January 20, 2013
This week as I finished up The Hunger Games with Mockingjay I felt like I could relate to Katniss and her struggles. The themes of physical hardships, poverty, power, versions of reality, identity and social class continue to run through my life as well.
After I finished Mockingjay, I read The Hunger Games and Philosophy. Mostly it examined the morality of various characters and the society of Panem. Stoicism and other ideas were also addressed. I kept waiting for an essay on The Hunger Games and Shakespeare, but I never came across one. Collins borrowed not only from a lot of Roman Empire, but from the Shakespeare plays as well. For example, the president Coriolanus Snow: Coriolanus is the name of a Shakespeare tragedy about a Roman leader. Like his counterpart, Coriolanus Snow has to deal with unpopularity, riots and eventually assassination.
The mute Lavinia is directly taken from the play Titus Andronicus. The minor Capital Characters of Portia, Brutus, Flavius, Cinna and Octavia are all taken from the historical tragedy Julius Caesar. Cressida is from Troilus and Cressida.
Castor and Pollux are from Greek mythology; however they loosely connect to Theseus and the Minotaur in theme. Theseus was an inspiration for the overall plot of The Hunger Games. Oh, and the author of The Life of Theseus was Plutarch—another name of a character in The Hunger Games. The myth of Theseus represents punishment for past crimes. Children were regularly sacrificed to the Minotaur.
Interestingly, the Labyrinth in this myth is also present in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Harry and Katniss are both heroes like Theseus. I am reading the Goblet of Fire to Ana, which is 734 pages long. It took us a couple of weeks to get past 500 pages, but we are on the home stretch now.
Anyway, I hope to triumph like Katniss and Harry despite my setbacks.