Sunday, March 27, 2016

Katniss Everdeen is a god damn rebel

Character Analysis: Katniss Everdeen
Katniss is a god damn rebel. Whether you call her an angsty teen with an attitude or someone who just wants to survive she has ignited a fire in the people of Panem. The districts are under the rule of the capitol, a dictatorship under the vicious rule of president snow. Katniss and Peeta are the first victors in the same Hunger game match, a tournament where two competitors from each district are pitted against each other in a last man standing arena of death. But what she did, forcing the game makers to keep both her and Peeta alive showed weakness in the Capitols “unbreakable” reign.
This rebellion fire, and the overwhelming feeling to be a truly good person and to do what’s right overshadows the fear that strike the hearts of other district citizens. They needed a leader to stand up against the Capitol and President Snow, and the people of Panem found their perfect candidate. She speaks powerfully, and is a courageous young woman who finds herself doing these heroic actions everyday, almost as if she can’t help it. When on the victory tours, at district eleven, Katniss and Peeta caused a riot. By Peeta giving the districts families a month of their earnings every year, he had committed to something that hasn’t been done before, that was probably not even possible. Before they headed off, Katniss spoke her mind, thanking the families and their selected children for the sacrifices they had made. She said without them, she would have been killed and that they will not be forgotten(Collins 60). This may be something that would seem normal in a situation like this, but for the people of Panem these were words that no one would have expected to come out of a victor's mouth. Her true and kind words give these people hope of a better tomorrow, and terrify the capitol which only makes them more merciless.
It seems like her rebellion status is something she naturally can’t help and that the people of Panem have created. After Romulus Thread, the new head Peacekeeper enters District 12, and decides to punish Gale for his poaching by lashing him in the middle of the town square, she can’t help but run into the middle of the beating to protest. Being hit in the face herself it causes Haymitch as well as Peeta to intervene and question the head peacekeepers authority causing a question of authority that is something of a myth in Panem(108). These actions that she wish she could’ve run away from seem to fade away however after The Capital announces that for the 3rd Quarter Quell, two victors, one man and one woman, from each district will be chosen to participate in the 75th Hunger Games. Leaving Katniss to be the only woman to be chosen for District 12 (173).
At this point it starts to settle in more and more, she starts to realize she's in deep at this point, and there's no escaping Presidents Snow’s punishment. During their final day of practice before the Games begin, each contestant is supposed to showcase their skills to the game makers. Naturally following her rebellious tendencies, and her hatred for the Capitol, She macgyver's together a dummy being hung from a noose that reads Seneca Crane, the previous game master that had ultimately been executed due to letting both Peeta and Katniss live(237). The Capitol has ended up creating its biggest threat, and in turn has attempted to destroy it but is outsmarted through every move only making her more of a revolutionary leader than a suppressed rioter.
During the final minutes of the 3rd Quarter Quell as the last victor's fight for survival, Katniss shoots 

an arrow into the force-field that surround the arena breaking cracking the roof of the dome that 

begins to break apart above their heads, what she believes to be her last rebellious actions towards 

the capitol as one of the Capitol's hovercraft's begins to scoop her up to what she thinks will be her 

death(380). Even in what she believes to be her final moments she decides to sacrifice herself, what 

she intended for this game was to keep Peeta alive, and even in her final moments attempts to save 

him while also blowing up the Capitols actions in their face. When someone's true emotions are to 

show, moments before death, Katniss Everdeen shows to be a selfless human being, only caring for 

the good of the ones who are closest to her.

Luke D. Prompt 6

Works Cited

Collins, Suzanne, and Elizabeth B. Parisi. Catching Fire. Vol. 2. NY: Scholastic, 2009. Print. The Hunger Games.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Risking Sacrifices

While reading the novel Catching Fire it was apparent that risk taking was a major reoccurring theme.  There were risk all throughout the novel. Whether it be Katniss risking getting caught with Gale or getting caught hunting by a peace keeper. The biggest risk she might have taken was volunteering as tribute to take her sister’s place in the games in the first Hunger Games novel. Without her taking this action the risk that she took in Catching Fire wouldn’t have been made. Throughout the entire novel she has taken risk after risk to protect the ones she loves. I see a lot of Katniss in myself, just way she cares for her family and friends reminds me of the love I have for my family and friends.
Just like Katniss I would do anything for my loved ones as well as sacrifice anything no matter what the circumstances are. Katniss actions reminds me of a situation I was put in where I had given up the opportunity to buy a new car that I had been saving up for and planned to buy once had gotten my license. After all the months of saving and the countless hours of overtime it was all finally going to pay off and I was finally going to have a car of my own. Once I staring looking for cars and narrowing down which cars I really wanted tragedy struck. One night my mom called me screaming, she said she had deep pains in her abdominal. We rushed down to the emergency room and I was asked for all her information. I later was informed that my mother’s gallbladder had ruptured. While filling out the paper work I suddenly realized that my mother did not have health insurance and I had no idea how we were going to pay for her to have the surgery she needed to get better. Once the surgery was over and my mother checked out of the hospital we got handed the bill. My mother was shocked at what the total amount came out to.  My mother came to me and admitted she didn’t know how she was going to pay the bill. Being the great son that I am I started to look for ways to get the money we needed but that’s when I realized that I had the money we needed all along. I went to my mother and I told her about all the money I’ve saved up over the past few months. I offered to give her the money I had saved up to buy my car to help her avoid being in debt. I realized that sacrificing your personal desires for someone in need gives you a better feeling of jubilation than spoiling yourself. That’s where Katniss and I are alike, we both do things to make sure our loved ones are alright.

This can be seen with Katniss as well with several scenes in the novel. It the early stages of the story Katniss is out hunting in the woods to capture food for Gale and his family. “I’ve been in the woods hunting for three hours, but as I have made no real attempt at hunting, I have nothing to show for it. It doesn’t matter to my mother and little sister Prim anymore. They can afford to buy butchers meat in town, although none of us like it any better than fresh game. But my best friend Gale Hawthorne and his family will be depending on today’s haul and I can’t let them down” (4). Although Katniss won the games and doesn’t have to worry about money she still helps out Gale and his family because she cares for them and knows they need her help. That’s just the type of person of person Katniss is which I can relate to so much. Katniss will do anything for her loved ones no matter what the circumstances or consequences are. For example in  the beginning of chapter 8 (106) while Gale is being whipped by the new peacekeeper Katniss goes in to stop the whipping and takes the hit for him just to protect his body from being hurt anymore. This really shows off Katniss characters loyalty to her close friends.  These actions are what make Katniss my favorite character, the loyalty she has for her close ones as well as the will to do anything for them also adds on to the list of reasons why I can relate to her. 

Ricardo A

James: The Alternate Ending of The Hunger Games

James breathing became more rapid as the tube rose up into the arena. Crisp wind chilled her as he caught his first sight of this year's Quarter Quell. A snowy forest sprawled out in front of him, beautiful yet sad. There was the Cornucopia, weapons and backpacks spilling out the front of it. He found it cruel that they would the Cornucopia filled with weapons, when in history it was filled with food. It was a painful irony.

Few birds perched, unmoving upon the bare branches. 23 other tributes stood on their marks, gazing at the arena. It was a scary wonder. "20. 19." Tributes eyes left the arena and stared intently on weapons, or backpacks in a hungry way. Everyone wanted to live. But James eyes stayed on the bare forest ahead. "6. 7." His body tensed in anticipation. Everything was planned, there was no reason to worry. James took a deep breath, swallowing his fear. "3. 2. 1."

The shrill sound of the buzzer came on, buzzing in his ears. The arena seemed soundless, only the buzzing was there. His body was in the air for a second as he leapt from his pedestal. Tributes ran, grabbing weapons and bags. Some staying and fighting, other's trying to flee. James feet flew effortlessly over tree stumps and other obstacles and he made his way through the forest. He didn't notice a single tribute other than himself make it out.

Grabbing onto an icy branch of a tree, he hoisted himself up and climbed high. His eyes caught sight of Tributes killing each other without mercy, grins spread across their faces. Their eyes were lit up and blood thirsty. So many bodies littered the ground. The snow wasn't white for even a minute.
James forced his gaze to the sky as the first parachute of the games glided down gracefully. The silver parachute latched onto a tree limb, just above his head. James steadied himself and reached up, prying it free. He opened the container, and retrieved his weapon: a revolver complete with ammo. He just looked at it for a moment. The dark color of the gun, such a contrast against the snow covered tree. He grabbed the ammo, and closed the container.

Most of the time, such weapons weren't added. But the game‐makers never said sponsors couldn't give him this. The tribute jumped from his tree, ignoring the pain that shot through his feet and up his legs at the sudden impact. He walked back to the blood bath, eyes frozen in front of him. Stopping at the edge of the clearing, she counted the tributes. 12 dead, the other 11 fighting.

Slowly, he loaded her gun and raised it, aiming at his first victim. With an intake of breath, he closed his fingers around the trigger. A bullet sped through the air, only stopping when it impaled a tribute as he lobbed a knife at a young tribute. Blood erupted from the side of his head as he fell to the ground. His first kill. He glanced around, aiming at other candidates and shooting as he sliced the head off of a boy from district 3. His body landed next to his head in a gruesome manner.

 James kept shooting, a silent assassin. Soon, it was him and the 12 year old boy from his own district. His eyes were glimmering with tears, and he was clutching the stump of an arm. Someone had disabled him... Blood dripped through his fingers, like raindrops. How sick the Hunger Games was.
 James walked forward, eyes set on his last victim. He had nowhere to go, so he cowered in fear. Silent tears rolled down his flushed cheeks, his eyes stuck on her weapon, not her. James smiled in a sad way, watching as the last tribute made his final stand. "The Hunger Games is no place for two tributes." he whispered. He aimed at his head, planning to make his death quick and painless. "Sorry." He said aloud, just enough for him to hear. His blue eyes caught her gaze, asking the unasked question: Why are you doing this? Then, before he had a chance to respond, he killed him. His small body hit the ground like a sack of potatoes. James heart thumped against his chest painfully. This was the shortest Hunger Games in history.

James smiled as snow melted against his bare skin on his arms. "James Gomez has won the Quarter Quell." Said the announcer in an amazed voice. James slid his last bullet into place, lifting the gun to his head. "There's no Hunger Games without a victor." He mumbled. His heart raced, he didn't want to die. "Please, win. Won't you?" His brother had asked the last time he saw him. "I promise to try." he had replied. But he broke that. He didn't even try to live. His hand tightened around the gun, finally gaining courage. He'd never have to go into the Hunger Games. Not after this.

A single tear fell down his face, falling into the snow as James fingers closed over the trigger, sending the bullet into his skull. His limp body fell to the ground, dead eyes staring into the sky. The arena dimmed the lights, and everyone watching was surprised. Was this the beginning of a rebellion? A light snowfall covered her, the snow beneath her stained red. There was no room for a tribute in the Hunger Games.

"I call this piece James: the alternate ending of the hunger games. In this story you see we have weapon, such as guns. I mean who uses bow and arrows and more those are underrated. I wanted what inspired this piece was the fact that Katniss in Catching fire drop the dome and escaped to really start her rebellion. James on the other hand is doing somewhat of the same thing but gives his life up for a revolution instead. I wanted to create this story because I wanted another ending, another option. "

The world goes round

Katniss tries to speak for everyone in this novel. Tries to stand up and be the one to look up to, relate to, and is almost in a way what we should all aspire to. The hardworking, and the humble, always grinding and always keeps their heads down because one they look up is when they will finally be successful. Hard work pays off huh? So they say. So the few people whose stories make headlines reading, hard working citizen makes it big. We all hear these stories and how one day if we keep at it and try our very best we too will be successful, with a great job, lots of money, great family, and safe security in the wonderful home in which they live. Well isn't this the american dream if i have ever heard one. 
                Doesn't Katniss speak to this? I mean yeah she might not have wanted it to happen this way, but it sure did. From a poor girl in district 12 working her ass off to try and help feed her family. To living in the capitol with tons of money, enough to feed all of district 12 and then some. Hard work pays off? I mean Katniss is the head of a rebellion, is that what the pay out is suppose to be? People work their whole lives trying to achieve the American dream and some how no matter what they can never reach it. Why can't everyone be able to achieve the American dream? OPPORTUNITY. Theres a famous line that always goes around and it goes like this, Its not about what you know, but who you know. I believe this one hundred percent. Katniss might not have known what she was getting herself into but she sure knew what the capitol was capable of, and certainly knew that if she had won the games that her family and all of district 12 would be very well off. We can relate this so much to our world and how we live today. Because we do things to benefit ourselves in the long run don't we? We do everything in our power to make sure we and our families are okay before anyone else. 
                Back to the notion of rags to riches, if this was truly how we all are suppose to live, that if we do good then good will come, then aren't we really just spending our lives waiting around. Unlike Katniss not every has power or opportunity. Katniss stands up for what she believes in and does something about it. Uses her power to rebel for what is right. But we don't. We are stuck by the loss of opportunity. The poor keep getting poorer and the rich keep getting richer, isn't that how the world goes round? I mean no matter how hard someone from the working class tries to better themselves and get out of the working class, they can't because they just do not have the resources that they need in order to be successful. They are no bodies because they know nobody. Katniss didnt have that problem. She had an escape, a way out. The games were her save heaven in disguise because she got the best out of it. She was brought on with an opportunity and she grabbed the proverbial brass ring.  But in American no matter what race you are, we all start from the bottom and have to work our way up from there. The only thing is, is time. People who have certain connections will rise to the top in no time, even if a more highly qualified individual who has been working their ass off for their entire life should be the one who ends up with the job, with the raise and with a better outcome. 
We are all taught from a very young age that you have to work work work, and then if you keep working you will be able to live a fulfilled life Somehow i buy it and somehow i think its a load of bull crap. Society today is a system in itself, and people all around the world everyday gets screwed by said system.


What Would Katniss Do?

Personally, I’ve never pictured myself to be capable of leading a strong movement, let alone a rebellion, and neither did Katniss.

Katniss is remarkably strong in the sense that she never just gave up. Since she was first reaped for the games she has had several chances to end her life and never have to worry about the capitol again, but avoided every one.

Katniss becoming the leader of the rebellion, “the mockingjay” is something that gives
Catching Fire its sparkle (Collins 386). Everyone is used to the hero character a story being male, but Suzanne Collins changed that image in this novel. It showed women as the leading roles in the community and in important positions throughout the government. The role of women in Catching Fire is much stronger than a reader may originally think: Katniss is the face of the revolution, Mrs. Everdeen is the districts doctor, Joanna is the fierce and confident victor, Mags as a courageous and intelligent victor who sacrificed herself. There are many other minor characters who serve important roles as women throughout the series as well.
Katniss plays an important role, not only as the leader of the rebellion, but also as a mother figure to her loved ones. Her immediate family relied on her for years to provide food for them by hunting, just like Gale’s family relied on him. Her motherly instincts did not go away in the games though and she continued to care for her mother and sister when she returned, as well as Haymitch and Peeta both in the games and in District 12. 
In the Arena for the 75th Quarter Quell, Peeta mistakingly walked into a forcefield which knocked him out. Katniss cried “Peeta!” twice and shook him trying to bring him back from his unconscious state (280). When she noticed Finnick try to put his hands on Peeta, she reacted immediately with a mindset to kill Finnick before he could hurt Peeta. She “pulled and arrow, whipped the notch into place, and [was] about to let it fly” but stopped in her tracks because Finnick unexpectedly began CPR on Peeta (280). This reaction showed the courage and strength Katniss holds, and the speed she can react to stimuli. She does not need to think or reevaluate her thought in order for her to make a decision. This shows how Collins reversed gender roles by making Katniss, able to survive and Peeta, the man, hurt and unable to care for himself. Katniss time after time figures out how to survive and uses these skills and tactics to keep Peeta alive as well. 
Katniss also plays a mother figure for Haymitch. Although she has not sworn her life away to keeping him alive like she did for Peeta, she still takes care of him. The morning before the victory tour Katniss went to Haymitch’s house  to wake him. She found him sitting “at the kitchen table, his arms sprawled across the wood, his face in a puddle of liquor, snoring his head off” (13). Katniss is clearly able to prepare herself while Haymitch who is supposed to be her mentor cannot care for himself. Once she wakes him by splashing ice water at him she says “if you wanted to be babied, you should have asked Peeta” (14). This again shows how people view Katniss and prefer and trust her over others to get a job done. 

Since Katniss is such a noticeably strong character, the Capitol tries everything it can to push Katniss down and wear her out but they fail every time. The Capitol even went as far as destroying her home and entire district. Everyone she knew, everything she loved. The Capitol thought this would destroy her too and stop the upcoming rebellions, instead they ignited a new and deadly fire against themselves. Everyone outside the Capitol is now on her side and is going to do everything they can to protect her and keep her alive so she can be the face of the rebellion—the mockingjay. Even Pultarch, the head game maker is now on Katniss’ side and reminds her how important she is by saying “We had to save you because you're the mockigjay, Katniss. While you live, the revolution lives” (386). She was the one who survived despite the Capitols plans and is the living symbol of rebellion. 

Kirsten K. Prompt 6
Collins, Suzanne. Catching Fire. New York, NY: Scholastic Press, 2009. Print.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Katniss v.s Peeta: Breaking Gender Roles

If you don’t know the trilogy The Hunger Games, stop what you're doing, and go to your nearest Barnes and Nobles and pick up the books. I believe the books are always better than the movies, but The Hunger Games, and Catching Fire, are pretty spectacular, so go watch them too. If you're too lazy to do either, here's a brief summary. Basically, North America has fallen to ruins during a revolution, and an awful President has come to power. In order to show who is boss, and scare the citizens, President Snow created the the Hunger Games, where a male and female from each of the 12 districts fight to the death. The last person alive becomes the Victor and gets to go home to their loved ones, and live in an awful world for longer. Doesn’t that sound great? To be honest, I could never imagine how I would handle living during this time, it scares the shit out of me. The main characters are Katniss Everdeen, a strong, young woman who cares for her mother, and younger sister, and Peeta Mellark, a baker’s boy. Both were picked to fight in the arena for their lives, but when they ended up the last two alive, they decided if they both couldn’t win, they would die together. President Snow did not like this, and decided to make both Katniss and Peeta the Victors of the game. Catching Fire picks up right at the end of games, when their lives are just beginning to go back to normal. I believe both survived the games because of their talents and experiences.Author Suzanne Collins, has done something that has hardly ever been done. It’s clear to see, Katniss Everdeen is not your stereotypical girl. She doesn’t go shopping, or paints her nails. Peeta Mellark isn’t your stereotypical male either. He spends his time baking, and painting. Many say that it is almost as if these characters were assigned the opposite gender role. I don’t think it has as much to do with gender, but just what their preferences are, and what they enjoy doing. Gender roles nowadays are not so black and white anymore. Men and women are free to do what they want.Women don’t have to be the ones to stay home and care for the house and children, go shopping, and be sissy. Males don’t have to be the breadwinners anymore either. They can be in touch with their feelings, and truly express who they are. I enjoy how this novel really pushes this belief and breaks gender stereotypes. Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark are perfect examples.
Katniss Everdeen
Katniss isn’t necessarily your “girly girl”. She is a strong, smart, young woman, who in hard times, has had to provide for her family. Her father passed away in a mining accident, so she has filled the role as the provider. She feels most comfortable when she is tucked away in the woods, hunting for food. She is a natural born warrior, and knows how to use a bow and arrow extremely well. This has helped her a lot in the games. Katniss does what she needs to do in order to keep her family well, but she always has good intentions. While fighting in the games she never wanted to kill anyone, but she did what she needed to do in order to protect herself. Katniss has a good heart. In Catching Fire, you see Katniss as a leader to a whole revolution, trying to take down President Snow. Isn’t it usually a man doing such a thing? It’s so cool to see such an empowering character like Katniss. Both Katniss and Peeta understand that they are different, and understand the roles they pursue. “Peeta keeps all of us in fresh baked goods. I hunt. He bakes” (1,55). Like the stereotype goes, “girls are very emotional”, but not her. She is not very intuned with her emotions, and is kinda all over the place. She doesn’t obsess over boys, even though two are head over heels in love with her. Like a mature adult, she pays mind to things that are more important in life, like keeping herself and family alive. Someone else she has had to keep alive is Peeta. In the arena, Peeta either falls and hurts his leg, or walks too far and hits the barrier and is electrocuted. It is Katniss that has to protect poor Peeta from getting killed when he is down and hurt. It’s like Peeta is the Damsel in Distress and Katniss is the Prince coming to save him from the dragon. It’s so uncommon to see these roles switched, but it sheds light to how important woman truly are, and how our strength should not be taken for granted.
Peeta Mellark
I believe Peeta is a unique character. From the beginning he has handled every challenge so well, except the whole “try not to get killed” concept. He still needs to work on that. When he was picked for the games he was calm and collected. During the games, he was quiet and used his skills in baking to disguise himself to the end. Even when he's in love with Katniss, but she has feelings for Gale, he has always be cool and understanding. This may be a hard quality to find in a guy. Peeta is unique in that he exhibits traits typically attributed to female characters. Males in movies are supposed to be violent, possessive, and emotionally distant. Not Peeta. He’s a boy who enjoys baking, and painting. He’s sensitive, and attuned with his feelings, and knows what he wants.Usually it's the girl trying to talk about feelings to their man, but in Peeta and Katniss’s case, it’s switched around. Through the novel he is cared for and always rescued by Katniss. While making an appearance on Saturday Night Live, actor Josh Hutcherson, who plays Peeta, gave the following introduction: “I play Peeta, the brave young hero who immediately gets hurt and has to be carried around for the rest of the movie. It seems like he can not do anything right once the games begin in Catching Fire,you always see him get hurt, fall down, or need help from Katniss. When Effie Trinket announces that both Peeta and Katniss must return to the games you can hear in her voice that she truly does not believe he has a chance of surviving. You can tell she feels bad for Katniss but is more hopeful of her survival. Katniss watches over Peeta. Katniss stated,"If it is Peeta and me in the Games, this time we try to keep him alive." Katniss realizes that she may have a better chance of coming out of the games alive, but Peeta has been so good to her, and is such a good person, that he deserves to live, other than her. "Like you said, it's going to be bad no matter how you slice it. And whatever Peeta wants, it's his turn to be saved. We both owe him that." My voice takes on a pleading tone. "Besides, the Capitol hates me so much, I'm as good as dead now. He still might have a chance." (13.27-29). Katniss is talking to Haymitch after she finds out her and Peeta must return to the games. She truly cares and loves for Peeta. This is someone you really never see in books or movies, the girl saving the boy.
I believe Suzanne Collins wrote this characters this way to break stereotypical gender roles.

Genders do not need to conform to anything. Women can be strong, fight, and provide for their families. While males can be sensitive, and gentle. We live in a world where gender roles are fading away, and becoming comfortable in your own skin in seeping in.

Work Cited
Collins, Suzanne, and Elizabeth B. Parisi. Catching Fire. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Fahrenheit 451 & Catching Fire

Societies in which people have no voice where the government rules everything and anything. Where life and the conditions of living is a form of deprivation. You might just think of this place in our world as North Korea or Cuba. Now if you’re an average reader you would compare these societies to those in the Hunger Games or the society in Fahrenheit 451. These societies are types of dystopian societies.  In Catching Fire the natural world is literally fenced off. The ruling power does not want citizens beyond the limits of their own district. On top of that, the fence is powered by electricity around the clock. The high authority might be doing this because they don't want anyone to feel truly free.

In the book Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury the protagonist Guy Montag is a firefighter in what is perceived at the time “the future.” the reason why I say “the future” is because this book came out in the 1950s.  This book is supposed to predict what is known as today’s day and age. In this future although these firefighters aren’t the ones that you think they are. Instead of stopping fires they’re starting them. You might think they are just burning down houses and stuff, but what they really are burning is books. Yes you read it right. BOOKS. It’s not like you read them anyways, am I right.  The government has these men burn books so people can’t have a higher knowledge.

Guy and Katniss are both part of a rebellious to stop the people in power and make a difference.

“If I had just killed myself with those berries, none of this would’ve happened. Peeta could have come home and lived, and everyone else would have been safe, too.”

“Safe to do what?” he says in a gentler tone. “Starve? Work like slaves? Send their kids to the reaping? You haven’t hurt people - you’ve given them an opportunity. They just have to be brave enough to take it.”(Collins, 99)

“We had to save you because you’re the Mockingjay, Katniss,” says Plutarch. “While you live, the revolution lives.”(Collins, 386)

Katniss is the voice of the voiceless people. She is the revolution and the Mockingjay is the symbol for a rebel and a new life. The three finger a salute that Katniss and the residents of District 12 used the sign to pay respect for Katniss and Peeta before boarding the train for the Quell. In District 11 during the Victory Tour, the crowd used the District 12 respect sign for Katniss, which was the last goodbye that she gave to Rue in the arena. The old man that had started it during the speech in District 11 was then publicly killed. Katniss symbols are what the whole revolution is about. People in these districts use these symbols to let them know they’re on their side.

“We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man the image of every other; then all are happy. So! A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it. Take the shot from the weapon, Breach one man’s mind” (Bradbury, 58).

Books provide an outside knowledge to people. This knowledge could make one person more educated than another. This can be a problem because they do not want people to realize that they are forced to be in a, somewhat, perfect society due to this new knowledge. To prevent this, they would burn books to prevent new people from achieving this knowledge to rebel against the society. This rebellion will ruin all of the work the government did to make this society perfect.

Montag had to go burn an old ladies books in which he did, but whiling doing so he stole what is known as the last bible. When the fire chief found out by his wife who snitched on him he had to burn down his house. Then when the chief tries to arrest him he then smokes him up like a roasted turkey. He then goes to see his buddy who was an English professor and he tells him about a group that dedicated themselves to remembering books to rewrite them when society is ready for them. So Montag joins them with part of the bible in his mind

These two protagonist are people who are rebels for the good in a dystopian society. They want to make differences in their world so everyone is truly equal and have the right to an opportunity whether it be higher knowledge or to be truly free. 


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Love is Messy

Love is a reoccurring theme that pops up in this novel. As Katniss is put in a situation where she is forced to love two individuals while simultaneously having her every move watched by President Snow. As well as having to deal with each guy proclaiming their love to her, she just can’t find a way to choose between the two. The story was inspired by the love triangle between Katniss, Gale, and Peeta in Catching Fire. I also decided to create this story because it is also inspired by personal real life events. So I wanted to interpret the experiences and relate it to the novel.

Ava was just a junior in high school without a worry in the world (except her SAT scores). She had joined many clubs throughout high school but she mostly enjoyed being a part of her schools ROTC program. Ava started off high school with her two best friends Leslie and Jake. Leslie has been Ava’s best friend since the third grade and they share a really close bond they could tell each other anything. Jake came along a few years later when he transferred to their school back in middle school. Jake told Ava he had feelings for her back in the eighth grade but they decided to remain friends. She figured that he got over her and hoped that it was all just a phase. He’s the one friend Ava can come to when she needs a guy’s perspective of things. Leslie and Jake constantly disagreed on many things. But they would mostly just have doltish arguments. Despite that these three are the best of friends and have promised to stick together all throughout high school.

Things at school were great for Ava but at home she feels like a prisoner. Ava’s father is a very stern man, he tries to take control of every decision in her life. He is really strict and often doesn’t let Ava out of the house when she wants to hang out with her friends. He also doesn’t let her play sports hence the reason she’s joined so many clubs. The biggest rule that he stresses the most about is that she is not allowed to date until she is out of high school.

Every morning at homeroom Ava gets to see the boy she has been crushing on for the last couple months, his name is Edward and he’s the highest ranking ROTC student at her high school. For months Ava was felt like she was invisible to him as it seemed he acknowledged everyone in the program except her. As she grew eager to get him to notice her she finally asked her friends for advice on the situation. Leslie suggested that Ava go and introduce herself to him. As both Ava and Leslie turn to hear Jake’s opinion they noticed he was clenching his teeth together and his tone of voice had changed as he instantly opposed the idea and advised her to stay away from Edward as he stormed off.

Later on that night Ava finished up her homework and her father knocks on her door. He says she has a visitor waiting for her outside. Ava walks slowly to the door and opens it to find Jake on her door step. Jake apologizes for the scene he caused at school and he also reveals why he was so angry. He didn’t like the fact Ava was head over heels for Edward, but the reason for his outburst was because he was in love with Ava. Jake admits to always being in love with her. Ava unsure of her feelings doesn’t know what to say. So Jake leans in for a kiss and Ava felt pressured to go for it. As soon as Ava started to lean in her father opens the door behind her. Without her father saying a word Jake decides to take off. Ava was upset with her father for walking in like that. This is when her father admitted that he actually liked Jake. He told her that he changed his mind about her dating in high school but only for Jake. The rule still implied to every other guy. Ava didn’t know what to do, she was confused about what she wanted. She didn’t know if she even actually liked Jake. But now with her father’s approval she felt forced to be with Jake.

The next day at school Ava told Leslie everything that happened at her house last night. Leslie was shocked to hear the news but couldn’t give her input as she had to rush to class. Ava rushing as well couldn’t get her locker open as she hears a voice behind her say “need help Ava”, she turned to find that it was Edward. She was surprised that he knew who she was. He then helped her and walked her to class. They exchanged numbers during their interaction. Throughout the day Ava finds out a lot about Edward. For starters that he always knew who she was because he would see her during homeroom. After school Edward ended up walking Ava home. When they arrive to her house they sit on the steps. Edward tells Ava that he has always kind of had a little crush on her. Ava wasn’t hesitant to tell him that she felt the same way for so many months. Just as Edward was going to leave Jake shows up and finds them together. With both guys there together Ava knew she had to make a decision. She’s always like Edward and they finally got him to notice her, but the timing couldn’t be any worse. Jake has been her best friend for years and when he admitted his love it caught Ava by surprise. He is also the only guy her father will actually allow her to date.

So Ava sat both guys down and tells them that she really likes both of them. She decides she doesn’t want to live in the palm of her father’s hands anymore as his puppet. She defies her father and decides to go with Edward. Edward graduated later on that year and went on to join the air force. Jake decided to be supportive of Ava’s decision even if he didn’t agree with it. A year later Ava move to the base that Edward was stationed at.

Prompt 1

Work Cited 
Collins, Suzanne, and Elizabeth B. Parisi. Catching Fire. Print.

Panem: Bread and Circuses

The country Panem was created to mock the future of America, but it’s such a close representation to our society today we may not have much longer until we are Panem. 

The Capitol of the country Panem is a very forceful, manipulative power that strings its people along on a thread. The people of Panem, especially in the Capitol itself, are blinded to all of the problems the country as a whole faces. However, not all citizens are as oblivious to the current issues as the citizens of the Capitol are. All they have to worry about and regret are petty things like wearing feathers to a party. Although people in the Capitol do not know the truth behind the news reports they are broadcasted, they unknowingly support the ongoing fight against the government. Since they already have everything they desire, and more, they are constantly updating their wardrobes and accessories. When Katniss was in the Capitol for the victory tour she noticed how big of a hit her mockingjay pin had become, it “spawned a new fashion sensation, because several people come up to show me their accessories. My bird has been  replicated on belt buckles, embroidered into solid lapels, even tatted in intimate places. Everyone wants to wear the winners token” (78). Everyone wants to wear the winners token. Even Effie decided to put her hair up in such a way to resemble a mockingjay. 

These people were all promoting the rebellion without even knowing that they were helping the fight against the government and were constantly advertising for the “uprising” that was supposedly suppressed. Although Katniss was surprised by the mockingjay fad, she was not opposed to it, in fact, she even promoted it by showing off her newly picked wedding dress that transformed into a mockingjay when she spun. These subtle messages empowered the people in the districts and reminded them that their government is not as strong as it thinks it is.

The subliminal messaging of the mockingjay sent from the districts and spread throughout the Capitol inspired people to stand together. It was almost a clear statement from the Capitol that they were promoting the one thing that so easily defied it. They were showing off Katniss, a tribute who defied them-- as a mockingjay, a creation that defied them. Their message was mixed and gave people hope instead of clogging their minds. 

This relates to our society after the Kent State University shootings. This tragic act made by the government against the protesters was publicized and turned into a fashion statement by Urban Outfitters. Their apparel targeting the incident at Kent State caused people to naively and mindlessly advertise and promote it. It didn't take long for the items related to the incident to be discontinued since they caused controversy, and drew negative attention to the government. 

Another way the Capitol keeps the people of Panem naive is by focusing media on celebrities instead of political issues. 

President Snow makes it very clear to Katniss that she is to be portrayed as Panem's 
sweetheart, and is to win its love. Snow goes the extra mile to make sure that the people of his country are focused on Katniss and Peeta’s wedding involving their star-crossed love story. He does this as an attempt for a distraction from the countries problems, weak points and increasing uprisings. Snow is fully aware that these problems are real, and imminent but is masking them with what he wants the people to believe. When he visited Katniss at her house before the  victory tour, he reminded her that she’ll “have to do even better if the uprisings are to be averted, this tour will be your only chance to turn things around” (29). There are so much more to the superficial problems he told Katniss about, yet he made her believe that the countries fate lied in her hands.

This relates to our current society involved in the presidential election. One of the republican candidates, Donald Trump, is publicized for his vulgarity and bluntness but not for his political ideals and proposed policies (or lack thereof). The presidential election is being publicized as a reality/ comedy show instead of a serious political event. The man who could very well be out next president is known for his hateful, comical statements. With a large sum of the attention toward the campaign placed on Donald Trump, a vast majoring of people are only learning about one candidate… but even with all the media people still do not know his political ideals. This compares Americans to citizens of Panem. Both are mindlessly following a strong leader without knowing what is happening behind the scenes, and not caring to find out. People in the Capitol are portrayed as if they almost worship Snow and everything he says, even the Hunger Games which involves killing children. 

Television and social media make it extremely easy for people to stay updated on celebrity reality shows and the newest YouTube video of their internet crush. These things distract us from our own lives and news all over the world. However, celebrity gossip is spreading beyond its original boundaries and now plays a large part in our government reports  and outlines. On multiple news channels, the GOP debate was highlighted by Trump’s cocky comment used to defend himself against Marco Rubio’s reference to his small hands. This is the information people are receiving about our current presidential election…this is the information people are backing up their vote with. 

Our country needs to straighten out its ideals soon or prepare for the hunger games to “keep the peace” of our future country, “Panem”.

Kirsten K. Prompt 4. 

Collins, Suzanne, and Elizabeth B. Parisi. Catching Fire. , 2009. Print.

Entry Log: Head Peacekeeper Romulus Thread

I chose to write this blog post on Romulus Thread from Catching Fire, the new peacekeeper who had been assigned to district twelve after the Victory Tours. I choose to write it in the view of the man himself, the night before him and his team enter the District. To write about the ferocity and hate the Capitol has towards these people, and how their conditioning has made men like Romulus merciless towards the citizens of Panem. Their society is on the brink of a full-blown rebellion against the Capitol; I wanted to write about what lengths the Capitol is willing to go to. And the actions they’re willing to take to stop that from happening. With that said, here is the head peacekeepers first entry before his first day in District Twelve.   
Level 3 Alert. District Eight has ceased all textile production and has started rebelling in the streets. The men and women are barbaric, lighting buildings aflame, throwing bricks and resisting authority, we must show them what happens to rioters. They do not fear our bullets, as our men in district Eight fire rounds into the crowd they only become more ferocious. We must cut them down before the other districts follow in their footsteps. Taking the honor president snow has presented me with, my battalion and I will be heading to District Twelve tomorrow to subdue and resistance and cut it from its cancerous source.
 For too long Head Peacekeeper Cray has slacked off with these animals, I have been ordered to dispose of him as soon as we enter the premises. Why does president Snow decide to send one of his highest-ranking men to a peaceful district? The answer is simple, Katniss Everdeen. Including Peeta Mellark, she is the sole reason these people find a reason to fight back. Her leeching will to live during the 74th Hunger Games put the head game master in a pinch, ending the game with two victors ultimately showing a break in the Capitol's power. This worm, this stupid insignificant district twelve dog has started a war. A war that she even she cannot stop, therefore her and her district must pay like the others. President Snow and his advisors have told me to us to show no mercy. We are to create stricter curfews, more around the clock patrols, and rebuild and power the electric fences.
If they want to act like beasts then we will treat them like ones. All of Panem must see the power of the Capitol, and understand that we are the only security and protection that these helpless beings have. If it would start an all out onslaught, I would beat the life out of Katniss in front of her family, her “FiancĂ©”, and the rest of her supporters. Snow has made it clear that any resistance in District twelve must be punished by the full extent of the law. Through out the Victory tours, Katniss was given the gracious chance to undo the fire she had started, But with her and Peta's actions in eleven, and the lack of personality and drive for the greatness of the Capitol, they’re District as well as the rest of Panem. I will continue to update my log as events progress; we head out early tomorrow morning and I must brief my squad tonight. Head Peacekeeper Romulus Thread signing out.  

Luke D. Prompt 1

Sticking it to the man

Katniss is definitely supposed to be read as a hero, and a sympathetic character. Which is very strange because we are made out to want to feel bad for her because of her background, and her being poor, even though she is a very strong person. She's almost an anti-hero in a sense right? Because she is portrayed as a hero and a role model and all, even though she is going against authority. She is going against the capitol. Almost a super hero vs. a villain type scenario huh? I can certainly relate to katniss. How she stands for herself, her family, and for the entirety of district 12. Like sticking up for your team in a sense. I certainly think that Suzanne Collins wants us to read and be able to relate to Katniss, as someone to look up to almost. Why? Because Katniss is like the average joe isn't she? Like all of us, but there is one distinct difference, which is she has the will to act. She acts out against the capitol and sticks it to them. Something we all wish we could do huh? Its like relating it to our system of the United States, or any other Authority figure for that matter. Katniss's drive and determination is made to reel you in. She fights for what she believes in no matter what the consequences are. She also sticks to her roots and never forgets where she came from and who she truly is deep down in side. For example she has money now and she still doesn't forget Gale, and she still finds a way to help him. "And her I am with buckets of money, for more than enough to feed both our families now... even so I never drop off the game while he's at home" (Collins 5). She still brings food for him and his family even if he doesn't know it. She remains humble at heart like she did when she was poor back living at home in district 12. If anything, Katniss just has a case of Stick-it-to-the-man-neiosis.

Katniss is also made to be a hero because of winning the hunger games. Because now because of her and Peeta, not only their family won't go hungry, but the entire district 12 will be very well off now, well at least for a year. She is also district 12's hero as well. Even though she doesn't feel that way. Almost lost because of what the games has done to her life, flipped it upside down, Katniss wanted it to be to normal when she got back from the games. Humble. Its almost like she didn't know who she was anymore, and certainly didn't want to be looked at as a hero after killing in the games, but what choice did she have? Katniss is even resistant to believe that she is the face of rebellion against the capitol at one point because she doesn't want to believe it. But wouldn't you do the same? From having a life and living in a relatively normal life to being selected, and after competing in the games, having your whole life completely changed forever. Its a responsibility not many people could take on, but Suzanne Collins puts that pressure on Katniss perfectly, perfectly enough to make you feel connected in a way while reading the novel. I do find it very interesting that she makes us feel connected in a way in which we are competing. Well not competing but rooting. Like almost as if we are there in a district and cheering them on. Crazy. Thats how I feel sometimes during this novel because Katniss is portrayed as a symbol. Kinda like us right? Just to make the world go around. Anyway, its hard to not look at Katniss as a hero, even though should we? I mean ever since we've been born right, we have been told to respect people with authority, and now here we are supposed to find a connection and look up to a character such as Katniss. Amazing isn't it? How even though deep down inside we know what we should and shouldn't do, yet we all have the urge to go out and rebel against something sometimes. I guess I'm just saying we all want to Stick It To The Man.

-Dylan G

Thursday, February 25, 2016

We just need a little Violet in us

Violet Duran being a protagonist of the novel “Feed” by M.T Anderson stood out the most. To me she wasn't just some girl, she was different. Titus was drawn to her and from the minute he and his friends started talking to her at the moon, they noticed she wasn't like them. Violet had her feed implanted in her brain when she was seven years old due to her parent’s financial situation. She is also home schooled by her father who is a professor who teaches the dead language. Both her parents didn't have the feed and were even hesitated about getting it for Violet. Until Violet's father figured it was necessary for his daughter due to the generation she was going to grow up in and because of the job interview. He stated “Then one day, when her mother had left, and I needed work, I was in a job interview. I was an excellent candidate. Two men were interviewing me. Talking about this and that. Then they were silent, just looking at me. I grew uncomfortable. Then they began looking at each other, and doing what I might call smirking. I realize that they had chatted me, and that I had not responded. They found this funny desirable. That a man would not have a feed. So they were chatting about me in my presents. Teasing me when I could not hear. Free to assess me as they would, right in front of me. I did not get the job. It was thus that I realize that my daughter would you need the feed. She had to live in the world. (228)" He knew in order for his daughter to fully function in their society and not become an outcast, she needed the feed. Violet shows off her intelligence numerous times throughout the book, to the point where Titus’s friends and even father think she is snotty and a show-off, even calling her a bitch. Titus thought Violet lacked the basic social intelligence that tells you to adapt to the world around you. But Violet refused to give into the feed and adapting, which led her to resist the feed. This decision she makes is making her unpopular, but it also makes her a rebel, in a way, making her a role model for being above the influence. She's grown up in a whole other world due to the way she was raised by her father. She keeps up with current events and doesn't buy into every new trend when everyone else is buying it to fit in. That's why she comes up with the idea of resisting the feed by making herself invisible to it. Once everyone got hacked at the party by this old man protesting and yelling “We enter a time of calamity. Blood on the tarmac. Fingers in the juicer. Towers of air frozen in the lunar waster. Models dead in the runways, with their legs facing backward. Children with smiles that can’t be undone. Chicken shall rot in the aisles. See the pillars fall (39)” Meaning the world they were living in is so damage due to what humankind did to it and destroyed it. Towards the end of the novel, Titus talks about how everyone’s hair and skin falls off, “My mom had lost so much skin you could see her teeth even when her mouth was closed (284)” M.T Anderson made sure Violet's character stood out the most. This novel is a wake-up call. Violet represents change, resistance, and rebel. She was a much bigger person than what the feed had to offer and she ultimately didn't give in. The feed is the media and mostly everyone wanted to fit in and have the latest stuff. For example the whole thing with the lesions, where people were getting them cosmetically all over their skin! At Links party where Violet couldn't take how people were just ignoring what was happening in their world and having fun by looking over everything that was going wrong. Where her body was self-destructing because of the hacking, due to her feed being installed after her brain was more developed causing her body to malfunction. She couldn't take it anymore in a game of spin the bottle, so she started yelling “Look at us! You don’t have the feed! You are the feed! You’re being eaten! You’re raised for food! Look at what you've made yourselves! (202)” Even if we may not realize it, but even in our society today we sometimes give into things that the media shows off as the latest thing. Towards the end Titus even realizes the truth, he stated “It turned out that my upcar was not the kind of upcar my friends rode in. I don’t know why. It had enough room, but for some reason people didn't think of it that way. Sometimes that made me feel kind of tired. It was like I kept buying these things to be cool, but cool was flying just ahead of me, and I could never exactly caught up to it (279)” This just proves the overall aims of this novel, the more we try to fit in and buy or do anything the media says to do or presents as the next big thing, it will physically and mentally exhaust us and we would ultimately give into the mass media. From what I got out this novel was that the whole mankind abuses technology and how we let the media control us. Sometimes it’s just hard to resist. We all just need a little Violet in us.

Violet and I are Totally Twins

Have you ever noticed when you're out, maybe at the mall or the gym, that a majority of the population is on there phones? It’s sad to say, but it’s true. Everyone’s faced down staring into a screen instead of interacting with the world around them. I know when I go to the gym, my goal is to work out, not beat the next level of Candy Crush ( I’ve been stuck on it for months). So many are wasting their lives away in a virtual reality. There lives are being wasted by lack of communication skills, emotions, critical thinking, etc. It's crazy the capacity of what technology is capable of doing.What is Violet's worth in Feed? She is treated just like a consumer and they want you to buy and make money off you as well. Is this really how the world is now? Just like how when you shop for something, and head to Facebook and BAM there it is? And with YouTube now, there are ads you just can't skip. You're being forced to watch whatever it is that is trying to sell to you. In this day in age, our worth is valued by how much we buy and spend. So basically, with all this technology consuming our lives, we are going to become brain dead and broke. We can't even answer simple questions like what's the capital of Texas without asking Siri first....
"What are the eloi?
"It's a reference, he said, snotty. "It's from The Time Machine by H.G Wells."
I stepped closer to him. "What does it mean?"
"Read it."
"I'm sick of being told I'm stupid."
"Tell me."
"Read it."
"Tell me."
"You can look it up."
This novel was published in 2002 with the author setting the time for the far future, which in reality, all of this is happening now.Violet’s goal was to resist the feed and this way of life, and I’m right behind her. Through the span of reading this novel, I kept finding many similarities between Violet and I. I was surprised but felt like I could really relate to her character.
Here's a few examples …..

Growing up
I live in Verona, New Jersey, (AKA clique-est, snobbiest town in Northern Nj). That might be up for discussion, but from my experience that's how I feel. Every family that lives here is basically high middle class, with a white picket fence, and a family dog. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with type of lifestyle, but there has always been a major difference between myself, and the peers I've grown up with. My mom is a single mother and has raised me by herself. We live happily in cute apartment, with our cat, Oreo. Not to toot my own horn, but I think my mom did an amazing job raising me on her own. Even though while growing up, her and I went through obstacles, mostly financially, I believe we've came out better humans because of it. I came out with a respect for life, my belongings, and working hard for my success. I find myself similar to Violet in this way. She also grew up with one parent, and wasn't always financially stable. She had struggles like everyone else, but I felt like I could really relate. Some people may feel like they can't connect with her character in this way, but I feel like since we share this similarity, it's a different way to see her character. Another struggle her and I share was how to fit in a world (or town) where you grew up so differently then others. 

Fitting in
One of Violet's major obstacles was the fact that she was different from everyone else. Titus was so attracted to her because she was so unlike everyone else on the moon, and that he's known.(See gif for Titus's infatuation). Violet was different not only because the way she was raised, but her outlook on life. While Titus thought going to the moon was "boring", Violet thought it was an amazing experience, and she wanted to capture every moment of it. They both had very different outlooks on life, and that in long run, is one of the reasons they didn't work out, I think. Towards the end of Violet's life, Titus and Violet argued about their relationship, and why they were even together. Violet liked him because he lived such a normal life. To be honest, there is no such thing as "normal" its just a construct made up. She believes Titus lives a normal life, but it is actually an "ignorant" life, where he actually doesn't have a clue what is going on. Violet actually sees reality and the real world, but because she wants to be so "normal" and like everyone else, she wish she didn't. To be honest, I think that is one of the reasons I'm so close to my best friend. She is one of the girls that lives a normal life, with the big, wealthy family, and even the pet dog. As a kid I liked spending so much time with her because it made me feel like I had a full family as well. I felt normal, just like everyone else. It wasn't until I was older that I realized it doesn't matter the quantity of a family, but the quality. (Cheesy, I know.) I felt like a normal kid when I spent time with her, so I can sorta relate to Violet.  She thought that because she wasn't as financially wealthy, and didn't get her feed until later on, she was completely unlike the others. It is true that nowadays, if you don't keep up with the cultural change in fashion, and majorly in technology, you will be treated differently. 

My mom hates almost all forms of technology. She hates laptops, cellphones, tablets, Ipods, Ipads, you name it, the list goes on. Of course because of her hard pressing hatred of all this technology, it eventually past down to be believing I don't need it as well. When everyone started to get cell phones in middle school, I didn't, which wasn't that uncommon, but still made me different then the rest. I didn't get my first phone until freshman year of high school and if I may say, I felt like the coolest kid ever. I was finally like everyone else, texting away stupid :) and :P. That goes to say, I didn't get an Iphone until like November of last year. LOL I'm kinda grateful that my mother did not make my life so surrounded with technology. Violet grew up without the feed, unlike the rest of her peers, and I believe that she is the one that came out with more positive attributes such as being able to communicate with others proficiently, and think for herself, without using her feed. Just like my mother, her father was a huge factor in her education. He taught her everything she knows, without using the feed. He says in the novel that he decided to get Violet the feed because he didn't want her to have any disadvantages in the world. He once was in a job interview with other men who all had a feed of their own, unlike him. Even though he was probably a better candidate for his job, he was looked down upon and treated disrespectfully, because his tech savvy wasn't up to their par. He didn't want that to ever happen to Violet so he let her have the feed. My mother says the only reason she ever let me get a phone was so that if I was out I was able to call her and let her know where I was. Deep down I believe she shares the same reasoning as Violet's dad also. 

With all these similarities between Violet and I, there are definitely some differences such as....

1. I would never get so obsessed with a boy and expect him to be in love with in a short couple months, and then tell him I was dying and expect him not to freak out..... That whole bucket list grow old together thing kinda freaked me out tbh 
2. Honestly, she was really extreme and kind of a weirdo 
3.You'll never catch me in a wool dress 

Andie B. 

Anderson, M. T. Feed. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick, 2002. Print.

Remember Who You Really Are

Titus’ character is difficult to follow throughout the novel, FEED by M.T. Anderson. His character originally seems to be very “go-with-the-flow” and is easily depicted as society’s ‘normal’ teenager. Throughout the book, it seems as though he is trying to mold his personality to be more similar to people he is around in that moment. In the beginning of the book, Titus didn’t think on his own— he was completely reliant on the feed. 

When he was with his friends and they would make fun of Violet, most of the time he wouldn't do anything about it besides suggest that they stop. He was so scared that he would be outcasted if he wasn't exactly like everyone else.
When he was with Violet, alone, he enjoyed ‘refusing’ the feed, and truly enjoyed living life. Unlike when he was with his friends and ‘living’ was more of a simulation than reality. His outlook on his experiences changed drastically. 
Titus’ attitude changed from “We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck” (Anderson 3) to “We were standing on the porch and it was much cooler out there…The night was perfect. We shut out music from the feed…I liked the way the synthetic breeze was on her hair” (88-91).
He no longer felt that he needed the feed to live or learn and understand events. By the end of the book, for example, he researched news on his own. This trait rubbed off of Violet and onto Titus, which built his character as an individual.
When Titus was around Violet’s father, he tried to speak properly and was careful about what he said. Not only did he try to sound the part, he also dressed formal the last time he visited Violet. Before visiting, Titus even researched current events to share with Violet to keep her up-to-date since she was unable to do so herself. I believe he did this to try to regain Violet and her father’s approval as well as an attempt for himself to no longer feel intellectually inferior to them. Especially after Violet’s father called him out for his actions toward Violet, pointing out “what happens to [products] once we discard them, once we throw them away” (290). This was his way of proving that he wasn’t ‘stupid’. 

It frustrated me how much and how easily Titus molded his personality… it was hard to get a grip on who he was and what he stood for. His character isn’t as black and white as any college student would hope… At certain points he is a very sympathetic, loving and sociable character, but during other points in the book he is heartless and unfriendly. 

As I read, I began to feel a connection to Titus and thought that I figured him out. I was able to relate to him and even sympathized for him in certain situations. However, when he lashed out on Violet at the mountain I felt a complete break in my relation to him because I would never treat another person the way he did, I can’t even rationalize how someone could.

“‘I keep picturing you dead already. It feels like being felt up by a zombie, okay? Thats what it feels like” (269). -Titus
“I came into this world alone…I didn't want to go out of it alone” (270). -Violet
“We’ve only been going out for a couple of months. And I'm supposed to act like we’re married. A couple of months. It’s not some big eternal thing. We should've broken up weeks ago. I would've if you hadn't been… I didn't sign up to go out with you forever when you're dead” (271-272). -Titus

Titus threw their relationship away as if it never meant anything to him. There was a HUGE difference in each of their perspective’s on their relationship which ultimately caused it to fail. Violet was much more mature and wanted commitment while Titus was immature and was simply seeking pleasure. Their relationship began to change his outlook on life and which scared him so much he completely broke away from it. Little did he know, Violet made him realize who he truly was.

Violet was by far his biggest motivation in the book. Originally, he tried to assimilate her into his group, and way of life. But the exact opposite happened. Violet motivated Titus to try to be a better person— a real person. Together they enjoyed life in the same innocent way, even though they came from very different backgrounds. Violet encouraged him to think on his own and pay attention to his surroundings—to enjoy them.

Violet pointed out how Titus was different from other people she’s met. She tried to reassure him of this even after they broke up by saying, “I am messaging you to say that I love you, and that you're completely wrong about me thinking you're stupid. I always thought you could teach me things. I was always waiting. You're not like the others. You say things that no one expects you to. You think you're stupid. You want to be stupid. But you're someone people could learn from” (276). She still cared about him and wanted him to see in himself what she saw in him.

I believe Titus represents the typical American. Just wanting to fit in, go with the flow and figure things out in the moment with no worry about his future. His biggest concern was ‘being cool’ which he eventually realized and admits, “It was like I kept buying these things to be cool, but cool was always flying just ahead of me, and I could never exactly catch up to it” (279). Titus stands for the change that some people are so desperately trying to make, but are too hesitant, too scared to do. His character proves that despite the external forces pushing you away from being independent, if you focus on what you desire you will be rewarded in the end. Although he fell back to his original state after he broke up with Violet, he didn't lose the part of him that she brought out. Unfortunately, it took Titus too long to realize what a treasure Violet was and how much she had truly affected his life. After her death I believe that Titus will not treat life the same, ignorant way he did before. 

Kirsten K. Prompt 6.

Anderson, M. T. Feed. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick, 2002. Print.