Learning Narrative Essay

April 25th, 2015

During the semester I got to read books that I had already read and even some new one’s. All of them, even the one’s I read before, presented me with new ideas through class discussion. Each story had a gender theme, particularly women protagonists. We read The Hunger GamesPride and Prejudice, Two or Three Things I Know for Sure, along with other short stories written by female others. The stories all seemed to bring up ethical issues. Especially with The Hunger Games some ethical issues were brought to my attention for the first time, even though it was my third time reading the book.  It was also fun to read the short stories because “The Yellow Wallpaper” and “A Jury of Her Peers” each had darker mystery plots that had deeper meanings than what was being represented on the pages. It was fun to decipher the meanings of them.

Through this course I have definitely learned how to ask more questions while reading a book. Also reading in-between the lines is essential for this class so the discussion can be more engaging. The biggest challenge was bringing ethics into stories like The Hunger Games. For example, forcing children into an arena to kill each other as a reminder that the Capitol has dominant power and does not want any wars. (Even thought they are the ones building a war every year). My biggest “A-ha” moment from this class was that we all agreed killing wasn’t ethical, but self-defense is. So therefore, there is a  fine line between killing for pleasure and killing as a result of self-defense. I had never seen the that line before. We determined it was more ethical to kill someone as a result of self defense. Also the methods used for killing had some be ethical and others not. For example, the Careers were using knives and swords to kill people. Peeta killed Foxface without even knowing he was doing it. He was collecting berries that he didn’t know were poisonous and Foxface stole some from his pile and ate them. Her death was unintentional and has a different effect than stabbing someone with a knife. Then through discussion I learned that this type of dictatorship could possibly happen one day. Not necessarily the Games but just the government system itself. Overall I learned how to approach plots with different ethical and social view points.

Another pivotal point was learning about ethical climates. I did a paper on this topic and here is a passage from it. According to Blackburn an ethical environment is a climate in which beliefs and ideas surround us. This climate gives each a person a similar idea of what is acceptable and not acceptable within that society (Blackburn 1). In the novel The Hunger Games, written by Suzanne Collins, there is an unethical government system in the dystopian world setting.

I am interested in reading more classics like Jane Austen. They are of a different era, but still connect to female issues of today. I also really want to read more short stories. I really enjoy how there is so much details in just a few pages.  I would want my ability to critically analyze stories to continue to grow as well.

For my goals I would like to read more involved in free reading in the future when I am not so busy with school work. My goal is to look at all situations with an ethical viewpoint so I can understand both sides of the story. I also want to do a better job at engaging in discussions so more ideas can be brought to the table.


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