Fascinated with Dystopias

I’ve been re-watching Babylon 5 recently, and I’m almost at the end of Season 3, when things really get ugly. I was thinking about the characters, and how difficult it was for them to take a stand against the destructive forces in their universe.

speak out against injusticeAnd then I started thinking about other films in modern pop culture, and how there really seems to be a focus on the dystopias – societies that are harmful to the large majority of the people, or that utilize fear and ignorance to gain power over the masses. Books like The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Maze Runner are all being turned into popular films.

The concept isn’t new. Classics like Nineteen Eighty Four and Animal Farm by George Orwell, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, The Lord of the Flies by William Golding, and many others have warned of horrible futures for many, many years. Recent years have seen many more stories of dystopias, though.

What’s the appeal?

I think it is because we are living in more of a dystopia than we would like to believe. The uncomfortable conditions that so many people live in, the fear of speaking out against those in power, hits awfully close to home.

We like to see the heroes and heroines win. If the more or less ordinary individuals in the books and film can overcome the nearly impossible odds, perhaps there is still hope for us. Perhaps one day we, too, will see an end to the oppression, to the power struggles, the racism, sexism, classism and all the other -isms that separate us, that use our differences to engender hatred instead of celebration.

Perhaps. But it won’t happen if there aren’t those courageous enough to stand up, to speak up, even under threat of violence. Those in power play the fear game well. Big Brother is watching you.

And I admit, I have observed in silence. I have been afraid to speak my truth when I have seen abuse of power or privilege, or even instances of ignorance or hatred. I am somewhat ashamed to admit that I recently unfollowed a friend on Facebook who was posting items of intolerance rather than calling that person out.

I am constantly in awe of my friends who speak out regularly, on a daily or hourly basis. You constantly educate me about my ignorance and privilege, and I am honestly grateful. I appreciate the opportunity to be more sensitive to the experiences of others.

I am working on speaking my truth more frequently. I’m a peacekeeper by nature – I don’t like conflict. So this is very challenging for me. I look to my warrior friends, and I hope one  day to have as much courage and understanding as you do. Thank you for the work that you do. You are my heroes and heroines – my Katniss Everdeens, my Beatrice Priors, my Thomas’s. Please keep it up, because you give me courage.

Do you find it easy or difficult to speak your truth?

Blessings,

Mary

 

Katniss = Artemis?

I went to see The Hunger Games movie last night. I want to make it clear that I read the entire series over a year ago, long before I knew anything about the movie, or saw anything of their social media campaign (which was pretty impressive). It struck me even more strongly in seeing the movie than in reading the book, that Katniss bears some resemblance to Artemis.

Katniss EverdeenArtemis

 

 

 

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Both are strong, independent female characters, and both are archers. Both Katniss and Artemis were skilled hunters, and not much interested in the opposite sex. Those are the obvious similarities. Are there others?

When Katniss attacks Peeta after their interviews for saying he had a crush on her, it reminds me of the myth of Artemis and Acteon. Acteon was hunting with his dogs, and he happened upon a pool where Artemis and her companions were bathing. Enchanted, he stayed and watched a while. When Artemis saw him spying on her, she cursed him by changing him into a stag and set his own dogs upon him. Katniss wasn’t quite that severe with Peeta; she is human after all.

The Greeks enjoyed athletics and competition. They created the Olympic games. The Hunger Games is less like the Olympics and more like a gladiatorial arena. We associate gladiators with Roman times, though some scholars think that the gladiators may have a Greek origin, though the Greeks would have used them on a much smaller and less grandiose scale than the Romans. So there is a possible link there.

Katniss is very loyal to those that she chooses as her companions – first her little sister, Primrose; then Rue, and finally Peeta. Artemis is loyal to her companions that she chooses – she often made those of her devotees that she loved her immortal companions.  Artemis saved Iphegenia from her father’s sacrifice, similar to Katniss saving her sister from becoming a tribute.

In looking back, I am quite amazed at the similarities. I wonder how conscious a choice this was on Suzanne Collins’ part, and how much was the archetype of Artemis seeking a voice in the modern world.

Would you like to be more like Katniss-Artemis? Discover a Walk With Artemis and claim your power. 

A Walk with Artemis Guided Meditation

A Walk with Artemis Guided Meditation

Blessings,

Mary