Propaganda is information given to an audience through a person’s point of view. Yes, propaganda is biased because it is information given to an audience through the point of view of a person and everybody is different; not everyone will ever see eye to eye on every event. The Hunger Games storyline is sometimes misunderstood by readers when it came to propaganda in the Hunger Games; a lot of people think the citizens stood up against the capitol because the 12 districts reminds people of communism because in each district everyone does the same thing and depending on your district, your district was treated different from others. The reason why the districts started to use propaganda was to tell the capitol to stop doing the Hunger Games and unite together. Propaganda is not just speeches or politics, due to new media sources like computers and phones you can use propaganda to reach other people in different ways to grab more of a vast audience. Hunger Games used propaganda from President Snow in the capitol to Katniss in district 13. I think President Snow used propaganda the most and was the most affective person to use it. Think about it; for someone to have control of 12 districts using propaganda, I think that is pretty amazing. President Snow used a lot of live broadcasting, video, and action to keep the people of Panem in total fear to rise against the capitol. The video at the reaping was a form of propaganda. President Snow used the video to explain to the people how the hunger games formed and why it is necessary to have the games every year. Being that action is the most powerful way to get propaganda across and President Snow made sure of that by having peacekeepers committing executions in front of crowds that disrespected the capitol. However, the biggest action propaganda in the movie and book was the actual games; they keep people in order. The live broadcast and the video made it seem like they justified the wrongdoings to calm the people that were outraged about the capitol’s decision to do wrong.
As a middle school student, I came across dystopian fiction pretty early in my numerous visits to the public library, and read all of the novels that I could get my hands on. For some reason, these books were fascinating to me, and I couldn’t quite put my finger on the reason why. Nonetheless, I kept going back to the library to find the newest releases of these books, usually set sometime in the future, with drastic circumstances that the main character must overcome in order to save themselves and their loved ones. I plowed through The Hunger Games, The Giver, Wither, Divergent, and so many more. At that point, I wasn’t quite sure what exactly dystopias were, I just knew they were extremely interesting. Now I have a more solid definition of what it is and how young adults are drawn to it. Dystopian novels are books in which the setting is defined by a society that is inherently flawed in some way that makes life unpleasant for the occupants and the main character has to deal with these issues and overcome them. For example, in The Hunger Games, society is broken up into twelve districts after a revolution and the corrupt government forces twenty-four teens to fight to the death annually and the main character has to fight in the games, which allows her to rebel against the government. Every dystopian book has some version of this struggle. I think that these books are so appealing to the young adult audience because the main character of books is generally of a similar age and is highly relatable. This allows the reader to put themselves in the shoes of the character and feel personally involved in the story, making it a more interesting read. The main character in Divergent, Tris, is sixteen years old, which makes the story more relatable to young people. If she was a middle aged woman, the story would definitely not have the same draw. Not only the age appeal, but also the fact that these books allow the audience to contemplate larger problems like politics and social issues and form opinions for themselves rather than learning about these things from dry textbooks and in class makes them more interesting. Overall, I now have a better understanding of what a dystopia is and why I enjoyed reading these books when I was younger and why they continue to appeal to me.
Happy Friday everyone!
Today in class, we spent some time thinking about the audience for your Common First Week (CFW) videos, which includes other Georgia Tech students and faculty. We worked as a class to describe the audience, to find what they have in common, and to think about the kinds of appeals to make and to avoid when creating a communication aimed at this specific audience. It is a good habit to get into to conduct this kind of audience analysis whenever you are starting the process to create a communication and we will emphasize this kind of audience analysis throughout the semester.
Then, you worked in small groups to help one another brainstorm specific arguments for the CFW Video and to find evidence you can use to support the claims you are trying to work on. Remember, the more specific your evidence, the more compelling your argument will be. Also, don’t forget that a video allows for a lot of different ways of conveying that information; be as creative and innovative as you can!
Don’t forget: there are also tons of resources out there to help you with this project. To get you started, take a look at the following items:
- The Presentation Rehearsal Studios in the Clough Undergraduate Learning Center (CULC), in which you can work with a presentation coach and also record yourself and then send a link of the video to yourself (or anybody else).
- The Library’s gadget-lending service, which allows you to check out a range of equipment, including laptops, tablets, and cameras.
- YouTube features an easy how-to tutorial if you have never used it before.
- YouTube also allows you to annotate your video by adding text, links, or other graphics, with this helpful how-to guide
- If you get stuck, there are also a lot of helpful tips on YouTube, especially the YouTube Help Center.
We then spent the rest of the class focused on the reading. First, we talked through the handout on TSquare titled “Tips for Reading Difficult Material” and discussed the importance of establishing techniques and reading practices that help you understand material and build a reference for coming back to that material when you need it, either for writing a paper, studying for an exam, or for projects and professional development in the workplace. We went over a number of tips and techniques for breaking down difficult readings, annotating those readings and preparing yourself to work with that material.
We then talked about the first two chapters of the Cambridge Companion for Utopian Literature (CCUL), focusing on the concepts that were introduced and especially the key terms that the book introduced. (The PPT presentation that highlights these key terms is available to you on TSquare). Over the course of the semester, we will continue to come back to these terms and expand on the definitions and understandings of their meanings, so it is important to become familiar with this lexicon.
Reminder, there is no class on Monday because of the MLK holiday.
- Complete CFW Video
- Upload to YouTube, submit link via TSquare
- Choose Independent Reading Book (top 3 choices)
- Read CCUL 3 & 4
- We’ll discuss evolution of utopia as a genre in class on Wednesday
- Read article on Tsquare: Cart’s “From Insider to Outsider”
- Bring your laptop/tablet to class on Wednesday: we’ll discuss Twitter and Blogs in class and get you set up to start using our class’s social media components
Have a lovely long weekend everyone!