Many of my friends have voiced their reluctance in either seeing the Hunger Games movie or reading the trilogy because of the dark underlying social themes in the book– particularly the false belief that the story celebrates one child’s killing of another. I just want to voice my opinion and set the record straight.
The Hunger Games is not a book about glorifying the deaths of children. It makes us take a deeper look into our society and where our culture’s obsessions could take us.
This series made me think, and my friends and I still have meaningful conversations about the events and characters. The premise is a hard pill to swallow… but with our continued interest in reality TV and the desensitization of violence brought on my video games and movies, this is a frightening exaggeration of where we may be headed. I liked the books because they introduced a strong female character and an emotionally vulnerable, caring male one. I liked them because people rallied together against a corrupt and despicable government. I liked them because there were heart-breaking consequences to the evil acts- not only the ones created by evil people, but those brought on by people with good intentions, too. Evil is evil, no matter who spawns it.
And as much as I love a happily-ever-after, this book only delivers a happy-as-they-can-be-under-the-circumstances ever after, which is the most realistic ending I’ve seen in a long time. Was it disappointing to me? You bet it was… but it was real. It considered the psychological damage brought on by their society. A dark cloud will loom over Panem for years to come, but there is hope… There is hope because of the courage of people like Katniss and Peeta, and because of the sacrifices made by characters like Prim and Finnick.
There is no pretty bow on this series. It’s hard. It’s frightening. It makes you consider the things around you that entertain you. These books aren’t those evil things that make light of violence. They’re the very opposite of that.