Annotated Bibiliography Post #8

I’ve gotten a good start on finding sources, and have even more than shown here. Some sources that I’ll definitely use are:

Berman, Neil David. Playful Fictions and Fictional Players: Game, Sport, and Survival in Contemporary American Fiction. Port Washington: Kennikat Press Corp, 1981. Print.       This source talks about the role that fictions about sport/survival play in American society and how they represent American society.  This source is a great source because I’m going to use a few point made in chapter one to back up my argument about the Hunger Games and what it’s saying as social commentary. It makes a lot of general statements, so I’m going to use it to help outline some general definitions of the underlying themes in a survival game.

Clemente, Bill. “Panem in America: Critical economics and a call for political engagement.” Of Bread, Blood, and The Hunger Games. Ed. Mary F. Pharr and Leisa A. Clark. Jefferson: McFarland and Company, Inc, 2012.  20-29. Print.     This source helps me back up my speculation that The Hunger Games talks about distrust in government in America.  To say this is to make a bold statement, so it’s important to have another author explicitly making the same argument.  This source also offers another meaning behind “Panem” which is that it is a roman reference.

Collins,Suzanne. The Hunger Games. New York: Scholastic Press, 2008. Print. This source is essential in that I’ll need to reference scenes directly.  It is easier to site than the movie, so I intend to find the scenes I watched in the book and cite them, paying attention to differences between the two sources. This source will be my one primary source.

Ryan, Carrie. “Panem at Circenses: The Myth of the Real in Reality TV.” The Girl Who Was on Fire: Your Favorite Authors on Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games Triolgy. Ed. Leah Wilson. New York: BenBella Books Inc, 2010. 99-111. Digital file.  This source ties entertainment into my argument about The Hunger Games and America.  It will help me talk about falseness in America and the falseness that drives people to a materialistic American Dream/consumerism.  This source is a good source for my argument in that it will back me up on the argument that the Hunger Games is actually making a mimicry of shows like Survivor, and that shows like these desensitize America to violence and suffering.

Zaki, Hoda M. Phoenix Renewed: The Survival and Mutation of Utopian Thought in North American Science Fiction, 1965-1982. Mercer Island: Starmont House, Inc, 1988. Print.   This source will help develop the foundation of my argument.  The base agrument I am making is about political theory and America.  This source is especially helpful because it outlines a little  history of political theory but, more importantly, it talks about where utopias fall in modern theory.

Some sources I have rejected include:

Dockterman, Eliana. “Yes, it’s violent — but The Hunger Games: Catching Fire can lead to discussions about a number of important issues.” 21 Nov 2013. EBSCOHost. Web. 19 October 2014.   Initially, the title of this source drew me to it because of its relevance to my topic.  The article, however, merely outlines a list of themes in the movie, which I had done already more or less.  It described how this list made it a film rich in critique.

Sukenick, Ronald. Naralogues: Truth in Fiction. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2000. Print.    This book is a bit too general.  It talks about how fictions depict actual stories and use symbolism.  Although it talks about theory, it doesn’t support any specific points I will make in my argument.


Post #7: Formulating evidence for The Hunger Games as a warning against complete American Dystopia

After collecting about 7 sources, I’ve read into each of them and am starting to think about what each of their arguments are.  The Hunger Games the book will be one of my two print sources that I can use to cite specific scenes in the plot.  I also found a digital  version of an anthology that has essays talking about different themes in the story.  This source especially helped me see what arguments are out there and gave me a lot of arguments to work with to formulate a statement as to what the movie is saying about America and what it is warning against.  I’ve even found an article online talking about Apocalyptic themes in american culture and the American dream.  I plan to spend the first part of my essays drawing similarities between symbolism in the movie and symbolism of America. I.e. 13 Districts and 13 original American colonies.

Post #6 The Hunger Games: A Plethora of Subliminal Social Critiques

Now that I’ve watched the movie I’m absolutely amazed at how many social critiques the story packs into it.  My task now is to pick one/ find a common ground among all of them that I wish to write about.  One of my first ideas about what the movie says about society is that America’s obsession with entertainment and celebrities is oftentimes one side of the coin;the other side being the crazy lives celebrities must live because they are…celebrities.  For example, they must be in their own isolated worlds, oftentimes themselves and their children protected by bodyguards.  This point is similar to what the movie shows as the “players” are dying one by one all because the “game” is designed in such a way.  This also presents the point that there is a hierarchy of people to step on/ use to one’s own advantage in order to end up on top.  The game wants the players to be competitive.  In Hollywood, competition is all about sales, viewers, ratings, and sponsors.. just the the Hunger Games.  The game itself reminded me a lot of reality TV such as the show Survivor or the show about people living naked in the wild.  I also think the movie makes commentary about the world being at war.  Each district is a country, and our representatives or armed forces fight to the end and carry pride for their own country.  War in and of itself is an ugly part to human nature in that it brings out our primitive instincts to survive by any means, even if it means being heartless and selfish. For example, the players in the game gang up and plot to kill Catness (sorry for the spelling) because they know she has the ability to win against all of them.

Post #5 Changing Things Up For the Better

With little information about the graphic novel topic/feminism Dave Brown helped me to pick another topic that I could be just as enthusiastic about.  He suggested I consider movies I’ve seen or like.  We came up with writing about The Hunger Games and how the movie makes social commentary on the subject of a utopian society.  He suggested this movie after I mentioned I really enjoyed the movie Divergent, which is very similar in terms of what themes are present.  After watching The Hunger Games, I’m going to determine whether or not I will take the route of talking about both movies in parallel or just one of them.  There is apparently a ton of literature about The Hunger Games since it has been such a hit at the box office and in popular culture.  What makes Divergent so interesting is the subliminal messages that the viewer is free to interpret from it, so I think The Hunger Games will probably do the same thing.

Post #4: Beginning the Research

I found it extremely difficult to find information specifically talking about counterculture in comics, let along counterculture in Image comics.  I think among the literature people might not really write about the topic since comics themselves have grown up in America from a place of counterculture.  I varied my search techniques from using “counterculture” to searching for “feminism” and “graphic novels” and that brought me some sources.  A lot of sources I’m finding are simply reviews of Saga saying that it’s controversial and that it is successful and catchy.  The librarian who came to class today provided a lot of interesting links in the handout, so I’m hopeful that they will lead me to some more information.  In my research to come, I plan to look at graphic novels with respect to representations of the family, since in Saga the plot is centered around a new family, and I feel like a family journey as the main focus/protagonist is generally rare in comics.