I saw The Hunger Games film this afternoon. I found it to be more disturbing that the books. I have read the series – The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay the trilogy by Suzanne Collins. It was actually written as young adult literature. Both of my daughters, my sister and a friend had recommended the trilogy. So I finally read the first book on the plane flying back to New York from Seattle. Perfect book for an airplane. I read the other two books when I got home. I liked them and would suggest them but personally I think Hunger Games is a cautionary tale of the future.
Amazon’s description of The Hunger Games states: “In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, “The Hunger Games,” a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed.”
I have often thought that the next step after “Survivor” was the lions in the arena but I think the next step is The Hunger Games. The books were disturbing and thought-provoking. But today when I saw the film and the depiction of those “supervising” the Hunger Games, I was struck by “wow!! this isn’t hundreds of years in the future. With the right set of circumstances this could be the day after tomorrow” It was too close for comfort.
In the third book, Mockingjay, there is a statement that has given me pause: “It’s a saying from thousands of years ago, written in a language called Latin about a place called Rome,” he explains. “Panem et Cicenses translates into ‘Bread and Circuses.’… The writer was saying that in return for full bellies and entertainment, his people had given up their political responsibilities and therefore their rights.”
May I suggest that if we don’t want the Hunger Games on the fall TV schedule in the not so distant future, let’s be responsible citizens. And I don’t mean a TV series, I mean a real event.
I would love to discuss this book with an intergenerational group. I think there would be amazing conversation. Anyone want to join me?