The Hunger Games Conundrum

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            George Orwell and Aldous Huxley imagined two very different dystopias. In 1984 (1949), Orwell depicts the forces that held people captive as fundamentally external: coercion, espionage, laws, institutions, and threats, lies told by the powers-that-be (or, the state? government?). The vision of freedom that Orwell presents is primarily socio-political, with the greatest threat to humans being other humans, whether the Nazi, the slave-owner, or the autocrat etc… Oppression comes through pain, not pleasure; the essence of liberty is to be without external constraint. By contrast, Huxley’s Brave New World (1934), published just after the Wall Street crash had turned the excess of the twenties into the Great Depression of the thirties, portrays a future in which people are enslaved to forces within themselves: desire, inanity, hedonism, egotism, ignorance. Humans are free if they are able to choose, to will their own future, to decide for themselves what they will do with their lives. The cores of these dystopia are striking and fascinating and really kickstarted the dystopia genre as it’s own entity.

The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins is the latest craze in young adult literature. Unlike its young adult or children’s literature predecessors, such as Harry Potter and Twilight, this latest book phenomenon is not rooted in the paranormal. There is no magic; there are no vampires. The protagonists are ordinary people, living in a dystopian society. However, in reflection of its dystopian predecessors The Hunger Games presents an interesting blend of 1984 and Brave New World.

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There is a distinct disparity between the excessive, hedonistic world of the Capitol and the impoverished, oppressed and constrained districts. The hero, Katniss, and her family live in a district where the primary employment is in coal mining. People in district 12 are themselves split into an upper and lower class, but regardless, they all live in poverty, struggling to find enough food and resources so that they won’t have to buy tesserae (where you get food and oil every month in exchange for putting you’d child’s name in an extra time for the Hunger Games). We learn throughout the series that this lifestyle is similar across the districts – except for in districts 1 and 2 (and sometimes 3?) which are ‘privileged’ and which produce Career Tributes – kids who train their whole life for the glory of fighting in the Hunger Games.

While the residents of the districts starve, the citizens of the Capitol live in luxury. They play with eugenics, aesthetics and their sole reason for living seems to be in serving the Capitol in a cultural way, creating the arts and consuming them. Aside from what their use is, they are excessive, purging themselves at parties in order to enjoy more food (much like the Romans) and paying exorbitant amounts of money to support the Hunger Games and their favourite tribute. Opulence is reserved for the elite, for the government officials and citizens of the Capitol.

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I hope to have, by now painted the picture that the districts live in an Orwellian dystopia while the Capitol exists in a world that strongly resembles Brave New World – many Capitol citizens don’t seem to notice that they are living in a controlled society or the cruelties their government commits in order to maintain this lifestyle. However, we get hints, Cinna for one seems to realize it as does Plutarch (the gamemaker in Catching Fire) and in Mockingjay there is Tigris, whose high-life has had horrific consequences. Then of course there are President Snow who has orchestrated the Panem system and Alma Coin who is never fooled and who orchestrate her own hostile takeover of that system, without the intention of really making change – well, that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms. Oh, Coin, she lady MacBeths the whole thing, scheming for control but all for vengeance and not for change.

However, the one thing that ties these two worlds together (and arguable which ties our world into these) is The Hunger Games. All of Panem revolves around the annual Hunger Games. The Capitol prepares for it all year, and, ironically, by supplying the Capitol with resources, so do the districts. The districts emotionally prepare for it each year as well. While it is touted as the reconciliation for the revolution of 74 years before, it has really become what holds Panem together. It is a sport to the Capitol, but for the districts it is mandatory viewing  – they’ve got to watch their punishment, of course. Those who live in the districts have little technology with even telephones being a sign of wealth. However, each household does have a television so that they might watch ‘national broadcasts’ and the Hunger Games.

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While the books have received criticism for what some consider unnecessary violence, children killing children is pretty graphic, but let’s take things really literally here. The graphic content is not needlessly gratuitous but instead, I think, a reflection of our own world. The Capitol = western civilization whereas the districts are pretty much everywhere else (I know that is broad and I apologize, I’ve never been great at political correctness). The districts provide resources and labour for the Capitol who produces entertainment and excessive amounts of products and waste. Collins said that she was motivated to write the novels after watching footage of the invasion of Iraq and reality T.V. We need look no further than our televisions and newspapers for acts of violence similar to those portrayed in the books. I think rather than criticising these books for gratuitous violence we should take a look at the box office profits of the films. This book is attempting to direct our (western) gaze inward, demonstrating that big, powerful governments have a tendency to become corrupt and intrusive (to put it lightly). So, how ironic is it that the first film alone earned over 214.3 million in its opening weekend? What more proof do you need that we westerners are the Capitol, spending money to support our favourite tribute and our favourite industry, entertainment media.

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I think we may have missed the point. I got a little excited there. The recent popularity of dystopian literature for young adults presents an opportunity. Perhaps books like The Hunger Games will encourage youth and adults alike (because the book is cross-over and we can’t assume that youth aren’t already questioning these things) to question the whys of the world, our lifestyle, the way we treat the environment and other people. Perhaps the film can be used to point out this irony, to question the dissemination of knowledge and history, to question government and statism. And, perhaps by reading books like The Hunger Games youth will engage with the message and ideas of liberty – before fiction becomes reality.

I’m going to end now, because this has gotten long and kind of heavy. In the final book, Katniss asks Plutarch (the rebel gamemaker from Catching Fire) if he is preparing for another war. He replies:

“Oh, not now. Now we’re in that sweet period where everyone agrees that our recent horrors should never be repeated…. But collective thinking is usually short-lived. We’re fickle, stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self-destruction. Although who knows? Maybe this will be it. Maybe we are witnessing the evolution of the human race. Think about that.”

Comments

  1. MeganUnicorn on

    You verbed Lady Macbeth! Well done. Also, shouldn’t dystopias and writing about dystopias be heavy? It is a heavy topic by nature.

  2. Dystopia – a list! | The Book Wars on

    […] This is it! This is the end of November and therefore the end of dystopia month. There is so much more to talk about but I thought I’d leave you with a list of dystopia, which will not include The Hunger Games because I have already posted on it this month, and you all know you should read t… […]

  3. rami ungar the writer on

    I wasn’t a fan of The Hunger Games that much (I thought the second and third books failed to expand on Katniss and the world she lived in, among other things), but I admit it is great social commentary, especially when we in the West don’t really seem to mind when children are forced to kill in reality.
    Also, if you liked The Hunger Games, you should really check out Battle Royale. It came out a couple of years before Hunger Games did,and I think it is vastly superior and an interesting form of social commentary in and of itself.

    1. stephalump on

      If you check out today’s Top Ten Tuesday Battle Royale made the list. I have heard it’s kind of a progenitor of sorts.
      I have to agree with your assessment of the second and third books, the second especially was the poorest execution, I think, with the six month recover the short time in the arena and then the end – which wasn’t much of a twist. Also the love triangle, ugh.
      The third picked it back up for me,I think I liked the city space as hunger games arena ^_^;

      1. rami ungar the writer on

        Oh, the love triangle, along with the pacing of the second book, completely ruined it for me. Way to regress on Katniss’s character development and make her little more than Bella Swan!
        By the way, where’s this Top Ten Tuesday? I’ve been trying to find it.

      2. thismillennial on

        I loved the article itself. It was truly insightful and eye opening.
        But, I completely disagree with this comment. The second book combines the worlds of the first and second books. Not only do we see Katniss as a strong female competitor in the arena, but we also see her in her real life, while attempting to create a fake one. As for the love triangle, it only strengthens Katniss as an awesome character. Unlike the traditional female hero who is presented with an optional romance and capitulates, Katniss remains strong throughout the rest of the series. She is still the Mockingjay. She is the symbol of hope and strength despite the fact she is being romanced, being excluded from action, and remaining the support of her family. I think the failure to see this was what caused the second and third books to fall short for you.

        1. stephalump on

          Thank you for your comment 🙂 glad you liked the post!

          I know many people who agree with you and absolutely adore the second book – and again I do think the arena was wonderfully creative, but I felt that Katniss let me down a little, constantly looking inward instead of out, like in the first book. I think the perfomativity and the lengthy beginning was a little overkill because we saw that in the first novel as well. Immediately, actually, she begins to act for the Capitol. The ramifications of this act in her real life were interesting, but a little melodramatic (?). Perhaps because I really don’t buy the love triangle.

          Once the Quell began I began to enjoy the book a lot more, pacing picked up, story moved along, nice twists and creative obstacles.

  4. Mrs. Roberson on

    Great analysis of the books. As an English teacher, I’ve gone back and forth on my own personal opinion of them, but the undeniable fact is that kids are both reading them and talking about them. I’ve never assigned or taught these books, but my students have read them on their own and often made connections between The Hunger Games and many of the books we read in class – most notably with The Giver, but they make other connections as well. These books are definitely make kids think, which is awesome.
    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! 🙂

    1. stephalump on

      Thanks! ^-^
      I don’t know anyone yet who is using them in a classroom,but I think if a teacher were to bring it in it would be their challenge to try and point out the way that the book is trying to mirror our own world, the separation between cultures, commercialism and manipulation of the media, the insidious way that ‘the Capitol/ ‘they’/ the Government’ rules.
      It would be interesting. Katniss is a wonderful model, she is very human, but she seems to be what a lot of kids focus on and then we get things like Hunger Games camp, and a phenomenal increase in archery and fencing, which, in a way is just buying into the brand of The Hunger Games and not actually getting it. Have you seen: http://www.tampabay.com/news/humaninterest/at-hunger-games-camp-children-want-to-fight-to-the-death/2134621 ?

  5. orangerful on

    Great post!

    What I love about ‘Hunger Games’ and Collins’ first series ‘Gregor the Overlander’ is that she doesn’t sugar-coat war and fighting. So many times adults try to deem what is appropriate for kids and teens, saying the violence is too much. Yet they turn on the TV and there it is. Heck, those teens are the ones pondering if they should join the army or not, so I never bought into the whole “oh it’s so gratuitous” argument.

    Good science fiction and fantasy holds up a mirror to our current world and I think that is why these books have captured so many people. Love them or hate them, people read all the way to the end. Sometimes I think the dislike of the series comes from seeing too much of ourselves and it makes us feel uncomfortable.

    But every time a parent asks me if they should let their kid read the ‘Hunger Games’, I URGE them to read it with them, to discuss it. There is so much to talk about.

    1. stephalump on

      Totally!

      People are always asking for what age group The Hunger Games is for, and that’s a tricky question. It’s not that I don’t think a kid can handle it, it’s just that I don’t know how the parent or guardian censors their child’s reading. I have guage what I think the adult will want me to say, but I always end on – but really, I would never stop anyone from reading anything so if you child wants to read it, let them.

      1. orangerful on

        Exactly. I had a mother ask if her daughter should read Mockingjay and I asked if she had read the other two and the mother said yes. I told her to let her read it (in my mind I thought “she has earned the pain!”)

        1. stephalump on

          Haha, of course! You can’t stop a kid from finishing a series just because it gets a little more serious. Pshaw, that’s just it. The characters and world grows and changes – just like us. ^_^

  6. Michelle Joelle on

    Great analysis. I’m always a little confused when people stop at the love story and the reality TV metaphor – the real comparison is so much bigger. Thanks for your post!

  7. les1pin on

    This is a great post! The sad part is that even though we get lots of exposure to great literature (or simply eye opening literature) mass media always ‘helps’ guide our discussions about it in directions that are completely beside the point. For example, all this hype about the ‘love triangle’ in the Hunger Games? Some have hit the mark in pointing out that there is no love triangle, but the conversation always seems to end there. 🙁

    1. stephalump on

      I have to agree ^_^;

      There is no contest between Peeta and Gale – and I strongly dislike the extra Gale kiss thrown into the new movie because it is so clear that they are trying the whole “Team Peeta” and “Team Gale” thing that Twilight had with Edward and Jacob, they are trying to make more hype and more money and not trying to focus on the message.
      Don’t even get me started on the Cover Girl Capitol Collection or the Subway Spicy Chicken sandwiches…

  8. Rose Red on

    My daughter read these books age 10, I thought that they were beyond her understanding but may have sown a seed…they were good for opening up discussions and I think she will make parallels with other things in politics, history and English. I hope so, anyway. The films, maybe not quite so much. The irony of the Hunger Games seems lost on the generation which has been brought up on them.
    ‘Would you let me watch the Hunger Games if they were real?’ she asked after seeing the film!

    1. stephalump on

      ^_^

      Thanks for the comment.

      That is a little frightening – “Would you let me watch the Hunger Games if they were real?”
      But that opens up the door for those kinds of discussions and talking about what the purpose of literature is, and how it plays with and critiques culture.
      Keep feeding that girl good books! ^_^

  9. mirrorgirl on

    I never thought I would consider reading hunger games, since I am sceptical to !blockbusters’. But when I saw you compared it to two classics and said it was a blend of them, I might actually reconsider:)

    1. stephalump on

      Glad to hear it!

      There are better written books out there, but this one is so interesting for so many reasons – which I think, is also why it’s so phenomenally popular.

      Let me know what you think when you’ve gotten through them!

  10. Emanuele Corso, PhD on

    Hunger Games, as I see it, is a warning. The US is becoming more and more like Brave New World, more and more dystopian by the day. I’ve been writing about this process on my blog for a couple of years now. Reading the news daily provides ample proof.

    1. stephalump on

      Thank you! ^_^

      To tell you the truth.. and this might be a bit blasphemous on a book blog… besides the extra Gale kiss, the movie might have done a better job than the book in some respects and I like that. A film should adapt and improve where possible, omit where necessary and tell a good story and I think the film did a great job. ^_^

      I hope you like reading the books! There is a lot there to sink your teeth into!
      Enjoy!

  11. Grace @ Cultural Life on

    This is a great post! I wrote something with similar thoughts about a year ago (“Thoughts on reading The Hunger Games”) but you expanded on the topic a lot more and with great detail. That quote from Plutarch is such a great piece of writing. I remember when I first read it; it really packs a punch because it is so true! After the First World War, I bet nobody thought they would have to experience the atrocities of another World War.

    There are lots of thought-provoking aspects in The Hunger Games and I really enjoyed this post. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  12. kimberlychase on

    I never got the sense that the Capitol was a western civilization as I read the first book. Hollywood did go out of it’s way to make that point in the movie though, but I thought the Capitol simply represented the place where power resided.

    Thanks for the interesting read.

    1. stephalump on

      Thanks for the comment!

      I think that, perhaps, the Capitol represents industrialization and decadence in the way that Huxley’s Brave New World did. I feel like the use of media and the over consumerism are a bit satirical but still representative of the Western world.

      1. kimberlychase on

        As someone who grew up in the West but outside of America for a time, I can certainly see your point. My views of consumerism and the media is that they are tools, means of controlling people through distraction, flattery and pretense, things that reinforce established American mythologies that play to our deepest vanities.

        The success of the Hunger Games movies (and the books since the blockbuster series began) wouldn’t bother me as much if the themes I initially found so captivating where being presented to the audience in any real way. I mean the author did try in my opinion to make these connections and I would argue that she delivered on her attempt though they were not explicit. Instead we get a young heroine, her two suitors, and her fiery wardrobes. It’s like a modern day fairy tale.

        Wow, this comment escalated quickly. I’ll stick my cynicism back in its box now. 😀

  13. lanalachyani on

    Dystopia is one of my favourite genres. Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood is another classic. I really enjoyed reading your perspective. As a huge Hunger Games fan (books and film), I love that it provokes widespread discussion.

  14. Alex on

    Painting the Capitol as the the west may be painting in too broad a strokes. Or maybe not broad enough. It strikes me that the villain is the elite and wealthy government/political class, which in western society, at least, is comprised of politicians, the media (many of whom are either married to non-elected political functionaries, are former non-elected political functionaries, like that hack Stephanopoulos, or expect to become non-elected political functionaries in the future), and the entertainers who often the cultural mouthpieces of the ruling class who create culture molding propaganda to shift the public opinion to better mesh with the ruling class, as we’ve seen with healthcare. This class lives off the labor and wealth of the working populace in the private sector.

    1. stephalump on

      Oh, what a fascinating reading, I can totally see what you are saying too. The exploitation is closer to home and more nuanced than what I have said.

      Thank you for the comment! Food for thought!

  15. James on

    The plot in the story may not be far off from the real world. Probably the author wants to express her personal point of view with regards to politics and society as a whole. Your post encourages me to read the hunger games trilogy. thanks.

    1. stephalump on

      Thanks for the comment!

      I hope you enjoy the books – they are a quick read and rich for the critiquing. ^_^ I’m not saying they are the best out there in terms of story and writing (Try Marie Lu’s Legend, Shusterman’s Unwind, Rosoff’s How I Live Now or even Bertagna’s Exodus for quality writing and more interesting reading in the YA sphere).

      Cheers!

  16. lruthnum on

    Excellent post that really explores the ideas in the book – so refreshing to read an analysis of the books/films instead of the usual tosh about the actors involved or the bloody love triangle! I love dystopian literature and particularly Orwell’s work – fascinating to read and totally changes the way you look at society.

  17. JVBurnett on

    My husband, having not read them, though they were of the (shudder) Twilight level of fluff. They are definitely not. There is so much social commentary packed into these books that I’m not sure that kids are even aware that they are absorbing, but I think it is valuable that they ARE. They will look back on these books as older readers and see them in a completely different light, and that, for me, is the powerful aspect of them. They will see that the individual can make a difference. It’s ugly and messy and costly, but possible. That’s important.

    1. stephalump on

      Thank for the comment!

      Yes the series does accomplish a dual readership, and I think it does it fairly well. *still sulking about the film and the ‘love triangle* I just get irritated at the marketing.

  18. Elana on

    Well written. A wonderful description of the hunger games that coincides so well with mine. I, too, connected it to the anti-utopian literature from my youth. I remember reading 1984 in High School and thinking as it is so far in the future! The cross over is valid. In a related vein, a local cinema-plex that markets to the poor is still showing Elysium. It has been showing for several months. I have never seen a flick run that long. The appeal to the poor? An individual (the flawed hero) somehow breaks down the boundary between the city of the rich, orbiting high above the polluted earth, and the poor huddled masses being used as cheap, disposable labor. Utopia above and a human made hell below. I find it interesting that this move has such appeal that it is still running. The reason is obvious. I hope the Hunger games franchise motivates people to redress the extreme inequality of resource distribution everywhere, and even in the USA. Kudos.

    1. stephalump on

      I haven’t seen Elysium yet, but now I just have to!

      Yes – actually I think something a little odd about the books is the hint that the poor in the districts are vastly outnumbered by the Capitol. We hear that District 12 is quite small but when we get to the Capitol there are hundreds of thousands of people there to watch the Games.
      Just an interesting note and I wonder what it has to say about our society? That we are massively useless – I mean the Capitol does lose to the rebellion.. hm.

  19. Sword of Apollo on

    Interesting analysis, and I think you’re right on Collins’s intention.

    Have you ever read Atlas Shrugged? It actually has a rather different take on dystopia and utopia than any of the books mentioned. But, as a novel, it is also expresses ideas much deeper than politics. I find it to be a very inspiring novel.

      1. aworldoffilm on

        Zombie? Not normally my thing but I would say George A. Romero’s “of the dead” series. Great films with not only scares but deep social commentary.

        1. stephalump on

          Not normally my thing either but with all this sort of post-humanism/post-modern stuff that I’ve been reading and writing I thought – watching zombie movies is a fun kind of research!

          Thanks for the recommendation! I’ll look into it. ^_^

    1. stephalump on

      I have… but the first one wasn’t my favourite and so I haven’t tried the next two.

      I think it’s worth it, just so that I can get the full scope of the critique – it’s just finding the time.

      🙂 Why? What about it do you recommend?

  20. karenspath on

    I’m glad to see that I am not the only one who saw something in the Hunger Games series beyond the entertainment factor. I was introduced to them by several friends who gushed about how great the books were etc, and not one of them mentioned anything about the message central to the books. I was blown away by the story line but also by Suzanne Collins’ blatant warning. She also wrote a series for younger kids called Gregor the Overlander that deal with racism and war. Pretty weighty stuff that help kids to maybe think a little. I love the books and the way it makes you stop and think (or should make you stop and think!) Great post!

    1. stephalump on

      Yes! I loved Gregor the Overlander! I have to admit I read it after The Hunger Games Series but I immediately noticed how the race of the protagonists was absent but slightly nuanced and I immediately fell in love.

      It’s a wonderful series for reluctant readers, any readers – boys, girls, whatever race/ethnicity/culture. It’s an adventure!

  21. The Blair Actress on

    Hi stephalump. You say ” And, perhaps by reading books like The Hunger Games youth will engage with the message and ideas of liberty – before fiction becomes reality.” I need to disagree.
    I agree the PREMISE of the book, and maybe the original idea, could possibly engage with these messages. But from the end of the first book, everything went downhill.

    Whenever I read the word “teenage” associated to books or films, I tend to stay away. Luckily though, I stumbled upon “The Hunger Games”, by accident. Fast pace, eerie (and yet very natural looking) dystopic future, loads of political and social satire. So it seemed.

    The story was good all through its length, the kind of book you just can’t stop reading, until the disappointing end.

    Another reader defines it well: “”I was thinking about why is this series of movies (and books) is so successful and I just couldn’t figure it out. It’s insanely popular with young girls who are notorious for disliking any kind of competent action heroines. But the thing is that Katniss is NOT an action heroine. The movie is survival horror, not action. She never does anything heroic (other than replacing her sister). All she does is to kill perfectly innocent children who are forced to fight, and most of the time she doesn’t even do that. She just hides and waits for the others to kill each other.

    Then I remembered the climax of the first movie. What does she do there? She threatens to kill herself if the authorities don’t do what she wants them to do.

    And. It. Works.

    That was the moment when Katniss endeared herself to 15-year-old girls everywhere.

    It says something very meaningful about the world today that the two most successful heroines (written by women) in the 21st century are a girl who spends 4 movies trying to get married and another one who uses suicide as a form of manipulation. I have no idea what it all means, but I’m pretty sure it means something very important.”

    And then came Catching Fire. Let’s skip the first third of the book, where all we read are extremely boring and over-detailed descriptions of Katniss’ dresses and her oh-so-confusing New-Moony dilemma about whether she loves Peeta or Gale. She’s barely the hunter tomboy girl who’s too busy being hungry or politically aware to realize she’s pretty, the girl from the first book we all loved. The whole between-the-lines purpose of the stylists and beauty team has now vanished. It’s no longer there to “try to convert a nice normal girl into a product for the cameras, for the preys of gossip vultures who will be watching TV / to criticize the pressure towards celebrities, the transformation into something you’re not”. No. In the second book, the stylists and beauty team’s function is now to please reader girls who will actually be wishing to be in the hands of beauty experts to prettify them, who will be eager to know what look Katniss will wear next.

    When we are finally past that, we pick up with the end of Hunger Games: the lazy, weakly and vaguely justifiable uprisings starting in all the districts (interrupted by yet another description of all 6 or 7 wedding dresses Katniss is trying on), and the terrible threat she now supposes to the government. Let’s think for a second of this world Suzanne Collins immerses us in: So for 73 years, people have been starving and dying in the hands of a tyrant cruel government. And now, because some kids threatened to eat some poison Romeo & Juliette style, all the system starts being unacceptable, outrageous, too much to take. Seriously, let’s think of this world, and the two major flaws of the whole premise:

    1) For 73, yes 73 years, no possible atrocity committed in the arena was revolting enough to start any sort of riot. No one, in 73 years, thought of anything barely as provocative as eating berries. Imagine the first Hunger Games, the very first. When a lot of absolutely terrified 12 to 18 year olds were dumped into an arena to fight to the death. No one cried, no one simply refused to kill anyone and just sat there, in a circle, no one, say, thought of killing themselves before. Remember, on year one or even 2, it would be impossible to have “Careers who trained their whole life”. It’s even difficult to think how the killings even started, as, according to what we know from the book, there was no major sign of historical rivalry among the districts justifying some blood thirsty candidates eager to finish off kids not from their hood. But no, eating berries was the ultimate (and apparently the very first) sign of subversion. Lazy, to say the least.

    2) Why is eating the berries such a big deal? In a world where young people are “reaped” from their homes to kill each other and this is all just a very successful TV show where all of them are, on top, treated like celebrities, a world where everything is just for the sake of entertainment, it’s just impossible not to image a highly skilled marketing/media team to deal with:

    a) whatever happens in the arena, in terms of manipulating the images, editing content, creating biased opinions for the viewers, etc. Is there really a life or death issue if one year there are no victors? Couldn’t they get around with, say, “aww, this is so cute! They both died. For love! Don’t miss another exciting edition of the Hunger Games next year!”? Couldn’t they have stricken any of them with a lightning and proclaimed the other victor, if having one victor matters so much? After 73 years (that is 1,679 killed children) of murders, why does a lovey-dovey couple destabilize a Country? Seriously, did nothing more shocking than that happen so far?

    b) whatever impact the Games – a reality TV show – have on society. Aw man, please. Now the President himself is saying Katniss will have to marry Peeta?! Otherwise what, people will think she was just using a strategy to save a friend she is not romantically involved with?! And this is really unacceptable, right?! If it turns out they were genuinely in love, people won’t see it as an act of rebellion. But if she was just leading him on… woh! Besides, a country who loves extreme reality TV shows to this point, please…, must be used to convenience dating to sell more magazines or raise the popularity of one celebrity or another. The stars of Twilight dated, the stars of High School Musical dated, why can’t the stars of the 70 sometieth edition of the Hunger Games have their moment too? Then send some paparazzi to show how the “slut” has dumped poor baker guy and sell magazines with stealthy pictures of her and Gale. Everyone gets brain numbed by the gossip, and the revolution will fade away from the public interest, will carry on being just a delusion of stoner- idealistic-weirdo students. Like in the real world.

    So the Hunger Games has no impact in making people think. It became a fashion showcase, and much more, a Twilight-like love triangle story.

  22. cheapfashionfun on

    I find your analysis of this post interestimg, having read the book and watched the film and will be following your blog!. I find it fascinating how authors can just create an entirely new world such as this!
    I would be interested in you giving me some ideas on my newly formed reading blog!
    http://lotsandlotsandlotsofbooks.wordpress.com/
    Thanks and sorry to bother you, i need to promote because it is very newly formed but I am posting every other day and not getting much response!

  23. thewonderhannah on

    I loved The Hunger Games. It’s scary to think that I can actually some sort of reality tv with people killing each other being popular in the future. Or some sort of “public justice” with violence. Have you read Divergent by Veronica Roth? That is also about a dystopian world, but with a different theme.

    1. stephalump on

      Yep, I’ve read Divergent – it wasn’t my favourite, I think it was a quick pace, but I’m not altogether convinced that it is actually too dystopic, mayhaps the rest of the series is… ^_^; A collegue of mine did really like it and so I’m considering giving it another go in a couple months before the film.

      Thanks for the comment!

  24. music4meez on

    I have been meaning to make a similar post, but you said everything I needed to and you said it well. Thank you, I can only hope more people realise this. What’s worse is that most people I speak to are like the eccentric citizens from the Capitol (i.e. Obsessed with the West and ignorant to their ‘control’)

    1. stephalump on

      Thank you for your comment!

      Yes, I just couldn’t contain myself anymore! I had to write it!

      Please do write your post and link me to it and I’ll give you a read and a comment too! The more people expressing opinions the better. ^_^

  25. pvols on

    This was an interesting article. I am glad I took time to read it. You caught my attention with some of my old favorites and did an excellent job digging into the meat of these stories. All dystopian literature is somehow related. It is the idea of liberty, or lack thereof, that ties them together.

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