Is any story ever truly original? This unit illustrates how even contemporary writers allude to and reinterpret the stories of the past in order to tell new stories that are socially relevant, but still universal in scope. Specifically in The Hunger Games, archetypes and mythology play a prominent role. Students will learn how to identify character, situation, and symbolic archetypes in myths, film, and visual art. Through the process of observing these texts, students will not only construct an understanding of the relationship between literature and culture, but also look for patterns to interpret unfamiliar texts. In the performance assessment, students will identify archetypes in The Hunger Games and make intentional choices about how to represent them in their own movie versions of the popular book.
Please note that this unit is designed to prepare students in the International Baccalaureate program for future units of study in world cultures and classical mythology. While this unit does not go into depth with the stages of a hero’s journey or the Greek gods and goddesses, an examination of these and the Theseus myth in The Hunger Games would be an interesting future unit of study.
Jimenez, Melissa, "“The Girl Who Was on Fire”: A Study of Archetypes and Mythology in The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins [9th grade]" (2012). Understanding by Design: Complete Collection. Paper 191.
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