Last week, we discussed the settings of our Independent Reading novels in our Reading Circle Groups. The book that I was reading at the time, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, had a distinct setting of the arena where the games take place. The setting of this particular book was intimidating, dreaded, and ominous. The main character, Katniss, is greatly affected by the main setting. She has nightmares about her time in the arena long after she survived the games. David’s novel, Mockingjay, also by Suzanne Collins, had a darker setting as well. It is set in the same general time period and area that The Hunger Games is, because they are part of the same best-selling series. Dominick’s book, The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan is part of a series as well. It is the second book in the Percy Jackson stories. He told us that the main setting in the book is a camp where the half-god-half-human kids live, in New York. This also gives off the feeling of mystery. In this way, all three of our settings are similar, because Emily was not in class the day of our discussion.
As a group, we share information by taking turns explaining the answers to pre-discussion questions that we have prepared. I think we do a great job paying attention and relating the settings and characters in our novels to those of our group members. I feel that there’s a balance of everyone talking, but some people participate more and give a little more effort to the flow of communication. Others are respectful and listen, but don’t contribute much.
In my book specifically, the main setting of the arena troubled me. I am a bit sickened by the concept that twenty-four young men and women are put into a situation where they are forced to try to survive and kill each other off. I know that it’s just a fiction story, but the fact that it is set in the future kind of scares me. It makes me wonder if that’s what society is headed for. Besides the arena, there is also Katniss’s home, the woods, and the other 11 districts. These settings are important because they give us background information on the characters that help us understand them better.
This week, I think our discussion was well thought out and everyone was prepared with written-up answers. I believe that this helps things run smoothly and I hope we are able to continue that way.