Is Katniss a Modern-Day Spartacus?

Literature and legend often reflect their culture. Some themes, like that of rulers imposing coercive power, or of individuals rising up against tyrants, are as relevant today as they were in antiquity. Suzanne Collins drew on Greek mythology’s story of the Minotaur and on the legend of Spartacus in ancient Rome as she created the Hunger Games series. Her hero, like the heroes in these stories, does not seek her own power or profit but is standing up against a violent and tyrannical government. “People everywhere yearn for the freedom to pursue their own goals and dreams,” says Prof. Amy Sturgis. Even though the themes are ancient, stories like the Hunger Games resonate with readers because the anxieties and fears they portray are real and relevant. “These stories aren’t just entertainment,” Sturgis says. “They are reflections of who and what we are.” Do the themes in these stories resonate with you? Why?

19 Comments

  1. Matt Wavle

    I think it’s a telling parallel, between the State of that day and the State of the Hunger Games era.  So little has changed, other than the technology used.
    — The best way to win is to take the Spartacus path, to refuse to participate.

  2. Matt Wavle

    Amy Sturgis makes a great point. The struggle between freedom and tyranny is real.  Stories like this reflect our own hopes and dreams, and because of that, they are more powerful than most mindless entertainment.

  3. Greg Gauthier

    Theseus and the Minotaur just made me realize something: Ancients needed a historical reason for everything they did. So, often they just made up histories, to give themselves reasons. The Minotaur is an allegory explaining why the greeks no longer engaged in human sacrifice. Very much similar to the story of Abraham being stayed from sacrificing his son Isaac. 

  4. Andrei-Claudiu Roibu

    What are heroes? Only the ones that have the courage to remind us who and what we are, and what we are capable of as people, even if this costs them their lives. Despite the characters mentioned in the videos below, I would just like to remember a few Romanian heroes: Mihai Viteazul, Carol I, Ecaterina Teodoroiu, Nicolae Balcescu, Avram Iancu, the motii who arrived at the Apuseni Mountains plane crash, ant many many others. 

  5. Farid Faisal Bestari

    are the similarities between those stories an example of Joseph Campbell a hero in a thousand faces monomyth theory?  

  6. Ryan Boyd

    Freedom and liberty are common themes, and the Hunger Games trilogy is a great addition to the literature already on this topic.

  7. gab912

    yes! Because of these articles here, I’m actually thinking of transitioning to the English department in my high school…

  8. Damian Gunjak

    I ve actually listened and watched to the books and film and i have to say that while its geared towards a young adult  the bookseries certainly paints a dark picture of a totalitarian america. 

  9. kelsapellet

    It’s great when traditional stories can help us draw connections to civil discourse going on in today’s society through film adaptions. Some people don’t realize it until something like the Hunger Games makes them aware that it’s going on.

  10. Grady Flanagan

    The interesting thought here is that most of Hollywood is Liberal and sees government as the solution to most problems. The hypocrisy never ends. Bash capitalism while making millions off of it making a movie that warns of a totalitarian America that constantly shows a dominant political figure.

  11. Andremaia

    A fictional story is similar to another fictional story? What is the point, is this supposed to be in some what related the US government?

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