Thoughts on The Hunger Games

Monday, March 26, 2012

Winning means fame and fortune.
Losing means certain death.
The Hunger Games have begun...

I think at this point most of you have at least heard of the Hunger Games and probably have a vague idea about the plot. What's that? You say you've never even heard of it? Well, that's okay. To be perfectly honest, I hadn't heard of them either until a month ago. But it's high time you became acquainted, if I do say so myself. True, I don't know you, but I think there's something in these books for everyone to learn from.

Let me give you a brief overview of the plot in case you don't already know.
Katniss Everdeen is a sixteen-year-old girl living in District 12, the coal mining district of Panem. The fruits of the district's labors are all sent to the Capitol, in exchange for a meager amount of food. Every year the Capitol holds the Hunger Games, a televised event in which twenty-four children (one boy and one girl "tribute" from each of the districts) are thrown into a massive arena and forced to fight to the death. The day of the reaping has come, when two names will be chosen from the list of children ages 12-18. Katniss fears her name being drawn, since she has entered her name several times in exchange for more food. However, her name isn't drawn at the reaping. Her sister's is.
Katniss volunteers in her sister's place, and is shipped off to the capitol along with Peeta Mellark, the male tribute from District 12. As they prepare for the games, both Katniss and Peeta have choices to make, which will indeed be the difference between life and death. Compassion, or survival?

I started reading the first book in an airport in the Dominican Republic on the first of this month. Last week I completed the final instalment of the trilogy. And yesterday I watched the film. My feelings of excitement and anticipation were mixed with some nervousness. What if they do a terrible job staying true to the book? What if the acting sucks? What if my brother starts dancing a jig in the middle of the film and gets us kicked out? Well, perhaps that last one wasn't real big on my list of reservations. However I was somewhat unsure of how I would be able to handle the violence and intensity. I'm quite a squeamish person, and while there's a lot of things I can read about in books, I don't really want to be watching them on tv.

Surprisingly, the movie was incredibly true to the book. I was quite impressed with its accuracy. This is both a blessing and a curse, seeing as half the book was focused on the Hunger Games; The killing, survival, sickness, festering wounds, you get the picture. However, none of it was portrayed in graphic detail.

The most disturbing thing about this movie (and the books as well) though, is not the killings. It's not the fight for survival, the sickness or the wounds. It's that this thing, this world portrayed in the books, could one day be a reality.

I know, you probably are thinking I'm being overly dramatic over these books. We can't imagine living in a world where people could cheer and shout as children are filmed murdering each other in the most revolting ways. Even the most morally askew person can see that this is a hideous evil. But look at the state of our government already. Children are murdered before they can even see the light of their first day. The rich spend their money on trivial possessions but do nothing to help children who are dying of preventable diseases and hunger.

There's something Peeta says in the book that I really love.

“My best hope is not to disgrace myself and... I
don't know how to say it exactly. Only... I want to die as myself. Does that make any sense? ...I don't want them to change me in there. Turn me into some kind of monster that I'm not. ...I keep wishing I could think of a way to... to show the Capitol they don't own me. That I'm more than just a piece in their Games."

Maybe the world will never reach this state of depravity. I desperately hope not. According to some, it already has. But whether it does or not, I find Peeta's words quite convicting. How can a person seeking to do right by others and God keep the world from changing them into a kind of monster that they're not? If you know the answer to this, please let me know. I'm still trying to figure that one out. Reminds me of the Bible verse on living in the world, but keeping oneself separate from becoming like the world.

The Hunger Games has really struck a nerve for me. I would definitely recommend them to you, if you haven't read them yet. Watching the movie is okay too, but it really doesn't compare. If nothing else, read the books to find out what the big deal is. And to meet Peeta.


If you're interested in reading the books but don't know how to get a hold of them, message me and I'll send you a link to reading them online. (That's what I did. O.O ) Also, if you'd like to know more about the movie, check out this trailer.


  1. Ooh, you just got me excited. I like hearing about the deeper thoughts revealed in a book rather than all the media hype. I just got the first book in from the library, but I have to finish a history book before I can start it. *initiate panic-hyper-reading mode*