Sunday, April 5, 2015

Gender Roles

Through the Hunger Games series there are many references and changes to the typical gender roles that are portrayed in modern day movies and books. The typical gender roles have been in some instances reversed and and some stand the typical way that Hollywood wants us to see gender roles as.
In the book series, Katniss is portrayed as a strong independent female which differs from most movies and books written in our modern day. When we compared Katniss to the Bella in the Twilight series, we notice some key differences. Katniss is seen as an "active" character as in she reacts to situations more so than taking initiative which is how Bella is portrayed.  For Katniss' case, this is typical for women in film and literature as not being the "go getters" in the story. Even though Bella is seen as  boy crazed and in need of love, she still initiates things between her and Edward and makes her wants well known.
Gender roles in the Hunger Games  are slightly reversed while having Katniss (a girl) as the main focus. Most action movies or books have men as the lead role because they are seen as the tough able to fight and kill people in our society, Another example of role reversal is in the second book when Peeta takes charge of taking care of the families in the victors village and taking care of Haymitch. Katniss is not stable enough to handle everything and Peeta steps up and takes on the "woman's" role of caretaker. Throughout the districts, the gender roles are also slightly different than portrayed in typical films. Women and men both work the black market which is typically seen as a masculine trait and Peeta is a baker which is definitely a female trait.
In Dr. Raley's lecture, we discussed the Bechdel test and I was surprised with how many movies did not pass it. The Hunger Games does pass the test in the first few minutes with talking to her mother and Prim and Effie. We also discussed how Katniss has masculine and feminine traits. Masculine for hunting and protecting and feminine for using a bow and arrow to hunt. This is seen as a "light" weapon as opposed to a gun.
The gender roles in modern day cinema and literature are drastically changing from what they used to be 30 years ago but there is still a long way to go to equalize men and women portrayed in them.


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