Obsession Friday, Hunger Games Part 2

How sad is it that I’ve looked forward to doing this all week? It’s been a bad writing week. I had goals and high hopes, but for some reason the words just would not come, even though I managed to do this:

(I tried to scribble out readable stuff so as not to spoil Spirited for people who want to read it)

(I tried to scribble out readable stuff so as not to spoil Spirited for people who want to read it)

You’d think it’d help, wouldn’t you? It did not. I keep trying to be Castle, but I don’t ever manage it. Then again Castle doesn’t seem to spend a whole lot of time writing, so maybe this week I am Castle.

At any rate, bad week writing but today is Friday and it’s time for obsessively 847280c0-a3e0-11e2-9075-bc764e10a080[1]analyzing the Hunger Games trilogy. Yay! I’ve got my kindle here and the dvd in the player. Let the second weekly analysis of The Hunger Games begin!

So when we last left our (re: my) Hunger Games obsession our intrepid characters (re: Suzanne Collins’) were in the chariot in the Capitol. We’d met Cinna and talked about who decided to hold hands (Cinna) and how Peeta and Katniss were afraid they’d, literally, go up in flames, something the film changes.

So one thing different in the book and the movie, is that in the book, while in the carriage, Katniss somehow manages to get her game on and flirts with the crowd–she even throws them kisses. Not a huge difference, so I’m not putting a number next to it. Besides, as you may recall, I started this to help me understand why I feel Peeta is definitely the right choice for Katniss, although my inclination would usually be for a Gale-type hero.

We ended with number 8, so:

9) This is not a big deal, either, but in the book Effie talks a bit about manners and how she’s pleasantly surprised that Peeta and Katniss have half-way decent manners. It’s a little bonding in that they are both irritated and feel angry and protective of their district.

10) The avox: An avox is a person whose tongue has been cut out, punishment for some terrible crime against the Capitol. In the book, an Avox is their servant in the training center, and Katniss knows her. There’s a bit about how she and Gale saw the Avox and her boyfriend one day in the woods, running away. A hovercraft comes down and takes the girl and her boyfriend away, and Katniss feels guilty that they didn’t do something to help them (in the book Katniss is all guilt, all the time, and it only gets worse as people die–you really don’t get to see that part of her in the movies, because it comes to us in introspection).

Anyway, when she sees the Avox at dinner, Katniss blurts out that she knows her. Everybody immediately informs Katniss that she can’t know a criminal. It’s kind of a threat, and we get the impression they’re being watched. Peeta very smoothly covers for Katniss by saying that the Avox like somebody they went to school with. It’s a blatant lie–the girl Peeta mentions looks nothing like the Avox. Still, Katniss and Peeta once again work well together, exchanging a few lines about their schoolmate, and then the subject is dropped.

Later, however, when they go to their rooms, Peeta brings it up. He’s curious and they go to the roof to talk about it. Peeta leads her to an area where there are wind chimes so they are less likely to be heard, and Katniss tells him the story. It’s the first time that Katniss receives any comfort from Peeta. It’s the first time we can really see how a relationship between them would work. More importantly, though, in these scenes we learn something about Peeta that does not come across well in the movies; he’s adept at lying. It makes him a stronger character. Because he does it so easily, Katniss is not certain she can trust him, and doesn’t believe his declaration of love for her until very near the end of the book. She believes it’s all an act.

I understand why they left this part out due to time crunches, and I’ve got no idea how they could bring this trait alive in Peeta’s character in the movie. It’s worth reading the book for, though.

11)The team approach: In the book, Cinna, Portia (Peeta’s stylist) and Haymitch decide to present Peeta and Katniss as a team. Haymitch says “In public I want you by each other’s side every minute.” When they start to argue he snaps, “It’s not open for discussion. . .You will be together, you will appear amiable to each other.”

It’s an unusual decision and Katniss is very leery of it because, of course, in the end she’s going to have to kill Peeta. She does NOT want to become attached to him (although we can see by the way she thinks about him that she already is, and she’s fighting it). Their stylists put them in matching outfits and are told to go stick together during the training sessions, including lunch. They grapple for some manner of conversation isn’t about home, which is painful. Peeta coaches Katniss through this by telling her when to laugh and smile because she admits “he’s much better at this than I am.” It’s difficult on them both. At one point when they’re alone, Peeta cracks a joke and Katniss laughs. She follows it up with. “Don’t. Don’t let’s pretend when there’s no one around.” He responds tiredly, “All right, Katniss.”

12)Katniss’s temper and breakdown: After Katniss shoots the arrow at the game keeper, she worries that they’ll kill her or her family. She goes to her room and cries for an hour. Also, the night before the interviews she loses her temper and tears up her room. In the movie she appears to be fairly calm, but in the book she comes across much more like a scared, anxious 16 year old girl.

13) Training vs Coaching, and Peeta’s decision: There’s training in the center and then there’s Haymitch’s coaching. Peeta and Katniss are never “trained separately”. Peeta does ask to be coached separately. The movie and Katniss’s point of view in the book implies the 11 score. However, his request comes before a full day of “coaching” about how to act in front of the cameras. Obviously Peeta wants to keep his crush on Katniss–the star-crossed lover’s bit–as a secret until they’re in front of the cameras. I kind of wonder if Haymitch knew this early on and always intended to capitalize on it (thus the “team” schtick). Based upon Katniss’s irritation over the team thing, he’d expect her to object. In my mind, the separate coaching was always part of the plan, and not Peeta’s reaction to the scores.

14)Peeta’s declaration: a)He tells Caesar that he’s not the only one with a crush on Katniss, but that a lot of the guys in school feel that way. She’s not just a “star-crossed lover” thing, but a heartbreaker.

b) In the movie, Katniss reacts by shoving him against a wall. In the book she pushes him, he crashes backwards into an urn, falls and then cuts his hands pretty badly on the broken pieces. Although in the movie, he just walks away, in the book, Peeta’s pretty snarly about that. He says she’s only worried about “her boyfriend’s” reaction and that Gale won’t care because she never said she loved Peeta. All of which leads to. . .

14)Argument on the roof: The movie has the scene were Katniss finds Peeta on the roof that night to be sweet. In the book, she does apologize but they still end up arguing. She doesn’t entirely understand what Peeta means by “I don’t want them to change me in there.” She’s irritated at his “superior” attitude and ends up saying “No offense, but who cares, Peeta?” He takes offense, and they part badly.

15) First days in the arena: For all that Peeta’s pretty ticked off at Katniss in the book, in both book and movie, when they’re on the pedestals, he sees that Katniss is considering disobeying Haymith’s orders, and shakes his head in warning. It confuses her Katniess and she ends up with the backpack instead of the bow (which probably saves her life). In the backpack she finds a sleeping bag, something that they don’t have in the movie. It’s pretty important. It gets much colder at night in the arena than we see in the movie, thus the reason that one tribute lights a fire, which leads to her death. Also, in the book, Katniss comes lose to dying of dehydration in the first three days. Leaving this out doesn’t really make a difference in tone or emotion or anything else, however it makes for interesting reading.

16) Peeta and the career pack: In the movie when Katniss sees that Peeta has joined the career pack, she’s obviously disgusted. In the book, the pack is arguing over whether the girl who lit the fire is dead. Katniss realizes Peeta’s part of them when he tells them he’ll go back and make sure she’s dead. He does that, but whether or not he kills her, we don’t really know.

While he’s gone, she listens to the rest of the pack talking about him. She learns that Peeta’s “handy” with a knife, (which we never really see in all 3 books) and that he hasn’t told them how Katniss got the 11. He keeps her deadliness with a bow secret.

17)Parachutes: In the book, there are no messages with the parachutes. It’s necessary in the movie for the viewer’s sake, but in the book Katniss feels that she and Haymitch have a kind of silent code.

18)Everything thing is affected by the fire: The other tributes are burned as well. Katniss herself suffers from not just the burn but smoke inhalation, which  causes her to vomit. And most importantly, the reason she’s not initially attacked by the tracker jackers is because of the smoke.

19) Peeta’s fight with Cato:  After Katniss is stung and gets the bow, she starts to hallucinate. At the same time the career pack is returning for their weapons. Peeta reaches her first and tells her to “go”. In the movie, she runs off and that’s that. In the book, Peeta turns and fights Cato off, thus saving Katniss. We learn that a few different ways later (we’re in her point of view, so we hear it from other people). This is how Peeta receives the wound that almost kills him, by risking his life to save her.

This is big, and I really don’t believe the film ought to have left this out. Honestly, all they would have had to do was a quick 20-30 seconds where Katniss stumbles off, Peeta turns a spear on Cato as he crashes through the trees, sword drawn.

20) Rue doesn’t “change (katniss’s) leaves twice.” We have the impression that she does sort of look out for Katniss while she’s out cold for two days. And she does teach Katniss which leaves to use and how to use them to suck out the tracker jacker venom.

21) The explosion: When Katniss sets off the mines around the careers’ pile of goodies, she’s thrown backwards. She loses her hearing in both ears for a night, and is too injured to move. She sleeps under a bush until she can escape the next morning. She recovers her hearing in one ear, but not the other until she returns to the Capitol.

A little bit later, she hears that there can now be two victors and that takes us into the last third of the book/movie. That’s for next week.

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