Feministe Book Club: Let The Hunger Games begin

Response to the reading group has been whelming, so it’s time to get started on The Hunger Games. (Incidentally, this thread is making me ravenous.) Mark your calendars to begin discussion on Saturday, May 5, giving two weeks to acquire the book and read the first chapters. We’ll start with Chapters 1-4 and adjust thereafter as needed.

A note on spoilers: None. Even if you mark them “SPOILER.” If you want to read ahead, that’s your call, but don’t spoil it for those who haven’t. Spoiling comments will be deleted as soon as I see them, and repeat offenders will be forced to watch that video of the kitten who’s afraid of the vacuum cleaner on ten-minute loop.

Update on spoilers: What tigtog said in comments. If you absolutely can’t resist bringing up the spoiler, post it in the comments to this thread. Then post a link to that comment in the discussion thread for the appropriate chapter, using just character names and no other descriptions. Otherwise: kitten video.

13 comments for “Feministe Book Club: Let The Hunger Games begin

  1. April 23, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Suggestion: perhaps those who wish to have a spoiler-rich discussion could piggyback off this thread? Leave a link to your blog post elsewhere any time you’re tempted to type out a spoiler, and perhaps mention *only the names* of the characters involved (no verbs or adjectives) as part of your link?

  2. Iris
    April 24, 2012 at 2:48 am

    Looking forward to this!

  3. April 24, 2012 at 8:01 am

    I’m really excited about this!

  4. LC
    April 24, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Awesome. If my friend Kitty has finished book 1 in time, I can catch up after she loans it to me.

  5. Laurent
    April 25, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    In the interest of creating some sparks has anyone looked at the “The Last psychiatrist” blog entry on the movie. He makes an interesting point about the lack of agency of the main character with quite a long explanation… you may disagree but it is quite interesting.

  6. Iris
    April 25, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    @Laurent:

    I checked out the posts by the last psychiatrist (if only that were true).

    More mansplaining with a smattering of racism and “a note from his boner”.

    Yawn.

  7. mikefromTO
    May 5, 2012 at 8:24 am

    How do I join the book club discussion on The Hunger Games?

  8. May 7, 2012 at 9:50 am

    [from Angel H., Chapter 1-4 discussion]

    I feel like that’s not true, victors can be real winners, just the ones from districts 1,2 and 4.

    Not really. Remember what we find out about Finnick in Mockingjay?

  9. May 7, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Sorry about that, Caperton. I didn’t think it counted as a spoiler since I didn’t say *what* happened to him. My bad.

  10. May 7, 2012 at 9:58 am

    No problem at all. I’m probably more hypervigilant than I need to be.

  11. May 7, 2012 at 11:15 am

    [from Beaula, Chapter 1-4 discussion]

    True, but later references in mocking jay discuss the size of the other districts and district 12 is by far the smallest. Also, since they are kept in total isolation from each other, they are easier to control. By not being allowed past e fence, they have no ideas of the life’s led in other districts

  12. May 8, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    [from Katya, Chapter 1-4 discussion]

    “He’s not proud or enhanced by his status as a victor, and in some ways, you could argue that being forced to mentor two fresh-faced youngsters who face imminent demise a pretty powerful form of torture.”

    And his reaction when Peeta punches him is telling–he immediately takes an interest in the two and begins to act like a mentor. It’s as if he’s so worn down from watching doomed kids die every year that he doesn’t even bother to get involved, but when he sees that this year’s tributes might be a little more than just lambs to the slaughter, he decides to make an effort.

    I also noticed the fact that adult women are not so sympathetic in this book (although female children are generally positively portrayed). Katniss’s mother functionally abandoned her children (although by the time the story starts, she’s helping provide for her family through her apothecary work), Peeta’s mother is mean, Effie is some kind of horrible, and even the “feminine” appearance of the residents of the Capitol (fanciful hairstyles, bright colors, lots of makeup) is mocked. Katniss notices that Cinna eschews dyed hair and wears only a little eyeliner, and I get the sense that both she and the author approve of this while looking down on the general plumage.

    Perhaps the lack of effective maternal figures is part of the critique of the society? Women are often portrayed as nurturing mothers, but in this world, women don’t nurture–they even participate in destroying children. Of course, men aren’t protecting children, either, even if some of them still manage to provide food. Adults are either helpless to protect their children, or they encourage or participate in killing them.

  13. May 8, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    I’ve just watched this video for what seems like the hundredth time:

    “Hunger Games Parody by The Hillywood Show”
    http://youtu.be/SNqX31FECik

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