Monday, January 31, 2011

The Hunger Games: Intro to Dystopia

Today in class we got our first exposure to The Hunger Games. We started the class with a quick book walk. We then dove into a discussion about the society in the story, taking a few quick notes on the concept of dystopia, which is based on the word Utopia: 

Utopia: an imagined place or state in which everything is perfect. 
The word utopia is made up of the Greek words:  

eu (good) + topos (place)

For the word dystopia, instead of eu, we use the Greek word dys

dys (bad) + topos (place)

So, dystopia is: an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad. 

Usually, in literature, dystopias are represented as societies with corrupt, controlling governments which make life miserable and difficult for the characters. Generally, the characteristics of a dystopian society boil down to seven common elements. Over the course of our reading, we will show how the society in The Hunger Games falls under these seven elements by gathering supporting quotes on post-itsWe covered the first of the seven elements, a Totalitarian Government, in class today.

Totalitarian: a type of government, usually led by a dictator, which requires complete agreement with and obedience to the governing power. 

We have read up to page 13, and along the way we've examined the society in the story and chosen some quotes that hint at the presence of a Totalitarian Government. Many of you have already started making some predictions, which is great--that's what good readers do! We'll have to see if they come true during our next reading. 

See you in class!
-Mr. Thomas

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