Alice in Wonderland' Vs 'Hunger Games': Comparative Analysis

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The film The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and the text Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll both examine the notion of point of view. However, both plots are formed through the close interaction between the reader and the narrator. The narrator’s influential role forms what will be expressed through the narrative and what will be portrayed for the reader to observe. Through the use of both visual and verbal discourse, the texts signify features of focalization, narration, charisma, and intertextuality. These language types allow the reader to gather further knowledge and understanding about the narrative and the specific point of view the narrator is trying to embody. However, the significance of a story is constructed within the reader on a personal level in terms of past experiences and context, irrespective of the observations that the narrator promotes.

Visual and language features are vital in analyzing The Hunger Games and Alice in Wonderland. They both portray a vigorous part in positioning and shaping the reader’s responses to the text from a specific point of view, as both narratives propose a viewpoint that permits the reader to analyze and interpret the story. In Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games, the point of view is the narrator of the main character, Katniss Everdeen. The novel is written in first person, showcasing Katniss Everdeen’s perspective throughout the novel and allowing the reader to build an emotional connection to the protagonist almost instantly. The novel begins with an abrupt personal opening line, ‘’When I wake up, the other side of the bed Is cold’’, the use of the word ‘’I’’ serves as a personal pronoun that indicates to the reader that they will watch the narrative evolve from a first-person standpoint.

Collins purposely wrote the novel in a first-person point of view to generate a personal connection between the reader and the protagonist, allowing the reader to interpret the meaning of the text emotionally and closely. Collins allowed for the sensitive attachment between the reader and the protagonist to occur through Katniss’s brutal experience in The Hunger Games. The reader is drawn inside the action of the games and experiences the horrors of the realities of the game firsthand. Collins allows the reader to have entry to a point of view through the depiction of Katniss’s character conveying her emotions wholeheartedly. Her emotions and descriptive dialogue throughout the novel are carefully positioned for the reader to interpret the significance of the narrative. On page 52, Katniss has a flashback remembering her father’s wise words, ‘’as long as you can find yourself, you’ll never starve’’. This expression spoken by her father figuratively embodies the philosophy that will offer the key to Katniss’s victory in the games. Her journey is one that allows her to discover her identity, which embodies her enduring willpower as well as her more emotional personality. The effect of her father delivering these lines allowed Katniss to reveal the raw emotions that she usually concealed to portray a brave and courageous demeanor for the purpose of the games. This displays the narrative in an expressive and raw light that allows the reader to feel an emotional attachment to Katniss’s feelings, as the focalization of Katniss discovers her personal identity and experience in The Hunger Games. This scene also shapes the story as an emotional dystopia and allows readers, specifically teens to realize that expressing your emotions is not a sign of weakness but rather a normal feeling that humans go through. Thus, the reader can evaluate the significance and meaning of the text through Katniss’s point of view in this scene.

The point of view of Katniss is also prevalent when observing her thoughts on the capitol and its privileges in comparison to the districts. Katniss quotes, ‘’They do surgery in the capitol, to make people appear younger and thinner. In District 12, looking old is something of an achievement since so many people die early… A plump person is envied because they aren’t scraping by like the majority of us. But in the capitol it’s different…’’. Katniss’s thoughts come directly after noticing how young Caesar Flickerman looks from the plastic surgery he has invested in. These thoughts highlight the clear differences in class and status and how every aspect of a human’s life is reliant on their social hierarchy. Katniss challenges her contradictory emotions in regard to class in her early phases of volunteering as tribute, as she is stunned by the extravagance of the capitol. The class hierarchy is a continuous trend that flows through the novel and the games itself. The burdens of poverty took a toll on Katniss but provided her with a sense of encouragement and strength that ultimately helped her journey to victory in the games. This scene is vital in allowing readers to appreciate the significance of the story and to understand how the narrative was shaped in relation to this separation of classes based on wealth and poverty.

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Collin's main goal was to shape the novel in a way that provided a political message to teens. This divide between the classes allows the reader to understand that there is in fact an unfair political divide within society that is hard to overturn and control. Katniss realized that this divide was unjust and wanted to make a change for her and her district. Her emotions allowed the reader to understand this divide from her point of view, allowing readers to comprehend the significance of this scene in making meaning of the text. The narrator allowed the reader to perceive the situation through her eyes, signifying the importance of class divisions and how to revolt against these ideals.

The ongoing topic of identity and the illogicalities Katniss feels are assisted by the sense of irony that is present between what she detects in herself and what the reader detects. It is apparent to the reader that Katniss slowly learns to accept her emotions and uses this as a strength rather than a weakness, however, she is not always capable of recognizing this because she is recounting the story in the present tense. This is evident in the relationship between Katniss and Peeta, she is persistent in believing that her affection is only for the publicity of the show, even though her feeling for Peeta are most definitely sincere. This is evident in, ‘’The idea of actually losing Peeta hit me again and I realized how much I don’t want him to die…And it’s not just that I don’t want to be alone. It’s him. I do not want to lose the boy with the bread’’. Katniss tries to grasp the burgeoning bond between herself and Peeta. There is a sense of dramatic irony in the awareness of the reader that Katniss is falling in love with him. Calling him ‘’the bread boy’’ allows the reader to understand that Katniss is connecting him to the act of kindness he did for her. This moment allows Katniss to admit that her feelings helped her with her victory in the game. Thus, the point of view of Katniss as the narrator in this scene allows the reader to interpret the meaning of the text as a lesson of self-discovery of one’s feelings. It also shapes the significance of the story because Katniss’s point of view permits the reader to understand why the theme of identity is a vital aspect of the novel.

The act of rebellion is also evident although the narrator does not know it. Katniss learns to use the community as a catalyst for faith to get her through the games, yet her goal is still central to the notion of survival. Katniss being the reader's only lens to the narrative, explores how the reader’s identity is formed even when the reader does not recognize it. In contrast to this, Lewis Carroll’s, Alice in Wonderland also demonstrates the feature of focalization through Alice discovering her individual identity and experience whilst exploring wonderland. In contrast to The Hunger Games, the point of view in Alice in Wonderland is not narrated directly through the protagonist like in The Hunger Games but is narrated in the third person and occasionally written in the first and second person. The narrative portrays Alice traveling through wonderland, expressing her feelings and experiences throughout the journey. Due to the narration of the story being told through a disembodied being, the reader does not get the story from the perspective of Alice, but rather her thoughts and feelings are being directly told to the reader, which generates a sense of detachment from Alice’s character. However, through the narrative point of view of the narrator, it is still possible to be invested and connect to Alice because of her strong personality and adventure throughout the narrative. Thus, the point of view allows the reader to shape the story and its significance through the reader’s perspective. Alice quotes in the story, ‘’who in the world am I?’’. Alice asks herself this question instantly after she develops into a full-grown human and scared the White Rabbit away.

Alice comes to the realization that she is not only trying to figure out wonderland but is also attempting to figure out her personal identity too. This is a challenge to Alice because she finds herself in a world that constantly challenges her viewpoint and sense of identity. Wonderland challenged Alice as she begins to understand that the way she perceives herself will remain unfixed whilst she is trapped in a world that upholds totally different rules and ideals from her own. In her time spent in wonderland, Alice identifies a slippery awareness of her self-perception. Because Wonderland is a byproduct of Alice’s own mind and imagination, it is evident that it is in fact Alice’s identity and not the mystical Wonderland that is being examined. The preposterous features and characters in Wonderland spread from Alice’s intellect, thus, her journey to grasp Wonderland becomes a quest to comprehend the feelings and thoughts that make up her persona and identity. Carroll purposely allows the narrator to give the reader a close insight into what Alice is thinking in this moment of the text, displayed through the narration of her process of thought during this scene. Alice’s questioning of her identity allows the reader to make meaning of the text and the way they interpret it. In this case, Collins wanted to ensure that the theme of self-discovery is apparent through the challenges of a mystical land that can embody the harsh realities of life too. Ultimately, point of view in narratives plays a vital role in how the reader can shape and perceive a text. It also allows the author to capture the story in a certain way through the point of view of a specific character in order to make their point of the story clear to the reader. The Hunger Games and Alice in Wonderland take a different approach in regard to the point of view that the story is narrated. However, they are both similar because both authors wanted the reader to feel emotionally attached to the protagonists of both texts although The Hunger Games was written in first person whereas Alice in Wonderland was not. They both portray a vital part in positioning and shaping the reader’s responses to the text from a specific point of view, as both narratives propose a viewpoint that permits the reader to analyze and interpret the story.

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Alice in Wonderland’ Vs ‘Hunger Games’: Comparative Analysis. (2023, February 24). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 20, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/alice-in-wonderland-vs-hunger-games-comparative-analysis/
“Alice in Wonderland’ Vs ‘Hunger Games’: Comparative Analysis.” Edubirdie, 24 Feb. 2023, edubirdie.com/examples/alice-in-wonderland-vs-hunger-games-comparative-analysis/
Alice in Wonderland’ Vs ‘Hunger Games’: Comparative Analysis. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/alice-in-wonderland-vs-hunger-games-comparative-analysis/> [Accessed 20 Apr. 2024].
Alice in Wonderland’ Vs ‘Hunger Games’: Comparative Analysis [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Feb 24 [cited 2024 Apr 20]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/alice-in-wonderland-vs-hunger-games-comparative-analysis/
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