reaping for the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss volunteers to take her place in the bloodbath. The dreadful Hunger games go on like the rest of them had always gone, but when Katniss held up the Night lock berries to save her and the boy who risked his life and a beating for her, Peeta Mellark, she created a spark so hard to contain, it turned into a revolution.
With the rebellion in full swing after the “cruel” and “haunting” Quarter Quell, the 75th Hunger Games, Katniss has agreed to be the Mockingjay. With Peeta and several other victors being tortured in the capital, Katniss has to fulfill her duties, and make sure she doesn’t step out of line. “In other words, I step out of line, and we’re all dead” (58) The capital’s cruel habits are no different during the war. “I’m right here in District Eight, where the Capitol has just bombed a hospital full of unarmed men, women, and children” (99). They are fighting for a better future, a future without the games. But president Coin, the leader of District 13, has different opinions on what to do with The Country. “We hold another Hunger Games with the Capitol’s children” (369).
This book is a book that makes you sit on the edge of your seat even when you’re not reading. The words echo in your head, and the strong and clear language makes you want to read more. Some of the main challenges with reading this book was that you need to have a long time available since you can’t stop reading. You find yourself reading much more than you wanted, and forget to do other more important things. The best part was how excited you feel, even when you aren’t at a particularly exciting part, you still feel the energy that comes with reading this book. The main theme is hope; it is portrayed throughout all three books, and it has separate meanings for all the characters. Hope is what propels people in this book, and hope is what people fight against.
This is a book mainly for people who like to stick with a series instead of alternating between books. It’s never ending tension makes it hard to read other books, and requires careful thought at some point, and to really understand the book, you need to really put yourself into the protagonist’s mind. This is a book for adults and young adults because it needs to be read with patience that young children often don’t have. The book has an overall gloomy feeling mixed with the hope for happiness, which is not a taste for everyone. Overall I would give this book five stars because of its amazing writing and its small taste of real life.
The Choice Between Gale and Peeta in Mockingjay
Throughout the books, it is inevitable that the series will have a romantic conclusion, and in the middle of the uprising against the Capitol, Gale and Peeta discuss Katniss’ final choice at the end of the war with Gale declaring “Katniss will pick whoever she thinks she can’t survive without” (Mockingjay 329, italics added). This sort of speculation about a female character’s romantic choices trivializes her representation. Katniss herself lashes out against this assessment of Gale’s when she asserts, albeit only to the readers that “…my best friend predicts I will choose the person who I think I “can’t survive without”. There’s not the least indication that love, or desire, or even compatibility will sway me. I’ll just conduct an unfeeling assessment of what my potential mates can offer me. As if in the end, it will be the question of whether a baker or a hunter will extend my longevity the most.” (330)
Her insistence that she is more than her choice of “potential suitors” is however not validated further and loses its power later when the readers are told: …I knew this would have happened anyway. That what I need to survive is not Gale’s fire, kindles with rage and hatred. I have plenty of fire myself. What I need is… the promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again. And only Peeta can give me that. (Mockingjay 388)
The ineluctable nature of her choice, coupled with the explanation or rather justification she offers for it points to the fact that it ceases to be a ‘choice’ anymore. The narrative pushes her into a certain direction that serves to reinforce the idea that she has no autonomy in the matter. The need for a happy ending in the series instigates the ultimate negation of feministic ideals, apart from those that have been already examined. Katniss further undergoes a regressive character development when she gives in to the existing heteronormative, patriarchal paradigm through her removal from the public sphere and induction into a life of domesticity and motherhood. This is exemplified by, as well as established through, her removal from an ‘active’, public sphere of existence, her confinement to “the roles of lover and mother [that] restrict her to the domestic sphere and eclipse her roles as protector and rebel” () and the coming of age nature of the series which insidiously serves to restrict her into a structure of stable passivity disguised as an inevitable maturation into adulthood.
At the end of Mockingjay, Katniss, nearly catatonic with grief over losing her sister Prim, undergoes a trial in absentia for murdering President Coin instead of President Snow. After this trial, she is exiled to District 12. It is not clear what the official duration of her exile is; nevertheless, she presumably chooses to voluntarily isolate herself to the small community that remains within district 12. The larger point, be it that her exile was voluntary or not, is that it “relegated her to a life outside of the political world she played such a central role in” (Tan 37) She is no longer a part of the public realm where she could affect social change– her primary enterprise as the protagonist of a dytopian narrative– and her willing withdrawal (due to trauma or otherwise) from that space is as problematic as her forcible ejection from it. In case of the former, the transition from a fierce agent of change to a reclusive ex-rebel negates her value as ‘Katniss Everdeen’. In the case of the latter, there is an obvious overriding of her agency and a loss of her autonomy.
A similar loss of autonomy may be observed in what is the other side of the coin to Katniss’ eviction from the political public sphere– her confinement to the domestic space. This confinement manifests in her “easy subsumation” into a heterosexual marital structure where she also maintains the “reproductive status quo”. She conform to the dominant discourses of gender and sexuality and furthermore, there is the fact that fantasy as a genre insists upon shattering of societal norms amd conventions. The series’ resolution goes against the spirit of this enterprise.
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins: All Our Questions Answered
The Hunger Games Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins is the final book in The Hunger Games trilogy, and carries the resolution to the previous books and quite importantly the answers to the end of the second book (Catching Fire). Mockingjay gives the real feel of life within a war, where nothing is the same and you’re haunted by the memories of two Hunger Games.
The book is written by Suzanne Collins, who was Born in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1962, Suzanne Collins was the daughter of an Air Force pilot, and her family moved several times when she was young. After proving herself as a talented children’s television writer, Collins published first ever book, Gregor the Overlander, the first book of The Underland Chronicles. In 2008, the first book of The Hunger Games series was published. Collins Hunger Games trilogy was then turned into a very successful movie series starring Jennifer Lawrence.
The novel begins by explaining the horrible war with the Capitol that left District 13 with little to no resources or living people. But against all odds, the people of District 13 manage to find a way to be self-sufficient beneath the surface of the earth building an entire empire underground. Amid this bizarre living condition, a rally unfolds above ground, district by district, as plans are strategically put in place to launch the ultimate war against President Snow and his men. There is nothing less than a great amount of mental, and physiological w wars that cause much anger and confusion among all leaders of the Panem. While Katniss tries to connect the dots between her position as the Mockingjay, the relationships she can trust and the love she has for both Peeta and Gale, a much more impulsive side to her emerges. In the last few chapters of the book, she emerges as an assassin herself and takes matters into her own hands killing District 13’s leader.
The Great End of the Story
Suzanne Collins skilfully details the process of the revolution, bringing to light a new dawn of courage among the oppressed while piecing together the puzzles from the previous two books. Mockingjay is the reconciliation of civilisation portrayed in The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. As much as it is the designation of an ill-fated dystopian society. Collins allows the chain of events to unfold very quickly in the plot, accurately reflecting a real-time sense of war. In all the suspense that Collins leaves, there is no stone unturned. All our questions that we ask in the beginning of the book (even the previous books) are answered by the time we finish the story. Corruption inevitably invades what’s left of humanity’s innocence as war against the Capitol is waged and fan favourite characters are pulled into the centre of controversial choices. New characters are also introduced as Collins intelligibly gives answers to previously asked questions throughout the book.
Every chapter of the book is tied together with original material and powerful creativity. In the end, the final instalment of the trilogy allows us to live through the tragic and horrible consequences of war, the reunion of lovers and the rebirth of hope for the future of panem. If the success of a story depends on the author’s ability to draw readers in, place them in the shoes of the characters and take them on a surreal, emotional journey, then Collins surely succeeds. Mockingjay easily paves the way for readers to easily read this book without the reader feeling burdened or overwhelmed by the outrageous realities of this horrific violence. But with all that said, Collins also manages to resolve the trilogy with a whole-hearted satisfaction for readers. With both tragedy and hope throughout the entire book, there is a sense of peace with the resolve that Collins writes of – not just as the resolve of the book itself, but the resolve of the trilogy.
This book was truly a great read, as Collins makes the experience of reading dystopian-fiction so easy, as the book is just so fast paced, and exciting, making it almost impossible to be bored of this novel. It answers so many key elements from previous books in the trilogy, that make the book even more excitable.
The Contrasting Representations of Women in Contemporary Science-fiction Films (the Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, Prometheus and Passengers)
This investigation will explore the representation of women in the films: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (Lionsgate Film, 2014), Prometheus (20th Century Fox, 2012) and Passengers (Columbia Pictures, 2016). Films usually represent women in an over-sexual and derogatory light. This study will seek to prove that the opposing representations of women present in Sci-Fi films are due to the struggle between the rise in modern-day feminist & equitable ideals and the past traditional, patriarchal views on gender roles. The investigation will explore how the various traditional female stereotypes, like women being submissive, has changed over to time accept more positive representations, like women having the ability to be strong and in control. I will also analyze the possible perspectives that go against my argument to gain a better understanding of how the female gender is portrayed in the film industry. Judith Butler proposes the idea of Gender Performativity. It suggests that we all put on a performance. She says ‘by choosing to be different about it, we might work to change gender norms and the binary understanding of masculinity and femininity’ Gauntlett, 1997).
The Stereotypes in Past Science Fiction Films and Today
In past Science Fiction films, like the ‘Forbidden Planet’ (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1956) the female characters are portrayed in a stereotypical fashion. For instance, the female character in Forbidden Planet, Altaira (Anna Francis) wears revealing clothing and is considered a very naive girl throughout the movie. Steve Neale’s Genre Theory suggests that ‘much of the pleasure of popular cinema lies in the process of “difference in repetition” – (i.e. recognition of familiar elements and in the way those elements might be orchestrated in an unfamiliar fashion or in the way that unfamiliar elements might be introduced)’ (Brading, 2011). This means that stereotypes and conventions might still be carried out and portrayed but through unconventional ways to add a sense of intrigue and excitement. In more modern Science Fiction films, women have begun taking the lead and asserting their presence. However, like the previous quote suggests, these films likely contain hidden, encoded stereotypes and traditional conventions. The Hunger Games, directed by Francis Lawrence, is about empowering women and showing how the lead female character is strong and independent enough to survive and take charge. Additionally, the movie Prometheus, directed by Ridley Scott, is about a woman that has to be protected by a group of men from an alien monster. These case studies are perfect as they show how the media portrays women in different ways. One is shown as a strong independent warrior and the other as a helpless girl. However, the third movie, Passengers, directed by Morten Tyldum, shows how a man takes control and forces a woman to do something against her will for his own personal needs, which relates to Propp’s Character Theory as it places the female as the princess. The female only ‘exists as a goal’ (Wilson, 2011) according to Propp’s theory which is clearly seen in Passengers as the male desires the female. The main character is a male with an agency, he has a goal. The only named female character is a supporting character with no agency. She only reacts to what the male does because she doesn’t progress the plot. Now, this has been chosen due to the fact that the main Actress, Jennifer Lawrence, also starred as the strong, independent warrior character in the Hunger Games. Furthermore, this has been included to show another perspective so that the investigation can be analyzed critically.
Stuart Hall’s Representation Theory
Through the use of Stuart Hall’s Representation Theory, these texts will be analyzed from a constructivist approach. Stuart Hall’s Representation Theory suggests that ‘the word ‘representation” refers to the production of knowledge (rather than just meaning)’ (Acosta, 2012). This means a representation is a figure crafted by the creator’s inner values rather than the actual meaning. Therefore, the productions of the film industry reflect the misogynistic and derogatory values of the directors and Harvey Weinstein, the man that has been the perpetrator of several sexual assaults, who also governs the film industry in Hollywood. These sexist beliefs are a result of the quondam traditional values created by men. It is reasonable to believe that some people would have been raised with such values and not having been taught ethics and moral truth in that: women are not an inferior species for men to abuse.
The Inferior and Foolish Gender in Prometheus
Harvey Weinstein’s inner misogynistic and abusive intentions promote a certain negative, representation of female stereotypes which has become ingrained in the traditions of Hollywood. An example of where these values have an effect would be the film Prometheus (Dir. Ridley Scott. 2012). The film Prometheus represents women as weak and inferior. This can be seen through the scene where Elizabeth Shaw (played by Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green), as well as other crew members, are woken from a cryogenic sleep. Shaw is sat hunched over for the entire scene vomiting into a box, while Holloway and the other male crew have quickly recovered and are slightly more relaxed. This scene portrays how women aren’t as strong and conditioned to adventure as the male gender. While the male characters are able to move on and get to work, the only female in the scene is still in pain. This allows us to see how the director and writers view the female gender, in that women are frail and delicate. This relates to the Codes of Gender Documentary in that ‘femininity is superficial and weak’ (Jhally, 2009). This is further reinforced in a different scene where Holloway is explaining their scientific findings and conclusions to a group of men. While this is taking place, the character Elizabeth Shaw stands by his side nodding along in agreement. This shows how the man has taken control of the situation and the woman is supposed to be submissive. This links to Laura Mulvey’s theory of the Male Gaze in that the audience watches from the male’s perspective and denies the women a human identity. In the same scene, when Shaw finally speaks, her ideas and theories are dismissed as ‘bullshit’ by one of the men as the rest laugh. This highlights the stereotype of women being the inferior and foolish gender.
The Strong Woman in the Hunger Games
However, in the Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (Dir. Francis Lawrence. 2014.) the main character is a powerful woman who is in control. One of the ways this is shown is through the props. In the movie, Katniss Everdeen’s (played by Jennifer Lawrence) favoured weapon is the longbow. Not only does it represent an element of danger, but it also shows strength, accuracy and speed. These are usually elements that are stereotypically masculine showing how the film subverts traditional feminine stereotypes. This can also be seen through the costume of the main character. Jennifer Lawrence’s character wears fully black armour. The armour shows how that she encounters precarious situations frequently and the fact that the costume covers her whole body without exposing anything portrays Katniss as a respectful character who isn’t over sexualized. This completely dismisses the theory of the male gaze, which says that women are portrayed as sexualized objects for the man’s pleasure. Furthermore, the colour of her costume is black, which connotes power and confidence, traits usually seen as masculine. Moreover, the quote ‘Nobody told her what to do’, said by Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth), is said regarding the way Katniss makes her decisions. This quote implies that she is smart and independent enough to make her own judgment choices. Usually, decisiveness is a trait of men but here they use it for a woman to go against the past traditions. This all links to the concept of Modernism. Modernism is a philosophical movement of altering and rejecting tradition. However, this does beg the question, can women be strong and break tradition without exchanging all their feminine traits for masculine? Additionally, the simple fact that the female characters pass the Bechdel test shows how the increase in feminist ideals has allowed the empowerment of the female gender. To pass the Bechdel Test, ‘films need to satisfy three requirements: #1 It has at least two women in it #2 who talk to each other, about #3 something besides a man'(Friedman, 2015).
Misogynistic Values in the Passengers
Although, the movie Passengers (Dir. Morten Tyldum. 2016) contradicts my argument as this film is a very modern film that still sticks to past traditions of gender roles and stereotypes. These misogynistic values are portrayed through the name of the lead female character, Aurora Lane (played by Jennifer Lawrence). The name Aurora relates to the trivialized story of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, in which the ‘sleeping beauty’ is named Aurora. The original is story majorly about the theme of objectification which plays out here. This film generally comes across as a modern Science Fiction rework of the Sleeping Beauty story. We know this due to how the main male character, Jim Preston (played by Chris Pratt), wakes up early from is cryogenic sleep on a space trip to a new world. After a year of feeling lonely, he finds the sleeping Aurora Lane. He sees her as a beautiful and interesting woman and decides to wake her up about 80 years ahead of schedule, without her consent. This relates to Vladimir Propp’s Character Theory and the idea of the Princess archetype. The theory suggests that the Princess, or damsel in distress, is ‘often sought for during the narrative’ (McCarthy, 2013). This objectifies this helpless female character and represents her as a prize to be won rather than a living, breathing individual. Moreover, it is a clear example of Laura Mulvey’s theory of the Male Gaze is ‘where women in the media are viewed from the eyes of a heterosexual man’ (Sampson, 2015) and objectify the woman. Aurora Lane is objectified for the pleasure of a lonely man. This is further reinforced by a clip of Jennifer Lawrence wearing a mostly transparent bathing suit as she goes for a swim. This portrays her character as an over-sexualized creature for the male’s pleasure, again relating to the Male Gaze theory, ‘Men do the looking, and women are to be looked at’ (Sampson, 2015). The Male Gaze Theory suggests that women are ‘objects of male desire’ (Sampson, 2015), they only exist for the pleasure of men and the “needs”. Furthermore, the film has been edited to display a montage of 3 consecutive sex scenes between Jim Preston and Aurora Lane (Figure 6). This puts the audience in the perspective of a heterosexual man to gaze upon the female during a scene of vulnerability. Whether or not they are a homosexual man or a straight woman, the audience is still positioned in this way due to the actions of the director. Moreover, in a later scene, Aurora Lane is shown caressing Jim’s face. This relates to The Codes of Gender documentary through the quote ‘when women are shown holding something, it often looks as though it is just resting there – not being held in a strong manner’ (Jhally, 2009). This shows the viewer that women are stereotypically gentle; they only brush objects and features with their hands they never grip or grab, when it comes to stereotyping, women are weak and gentle. Additionally, the actors Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt are known for their stance on gender equality. For example, Lawrence has fought for equal pay (an example being the essay she wrote for Lena Dunham about earning less than her male costars) and brought huge media attention to the issue of the gender pay gap while Pratt has spoken about the need for gender equity in multiple interviews. This shows the grip of the traditional sexist values of society. These representations fortify the status quo that’s cultivated by the dominant ideology, that dominant ideology being the patriarchy. George Gerbner’s cultivation helps explain this idea due to the fact the Cultivation theory suggests ‘high-frequency viewers of television are more susceptible to media messages and the belief that they are real and valid’ (Davie, 2010). After centuries of being conditioned and restricted, women are now accustomed to falling into and accepting these submissive and false gender roles. The pressure of society on gender roles as well as mass media cultivation had pushed women to accept and follow the conventional stereotypes.
In conclusion, it is clear to see that the conflict between modern feminist values and traditional patriarchal views has created a series of contrasting representations of women in a film genre that is usually venerated for its visionary ideas. The movie: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (Dir. Francis Lawrence. 2014.) presents the emergence of a powerful main female character hat takes control and shows that the female gender isn’t weak or submissive like tradition suggests. Whereas, the main female character in the film Prometheus (Dir. Ridley Scott. 2012.) is represented as an object of pleasure for the male gender. She is also portrayed as submissive and inferior. This shows how the conventional values of objectification have created the perfect stereotype from the perspective of the superior male. This reinforces my hypothesis because it shows that despite the two films being made around a similar time, they both create a very divergent set of stereotypes. Albeit, the film Passengers (Dir. Morten Tyldum. 2016.) shows that this isn’t always the case due to the fact that, despite it being the most recent of the three movies, it still portrayed the main female character as part of the conventional stereotype. Furthermore, the main female character of Aurora Lane relates closely to the most objectified female character in fairy tales, Sleeping Beauty. Although, the thesis applies to the majority of films in the Science-Fiction genre undeterred by the odd exception of films like Passengers. It is also worthy to note Jon Spaihts was the writer for both Passenger and Prometheus, making it apparent that his sexist and traditional views are what shaped the outcome of the two movies.
The Hunger Games: the Booa and the Movie
The Hunger Games started out as a book published in 2008 by Suzanne Collins; soon after came Catching Fire and Mockingjay. In 2012, it became a four-part film series. The setting to the story is in a future post-apocalyptic time in a country called Panem. The country is divided into 12 districts, 1 being the most wealthy and 12 being the poorest. Every year the government, which is called the Capitol, chooses a boy and a girl from each district to participate in what is called The Hunger Games. The plot to the story begins when the main character Katniss volunteers as tribute when her little sister’s name is chosen.
This story presents itself to me as the perfect heroine’s journey which is one of the many ways this book has mythological allusions. Katniss is a teenage girl living with her depressed mother and child sister basically being the man of the house after her father died in a tragic coal mining incident. She has excellent hunting and survival skills and this is very well known to her entire District. After her father’s death she is left to provide food for her family, which is very difficult considering that they live in the poorest district of Panem.
Once all tributes are chosen for the Hunger Games, they are placed into an arena created by the Capitol and have to overcome a series of obstacles and threats. The game continues until there is only one survivor; that survivor is then flourished with a lifetime of food and a home to live in. This part of the text actually reminded me a lot of Roman mythology, when men would have to fight each other to the death, along with vicious animals such as lions to finish off any survivors, in the Coliseum for the Kings to watch for entertainment. In The Hunger Games, while tributes were in the arena, the Capitol would send in mutated wolves, aggressive monkeys, and other ferocious mutated things to make it even more difficult for survival. Panem, the name of the country where this is taking place, is actually mentioned in a Roman saying “panem et circenses” which I learned translates to “bread and entertainment”; The Capitol exchanged food for entertainment a.k.a The Hunger Games!
Another framework of Mythology about this text is sacrifice. Sacrifices play a major role in mythological literature and as does in this story. An example includes when Katniss volunteers to take her sister’s place in The Hunger Games and also later on in the story, risks her life so that Peta, the male tribute from her District, can live and bring back the wealth to their District because she felt he deserved it more than she did.
One more illusion of mythology that are related to The Hunger Games was Greek mythology. Specifically the story of Theseus and the Labyrinth. After watching The Hunger Games for the 10th time, I was wondering why the plot seems so familiar then I remembered the main point of this myth. In Athens, every nine years seven maidens and seven youths would be sent to confront a Minotaur that once killed someone’s son and made them extremely angry which is why this was sentenced in the first place. Suzanne Collin, the author of The Hunger Games, even confirmed in an interview that this myth is where she got a lot of her great ideas for the book.