Monday, May 21, 2012

The Hunger Games


The Hunger Games sat on my Kindle for a few months before I picked it up. Although the description looked interesting, I kept putting it aside for something else. Once I started reading, though, the whole world fell away for me, the kids were fed all things convenient and watched countless movies, while I lived and breathed Katniss Everdeen for 4 days until I steamrolled through the trilogy.
It was interesting on so many levels. Of course, the love triangle grabbed me. Who doesn’t enjoy reading about the tension and indecision of young love? I was on the fence the entire time as to whom I thought Katniss should end up with. By the end, however, I was committed to one person. I believe that Katniss' decision was a testament to the fact that our choices shape us, our experiences change us. Although I did mourn what could have been, I am glad that the story exemplified how sometimes in life, we choose the path to follow, but at other times, we are placed on a path not of our choosing, and it all depends on how we choose to walk that path.
I loved how Katniss’ actions became larger than her, and inspired uprisings and the eventual fall of their government. The fact that her actions had a ripple effect is something we should all take into consideration. We are not alone in the world, and what we say, what we do, and what we do or do not accomplish affect our own lives, but also affect those around us.
On April 18, after much waiting and much anticipation, Husband and I watched the Hunger Games on the big screen. A couple of things. First, at the most superficial, although I loved [katniss’ character] , I felt she was too big boned to play opposite Peeta. Peeta looked too small and scrawny next to her. Honestly, I think Peeta was miscast. I don’t think they portrayed her internal struggle with decisions and choices well. Husband and I also felt like they left out key elements that made the story so heartwrenching. I can’t understand why they left out District 11’s gift of bread. I don’t know why they downplayed her friendship with Gale, and what it was based on. I feel like they didn’t need to focus so much on the administration of the Games and how they were manipulated, especially since all of that was fabricated. They could have spent more time on character development within the Games themselves. I don’t think people really got a sense that Cato was mentally disturbed, or that the girl from District 5 was really cunning. They glossed over the reason why Peeta hung around the Career pack. Husband and I also felt that they didn’t spend enough time on how much the presence of an overabundance of food affected Peeta and Katniss. Also, I felt they could have spent more time on the fact that children were dying in these Games. They glossed over the battles and deaths – perhaps to keep the PG-13 rating?
I stayed away from most of the media hype pertaining to the movie because I wanted to be surprised and uninfluenced going into the movie theater. I did, however, read a couple of articles on the obsession people have with the story. I especially liked this one blog post by Rev. Robert Barron,, which compares the Hunger Games to the short story, the Lottery by Shirley Jackson, as well as the Roman gladiators. He said that most people reading the books can’t imagine something like this happening in this day and age. I agree with him that the thirst for human sacrifice is not far away – today, although reality tv is not watching people fight to the death, people revel in watching other people’s misfortunes, and thrive on watching people fail. Reality TV is just a hair away from the next step. We may kid ourselves in thinking that we’re watching the positive outcomes, but what really brings people back time and time again is finding out who gets voted off, and hoping for their least favorites to be brought down. The Hunger Games can be seen as a satire, a parody of our own society. Where do we fall within the boundaries of Panem? Who do we most resemble?

1 comment:

  1. The article that you posted in your blog is very interesting. He talks about scapegoating and how we participate in it on a daily basis through gossip and backstabbing. That by punishing someone we bring a level of stability to our lives. Order was established in the Capitol and the Districts through scapegoating. If gossip and backstabbing is scapegoating, it is scary and amazing to think that we particpate in the Hunger Games everyday to a certain degree. When comparing it to this gruesome tale it makes you want to speak only good of those aorund you just so that you are not associated with the evil in The Hunger Games.