Thoughts on The Hunger Games

So many people have recommended The Hunger Games to me that I figured I ought to read it before the movie came out, on the off chance that I might actually have a chance to see it. No movie yet, but I finished the book two weeks ago. I really enjoyed it. The first page hooked me. As a writer, I admire the author’s use of first person present tense. Most books are written in past tense. Present tense is challenging, but I think Susan Collins pulled it off well. It really created an immediacy with Katniss, who is ranking up there with some of my favorite young heroines.

Even though I haven’t seen the movie, I’ve heard a lot of about it, how the violence (really, this is a book about children fighting to the death and killing each other) was more implied than shown for the film, and a few of the changes from the book. So far the people I know who have seen it and read the book give it a thumbs up. I keep thinking about the irony of portraying The Hunger Games on the big screen. The main point of the book is that these Districts are being brutally oppressed and forced to send a boy and a girl to fight in the games, which are televised for the entire populace to see. As retribution for a rebellion that I really wanted to know more about as I was reading. Maybe that’s in the next book, which I haven’t read yet (no spoilers, please!). But the book shows how twisted society has become, that murder televised live is entertainment. And here we are, flocking to the movie that allows us to see the Hunger Games in all their “glory.” As part of the hype, people are even choosing which District they’d be from. I wonder if they have the proper amount of horror when the Tributes from their chosen District are killed?

Yes, I know it’s just a book. It’s not real, so I can’t be outraged about it. But the book drew me into that world and made me think. What if those things really happened… What if the people stood up and took a stand against the Games… What if they’d had enough and refused to let another child die. Katniss plants some of those seeds.

Fortunately we don’t live in that world, but there’s plenty of hatred and violence to go around in our own. What if we all did the right thing? Too much to ask?

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About Cindy Young-Turner

Hippie chick who is still hoping to change the world someday. Author of the fantasy novel, Thief of Hope.
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6 Responses to Thoughts on The Hunger Games

  1. Unfortunately, as this post indicates, I think more of us are like the residents of the Capitol than the Districts. So it might not be in our best interest to speak out.

    http://charleneoldham.com/2012/03/22/the-hunger-games-supersized/

  2. daemongirl says:

    Recently, there is the extra fun of knowing there are bigots – teens no less – who are voicing their ‘anger’ online that black people were cast in roles in the film. These are characters who the author described in the book as being “dark-skinned.” Where are these racist attitudes coming from, their parents, peers? What makes them believe having a person of color in a film “ruins” the story? (As it is the character of Katniss was described in the novel as having “dark hair and olive skin.” The actress chosen is white and blonde – she dyed her hair for the film. So we still have some Hollywood white-washing going on.)

    I think I’ll read the book – it’s been highly recommend to me – but avoid the film for now. The above reasons are leaving a bad taste in my mouth. :^(

    • Oh yes, I’ve heard about that. Really, did they not read the same book I did? I really liked the fact that the book depicted a multicultural society. There are ugly attitudes everywhere these days. You should read the book. Let me know if you want to borrow it. 🙂 Now I have to get my hands on the other two.

      • daemongirl says:

        My goal is to finish “Fledgling,” Octavia Butler’s last book. (Her own take on vampires no less!), and Iris Chang’s “The Rape of Nanking.” No, don’t ask.

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