Sunday, March 1, 2015

Extra Credit Blog - The Condemned

     Many say that The Hunger Games is just another version or "copy" of the film The Condemned, starring Jack Conrad as a prisoner awaiting execution with a sudden chance to avoid his death sentence after being purchased by a wealthy person. In both of these movies, television and the media plays an important role in each society, similar to some reality TV programs that we watch today such as Survivor and The Bachelor.
      The Condemned and The Hunger Games trilogy have many similar aspects, which may be why many people believe that Collins' idea for her books came from this movie. In The Condemned, Jack Conrad has a chance to keep his life instead of receive capital punishment by fighting in a contest against with 9 other people on death row. They each have a bomb placed on their ankle and they fight until the death; the winner, of course, has his/her bomb removed at the end. Similar to The Hunger Games, the contestants are all from third world countries, which may be compared to the tributes from the Districts which live very poor lifestyles. The battle is broadcasted live over the internet for anyone to watch, just like how the Capitol broadcasts the games live in each District as well as the Capitol itself.
       The media is such an significant aspect of each of these societies, similar to American society today, which may be a message that the authors and producers are trying to send. Television and the media may be used as a way to manipulate citizens, a technique used in Mockingjay to get the people of the Districts to revolt against the Capitol. Also, broadcasting violent events such as the games or the battle in The Condemned is somewhat desensitizing to society that is viewing them. This means that the people become used to violent acts such as these and begin to believe that it is normal or common, which it most certainly is not. In the popular reality TV show, Survivor, participants engage in alliances that we know will not be able to last because there can only be one winner. They also participate in physical contests that occasionally involve violence and physical contact, although not life threatening.
       Tribute in the games can get sponsors from the audience in order to send them necessities or things that they need to survive in the arena. This means the the tributes must put a lot of effort into impressing the viewers and gaining fans. This explains Peeta and Katniss' romantic relationship, although some of it may have been real, it was all a plan from the beginning to gain sponsors. The same types of things happen in reality TV shows today in order for the contestants to receive votes and succeed in the show. Society sometimes gets emotionally involved in these shows just from watching and keeping up with them every week. Henthorne also believes that since fashion is a major factor in all 3 of The Hunger Games books that it may be related to shows such as Extreme Makeover or America's Next Top Model. In this aspect, women are transformed into sexual objects and face the challenge of maintaining their sense of self while their physical aspects are changing drastically. Katniss is different because she realizes that this is not something to be proud of and she does not appreciate her transformation. In American society, the media and TV shows place such a strong emphasis on physical appearance that most women cannot come to this realization on their own.
     The media plays an important role on society and this is emphasized through The Condemned and The Hunger Games. Although these may be extreme case scenarios, they are meant for the viewers to realize how the media may manipulate society and how powerful it really is.


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