The Hunger Games

MF_1763Did you know?

Katniss is a plant with broad leaves shaped like arrowheads…….coincidence or on purpose that Katniss’ skill is with a bow and arrow?

Cinna was a poet in one of Shakespeare’s plays who tried to start a rebellion. He conspirated against Julius Caesar and was killed.

Venia is Latin and short for Lavinia, the legendary mother of the Roman people.

Portia means pig in Latin and also a character in one of Shakespeare’s plays.

Now you know!

In an interview, Suzanne Collins was asked the following question: If you were forced to participate in The Hunger Games what do you think your special skill would be? Her answer?

“Hiding, I’d be scaling those trees like Katniss and Rue. Since I was trained in sword-fighting, I guess my best hope would be to get hold of a rapier (thin, light, sharp-pointed sword used for thrusting) if there was one available. But the truth is I’d probably get a four in training.”

So, if you were forced to participate in The Hunger Games what would be your special skill and why? What score would you hope to earn in training?

There is a lot of food symbolism in The Hunger Games, which we will talk about in class. On reaping day, Katniss and Gale eat the following foods: Goat cheese with basil leaf, blackberries, and bread from the bakery. Goats represent sacrifice; basil can mean both hatred and best wishes; blackberries represent bad omens, and bread is symbolic of life (sustenance) and is also a symbol of metamorphosis. (transformation from one thing into something new)

Knowing the meanings behind these food items, can you explain what you think their relation to the novel might be?

Would you eat Greasy Sae’s “winter specialty” of mice meat, pig entrails, and tree bark? Probably not, but if you were starving perhaps you would in order to survive.

What is the most interesting and different food item or thing you have ever eaten? My father used to eat “brains.” I do not know from which animal, but I remember seeing it in the refrigerator and being told it was a delicacy.  I remember eating tongue (deli meat like bologna……but was a cow’s tongue in the butcher) when I was a little girl. (I really did!)

Check out the two new videos at the top of the screen.

We Begin The Hunger Games

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Screen shot 2010-10-22 at 1.05.04 PMSome thinking questions to jump start our discussions:

Did You Know?

Panem in Latin is panem et circenses which means “bread and circuses.” This phrase was used to describe a political strategy in which the rulers provided provisions (bread) and entertainment (circuses) to keep the people content and appeased. In regards to The Hunger Games, this definition applies to those in the capital; but for the people in the outlying districts, it’s meant to keep them in line. And now you know!

When you’ve been given something in a time of need (like Peeta gave Katniss the bread in chapter 2), should you  feel the need to “pay it back?” How does that affect the gift-giver?

What do you think is the significance of the dandelion? What does Katniss mean when she says:

“To this day, I can never shake the connection between this boy, Peeta Mellark, and the bread that gave me hope, and the dandelion that reminded me that I was not doomed” (Collins 32).

Why does Katniss want to avoid crying when she says good-bye to her loved ones at the train station?