Sunday, November 20, 2011

Julius Caesar vs. The Hunger Games

We started reading Shakespeare's Julius Caesar last week in English, coincidentally the same time I started to reread—I like to read and I ran out of new material—a newly famous series called The Hunger Games, by Susanne Collins. I noticed a few relations right off the bat, such as some of the character names: Caesar, Cinna, Brutus, Portia, even Plutarch; and so I started to read with new eyes. The gist of The Hunger Games is that there are twelve “districts” under the power of the Capitol. A while back there was a war in which the districts attempted to revolt, but the capitol won, and destroyed district thirteen, resulting in a crackdown of discipline and only twelve districts. The Capitol decided that a suitable form of punishment for the districts’ rebellion would be The Hunger Games, which is where a girl and a boy under the age of eighteen from each district are chosen to go to the Capitol and fight to the death in an arena full of awful ways to die. Now, the hunger games themselves don’t relate to Julius Caesar, but the ensuing revolt absolutely does. The rebel leaders in The Hunger Games remind me of the conspirators in Julius Caesar, whether their intentions are valid or not is a mute point, but both want to see their (future) leader dead. In the upcoming essay I will argue the side of the conspirators, because after reading The Hunger Games I know exactly what they feared Caesar would become, (even though they only had his arrogance as proof of his future tyranny.)  Though both groups claim that the assassination will be to protect their country/ end its suffering, there is another motive underlying their reasoning, power. In The Hunger Games, the person in control of the rebellion is President Coin, and at the end of the last book we discover that there is hardly any disparity between her and President Snow when she kills innocent people in order to end the war with her ending up on top. In Julius Caesar the two main leaders are Cassius and Brutus, Cassius had to plant the idea of Caesars being unfit to rule in Brutus’s mind, along with boosting his ego with fake letters of admiration, abetting him to go along with the plans of the conspirators; but once that set in, Brutus decided that he wanted power, and suddenly, his friend was no longer fit for the job as well as he was.
            In the two examples I’ve shown, the governments are corrupt, and doomed to always run in a bloody circle. In the United States government—though no mutiny has occurred—we have our own problems that are currently cascading out of control. Our economy is crashing, with people getting not only restless for change, but starting to take action, as with the “occupy wall street” movement. Mutiny is not the goal of this movement, but fair treatment of the people in economy and government. In Caesars day, government (not monarchies) was just getting started, and was becoming a very beneficial system for the people, and it was working. But now, people are ready and adamant for a change that doesn’t involve having so much power being held by those who misuse their positions for selfish needs and personal greed. Change truly seems inexorable if we wish to sustain from violence in our haste to create a better economy.

1 comment:

  1. That is so true! We are starting to read Julius Ceaser In gifted enrichment and I noticed that! It was very amazing how much they had in common . I love the hunger games and now I love Julius Ceaser