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Hunger Games vs. Reality

Caesar123 posted this thread...
Jul. 6, 2014 at 9:32 pm

Okay, so I was watching The Hunger Games the other day, and then afterwards flipped on some celebrity news, and suddenly I saw the scary similarity between them both. Obviously biased, over the top hosts speaking to an oddly dressed and easily swayed and rather predictable audience. Does anyone else feel like maybe The Hunger Games and the real world aren’t too far apart?

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Jubilex replied...
Jul. 7, 2014 at 11:47 pm

I think that's the whole point of the story. The idea is that The Hunger Games is a horrible event that occurs once a year, killing children. But the media spins it in to entertainment and those who do not experience it first hand see it that way.
It's a pretty decent, if more extreme, comparisson to our current media.

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Jubilex replied...
Jul. 7, 2014 at 11:48 pm

Obviously, it's not the only theme of the books, but it's one that carries on. It's very prominent in the last book too, with all the propoganda spreading.

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-MidnightAngel- replied...
Jul. 8, 2014 at 10:04 pm

Jubilex is right, I think the whole point of the story is to make a scathing and disturbingly accurate allegory of the current world.

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Caesar123 replied...
Jul. 10, 2014 at 12:24 am

I guess your right. Maybe it was a dumb post. I don’t know, it just never struck me how close they really seem. I heard all that stuff from Suzanne Collins, but never really thought about it until just a little while ago.

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Jubilex replied...
Jul. 10, 2014 at 4:56 am

It's not dumb at all! It's a perfectly legitimate thing to wonder about and it can most certainly spark some good discussion with the right audience.

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Doctorbug replied...
Jul. 12, 2014 at 10:00 pm

Talk about it with your friends Ceasar :) I know I've done so with mine, and actually, a lot of them didn't get the point of the books/movies and the similarities. Like Jubilex said, it certainly can spark good conversations with the right people ;)

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Quantum1.0 replied...
Jul. 13, 2014 at 12:17 pm

After watching Catching Fire I wrote this essay, which is somewhat relevant, so I thought I'd share it. I hope you all like it/find it interesting:
  I just got back from watching Catching Fire, the second Hunger Games movie. I'd read the books a few years ago and loved the first two. I hated the third one. It was disturbing - Prim's death, Katniss's helplessness, Gail's willingness to sacrifice any sort of morality to win, the decision to keep the Hunger Games going with people from the capital - the whole thing really. Overall I was just left feeling very dissatisfied.
   It wasn't until watching Catching Fire today that I realized why - the series as a whole has no real message. Its shallow, empty. The first two books are great - they have good story arcs and bring up interesting moral dilemmas, but then the third book fails to bring it together in any sort of meaningful way. I understand the point Collins was trying to make: War is pointless and violent - it destroys people. But the problem is everything was pointless and violent without the revolution too. Its a "da.mned if you do, da.mned if you don't kind of thing." Maybe she's right, but its a horribly hopeless message, and it makes you wonder about the audience this book is intended for. Clearly the story is written at a young teenage reading level, which leads to the obvious question: Is this the sort of message we want to be leaving young people with?
   I feel like fiction should have a point. Entertainment is great, but there has to be something more - there has to be meaning. And that meaning needs to be something positive, something that makes us better as people. Its not that I don't like dark or dystopian fiction. I think it can teach good lessons - I love Ender's Game, and Animal Farm, and 1984. But The Hunger Games as a whole doesn't do it for me. I think the most interesting one in that list is 1984. 1984 is profoundly disturbing and hopeless. It takes place in a world similar to ours, so why do I like that book on whole, and not The Hunger Games?
   I'm not entirely sure, but I think the problem might be on my end because here is the thing: I like 1984 as a story, but I didn't enjoy it. The Hunger Games on the other hand (the third book aside) I enjoyed. They were entertaining. Then, in the third book, the series pulled a bait and switch on me. I expected 1984  to be dark and depressing, but despite its themes The Hunger Games really wasn't a dystopian story until the last book. I liked Gail. I liked Katniss. I liked Peeta. And then suddenly, jarringly, I didn't. I watched them get destroyed - and for nothing, nothing at all. The Hunger Games was set up like a book where the protagonists would overcome the challenges they faced, so when those expectations weren't met it was jarring and unpleasant. There wasn't a point. Or at least not a point to the first two books. It almost seems like there are two totally different stories - that in the first two books and that in the last one. And the last one made the first two completely pointless.
   Now for the clincher - although the first two books were made pointless by the third book they were still entertaining. So essentially they become nothing more than an entertaining tale of kids killing each other. Sound familiar? Oh great! Now I'm the Capital!
   This, when it comes down to it, is why the series was so dissatisfying as a whole. I feel tricked. I expected the first books to have some sort of meaning - I thought the games would be training for the protagonists to overcome the challenges they faced in the third. But they didn't overcome those challenges - not really. The people that emerged from the revolution weren't Katniss and Peeta and Gail. They were different. They were monsters.
   That said, the first two books (and movies) are very entertaining I don't regret reading them. Now excuse me while I go get a fancy hairdo and go watch kids killing each other on TV.

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Doctorbug replied...
Jul. 13, 2014 at 6:17 pm

Actually that's a pretty good essay, makes me think about it more than the surface "War is evil and destroys people" theme. Katniss I think though, was a monster from the beginning. She was very selfish and looked out for herself. Even her decision to fight in the hunger games is a little selfish. Prim sees her volunteer for her, but then she sees her older sister killing other kids...what does that say to Prim?
My favorite character was Peeta, because he wasn't about to let the Capital ruin him. The one thing I really hated about the third book, was that Peeta was brainwashed and ruined anyway and that kinda ruined it for me. I never did like Gale though, lol. Prims death seems meaningless. Katniss didn't need a reason to tip over the edge, she already had I think.
The "dam.ned if you do, dam.ned if you don't" message was a little depressing. I read the books a while back and remember enjoying them. The third one felt like a different story somehow, though :/

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