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A Rhetorical Reading of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games




This paper discusses Suzanne Collins’ novel The Hunger Games (2008) in light of James Phelan’s rhetorical model. It explores Phelan’s theory of the reading of narrative as an activity that simultaneously engages the readers’ intellects, emotions, ideologies, and ethics. The paper examines several issues central to rhetorical poetics: reliable/unreliable narrators, narrative ethics, narrative judgments, and narrative progression. It demonstrates how the rhetorical theory of narrative emphasizes the recursive relationships between authorial agency, textual phenomena, and reader response while remaining open to insights from a range of critical approaches such as feminism, formalism, and cultural studies. I argue that the narrator in this novel is largely reliable with only a few cases of slight deviation from the norms of the implied author due to unavoidable lack of cognition or to occasional cases of misinterpretation. The novel contains a powerful communication system that blends fictional and actual audiences into a network of recursive relations based on a multilayered narrative ethics. The paper also shows how the rhetorical model can illuminate and assist in our interpretation of literary texts especially when we view the reading experience as a vital engagement between the reader and the author controlled by an implied author affected by each of them.

Keywords: Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games, James Phelan, Rhetorical Model Scholars.

Authors:Nisreen Tawfiq Yousef

Doi: https://doi.org/10.47012/jjmll.15.3.17


Cited by: Jordan Journal of Modern Languages and Literatures (JJMLL) 2023, 15 (3): 1067-1082


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