Degree Name

BA

Department

English

College

Humanities

Defense Date

2019-12-11

Publication Date

2019-12-20

First Faculty Advisor

Dr. Brian Jackson

First Faculty Reader

Dr. Dennis Cutchins

Honors Coordinator

Dr. John Talbot

Keywords

the hunger games, trauma, film, adaptation, genre, morals, ethics

Abstract

This thesis discusses both the technical aspects and the moral aspects of preserving trauma when adapting a trauma novel to film, in specific relation to Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games. The thesis begins by arguing the Hunger Games story as a trauma narrative in its original form, but not so in its film adaptations, and supports this argument by defining the defining characteristics of the trauma narrative–which is voicelessness and an altered sense of self and society, embedded in the internal experience–and applying it to The Hunger Games trilogy, identifying where these occur in the novels and do not in the films. It then addresses the question of if films are capable of portraying trauma narratives at all by assessing Laurie Halse Anderson’s trauma novel and film Speak. Doing so reveals film techniques successfully employed to convey the trauma narrative. The conclusion then draws upon the questions of filmmaker obligation, the impact of the removal of a trauma narrative on a story, what purpose can be found in representing the trauma narrative in its entirety, and what can be gained by those who engage with it.

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