12/27/2015

Character and Hollywood Formula - The Hunger Games



This particular Hollywood formula consists of two characters, the protagonist and the antagonist, and their dynamic relationship. 

Firstly the protagonist, the main character / person the story focuses on. This person has a set goal, the goal itself is always justifiable and achievable, it isn't ever something as simple as "i want to live a good long life" or "i want to be famous" but instead his or her wants would benefit others more than just themselves. The antagonist is the person that would be there to stop them, place obstacles in the path of the protagonist, this does not always mean they are the villain, simply that the antagonists goals are always in some way opposed to the protagonist.

Aside from the two main character making this formula there is another, the person who accompanies the protagonist on their journey, usually they are a person with more wisdom maybe even experienced what they are about to, trying to warn the protagonist and be mostly ignored. What the protagonist needs to learn or do is often told by this person, most cases it happens in a single conversation. This is always revisited at the end of the story.
The story itself will always end with the protagonist achieving or giving up his goal, defeating or being defeated by the antagonist. 




Protagonist

Katniss Everdeen is the protagonist and main character of the film The Hunger Games, she indeed does want something concrete and achievable, her goal is the win the games so she can return home to be with her sister. Katniss is very strong and resourceful  for a sixteen year old and proceeds to be much more mature than her age would suggest. Within the story, towards the begging you see Katniss is the main provider in her family, the family consisting of Katniss, her mother and her younger sister, Prim. Katniss is overly protective of her younger sister as shown when she volunteers to take Prim's place in the games to protect her. Katniss is the most responsible in her family, it's shown by her responsibility to feed them which she does by hunting, this act is illegal and punishable by death, but she had learned the skills from her deceased father. The fact it's illegal shows her rebellious side as what they don't eat she sells on the black market, disregarding the rules again, but this has come from the necessity rather than the want.

A main cause for Katniss's protection of Prim may be because of her mothers depression, after her father died her mother emotionally withdrew, leaving Katniss to take care of her sibling alone. She soon learned that without her hunting her family wouldn't survive the harsh conditions of District 12, where starvation is very common. No thanks to all these conditions she have been forced to grow up fast, tough and practical. Ironically her hardships she went through in the district wind up helping her once she is in the arena. The skills developed to cope with her everyday challenges, like the ability to hunt, toughness and resourcefulness are what keep her alive in the games.

During the games Katniss's doesn't really change, her circumstances are the things that change, the story spends a lot of time showing the different situations she encounters. When forced to become a celebrity for the games she never seeks attention, she always tries to say the right thing to get her out of there and back home. They don't ever try to turn her into a unfeeling killer, the only time she ever kills is out of necessity and a few times in pity. Her sense of compassion always remains intact especially when she encounters Rue. 

The lack of change to her character however can be seen as it's own victory for Katniss, she keeps her identity and integrity.



Antagonist

Peeta Mellark is the unlikely antagonist in the story, also in love with Katniss becoming her main ally and romantic interest during the games, Peeta is strongly characterised by his love for Katniss, he is overly willing to sacrifice himself for her. But strangely Katniss's first memory of him was from a incident years before the games, when Peeta purposely gave two loaves of bread to Katniss and risked being beaten for helping her, Katniss wants to believe he must have known he would be punished for it even though how he threw the bread out at her remains in her mind, it still remains a selfless act. During the games he is similarly selfless, saving Katniss after she was stunned by tracker jacker stings. later fighting the most deadly of tributes to allow Katniss to escape.

The audience however has a limited perspective on Peeta, we only ever see him through Katniss's eyes, he does however come across as thoughtful and genuinely kind this is something that leads him to try to change Katniss, tries to make her into something she doesn't want to be which he believes his helping. Throughout the training for the games we learn he is a gifted visual artist, able to create camouflages upon himself. When Peeta is the first to offer help Haymitch Katniss wonders why and simply realises he is just a kind person, before the games start he confesses to Katniss his only hope is to retain his identity and not let the games change him, he turns into a person with pride and dignity, even decency about all else. 

President Snow is a more obvious antagonist, but possibly not the true one, yes he is in power and does control ultimately what happens to them all, but what he does isn't personal towards Katniss.
The citizens of the capital can also be seen as as antagonists, they encourage the games and treat it like a festival, showing their utopia and using this cruel sports to show who is in charge.
Within the game itself the antagonists are mainly the other fighters, especially from District 2, Cato and Clove, it's made clear Cato is a threat when he scores highly in training.


Dynamic Character 

Haymith is the main person who accompanies the protagonist, he has indeed completed the games before therefor should be listened to for advice, Haymith knows that in order to win Katniss needs the public to like her, but because of his characteristics Katniss doesn't want to know. Early in the story there would be a conversation where he is giving advice or a warning which will be revisited towards to end. In the end they end up only surviving because of this advice from Haymith and the people liking both Katniss and Peeta.


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