Archetypes In The Hunger Games Essay

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Common motifs in romances include war, fate, quest, mentors, heroes and antagonists, whereas in epics these motifs are not commonly seen. On the contrary, in Vergil’s The Aeneid, these motifs appear although the selection is an epic. These commonly seen motifs are called archetypes. Interestingly enough, these motifs or archetypes such as fate and quest found in The Aeneid and many romances, are also seen in the film The Hunger Games (2012) which was created over two thousand years later. The Hunger Games follows the same archetypal patterns and motifs seen in quest literature such as The Aeneid.
An archetype is a basic character, common theme, or scenario that represents the patterns seen in everyday human interaction. Archetypes are typically recognized as “universal symbols”, and According to Bavota, “many literary critics are of the opinion that archetypes, which have a common and recurring representation in a particular human culture or entire human race, shape the structure and function of a literary work” (Bavota). For example, an archetype commonly found in literature is the hero or heroine. In The Hunger Games, we have a heroine named Katniss, who exhibits characteristics such as loyalty, determination, and strong will. Katniss delivers her strong will and passion by constantly doing the right thing or acting impulsively throughout the film to help others, although she knows that repercussions following her dutiful act may bring her in harm’s way. In The Aeneid, Vergil introduces the reader to the Trojan warrior Aeneas who will be the hero throughout the epic. Aeneas shows readers his heroic ways through Roman virtues such as dignitas and piety. He also exhibits heroic deeds through his bravery. These characteristics mak...

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...are also found in epics and films such as The Aeneid and The Hunger Games created two thousand years apart. The best way for readers to grasp archetypes in their literary works is to recognize the patterns, characters and scenarios in them. After discovering the archetypes in the work, it is best to comprehend them by understanding how they relate or reoccur in human culture. Regardless of any cliché authors still choose to include elements and archetypes such as “star cross lovers” or “the mother figure” as in The Aeneid. The association that is created once a reader finds themselves recognizing these archetypes in a novel or movie is what causes writers to continue to involve them in their work. Given these points, the archetypal motifs and patterns that readers encounter make up the story and create the understanding that the audience will receive from the text.
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