Oh hi there! How are you? Me? Oh, I’m fine, thanks. Now that I’ve finally finished all three books in The Hunger Games Trilogy. I read them on my iPad. I don’t know how many pages the books were, but on the iPad, all three books totaled 15, 215 pages. I swiped my iPad screen 15, 215 times in the last four days.
My eyes hurt.
Yep. I took the plunge. I started The Hunger Games Saturday night and I finished the third book, Mockingjay, last night around midnight. I have done absolutely nothing in between those times. Except turn thirty-four, which I largely ignored anyway, so no big deal.
So my take on the books: I was skeptical when I went in to the series. I didn’t want to like it but, alas, I did like it. I had to fight through the first five chapters of the first book, which I found to be painfully boring. I almost gave it all up, but once the story finally picked up, I was hooked.
From a story standpoint, the books were great. There was a love triangle, lots of action and fantastic descriptions that pulled me right into the world of Panem. I could see it and smell it and feel the terror of it all.
That is great storytelling.
My suspicions that it isn’t the most grammatically sound piece of literature were correct, but I see the freedom that the author took with creative license and I could appreciate it. There were a few paragraphs that were overly fragmented in my opinion and a couple of times I laughed out loud at the, perhaps, overly judicious use of creative license, but overall I understood why she wrote the book the way she did and why an editor didn’t change it.
About half-way through the book I started to feel a bit squicky about the idea of watching the movie. There was this nagging idea that the author was making a pretty braod social statement, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was. But all I could think was that The Hunger Games were meant to be a thing of entertainment. People from the Capitol watched children killing each other as a means to entertain themselves.
Doesn’t it seem odd that we would want to watch the movie in that context?
By the end of the series, though, I got it – I saw exactly where the author wanted to lead us, which made watching the movie version of the book less offensive to me (though I still don’t know if I’ll see it). The Hunger Games is supposed to be an allegory of war. It’s a loose allegory and I think it’s meant to be an extreme picture on purpose.
We send young people into battle and they have to fight to the death with the knowledge that really, there can only be one victor. But in the battle, the good guys and the bad guys get muddied and soon, everyone kind of looks alike, because the battle for survival makes us all act in desperation.
Just as in a war, the end results of The Hunger Games are devastating. The victor is never the same, having seen and done things that are unspeakable. The families of the victims are forever left without their child and every community is ultimately affected with the horror of it all.
But who is the Capitol supposed to represent? This is something I had a hard time figuring out. Maybe it’s not a representation of any one thing or group of people, but on occasion I got a vague sense that maybe the Capitol was supposed to represent America and it felt a bit underhanded.
Other times, however, that didn’t seem to be the case at all.
In the end, it was one more story that leads us to believe that the only answer is a sort of Utopian society, where a new race of peace loving people is the only hope for the world. A nice thought, I suppose.
But in the end it’s all just fiction, isn’t it?
So what do you think? I realize I’m roughly two years late to this conversation. I’m edgy like that.
In all honestly, though, before I read the books I truly had no idea what they were about so I’ve read nothing on the subject. What message did you take from The Hunger Games?