Why did you choose this class?
As an English major and an avid reader, one of my favorite things to do is absorb a fictional world in the fullest way possible. When signing up for an SIS and discovering that there was a class that focused on a book series I’d been attached to since middle school (seriously, I read the sample chapters on Collins’s website before the first book even came out), I pretty much didn’t have the choice to sign up for anything else. I love examining fiction from every possible angle, from the inner mechanisms of characters’ minds to tracing the world back to our world.
What are you hoping to accomplish in the course?
Exactly what I listed above – to be able to absorb as much as I can of the world. Especially the smaller things that readers might not normally think about, like learning about Appalachia and the physical training that the tributes must go through prior to the games. And, naturally, archery!
What is your favorite character of The Hunger Games and why?
Johanna seems like the kind of person Katniss would be had she not teamed up with Peeta at the end of the first Games to defy the Capitol – utterly ruthless but at the same time completely broken by the Games. Katniss would have kept playing the game to keep her family alive, though that wouldn’t have meant pretending to be in love with Peeta. However, Johanna doesn’t even play the game – she just doesn’t care about the consequences of her actions.
Obviously, this ended up biting her when she refused to let President Snow prostitute her as he did to Finnick, and as a result, her entire family was killed. This gives her present-day character a valid reason to continue defying the accepted social structure – because no matter what she does, there’s nothing the Capitol can do to hurt her aside from physically and mentally wounding her directly, which they are obviously hesitant to do since she is a beloved Victor.
Johanna has her flaws – she’s an axe-wielding psycho, for one – but she is also a figure to be admired. She’s tough and she preserves her individuality, no matter what she has to do to ensure that no one wrongs her. She’s similar to Katniss in that she does anything to survive, but instead of surviving for the sake of her family, she survives for herself. And with all of the martyrdom that we see in Katniss, Johanna is an extremely important character because she reminds readers that it’s also important to fight against the “Game” – no matter what our own “Game” is in life – for ourselves as well.