Wednesday, January 5, 2011
The Hunger Games -- My Thoughts
What intrigued me most was the absurdity of it all. As Collin's masterfully crafts her story, you come to realize that elitism is always a dangerous thing, a dehumanizing thing. Power is a poison to the human soul and it bring out the worst of what human being are capable of. But, a soul that has struggled to survive under typical circumstance, and is then thrust into a situation to survive under extreme duress for the purposes of a contest (which is just another deranged means of control), must also struggle with a conscience that has natural law written on its heart.
As I read, I couldn't help thinking of world leaders throughout modern history: Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Amin, Ceausescu, Hussein, etc. that have tried to wield "unnatural" control over humanity. There is one obvious difference, they all tried to hide their atrocities under propaganda that claimed their control was ultimately benevolent despite their people suffering horribly. But, in the Hunger Games, the Capitol leaders make the games, the process, the killing into something of a Psy-Ops mission to keep control over the population. The people of the Districts are mandated to watch the games, like we would watch the World Series, to see who will battle it out or win. Maybe a closer example in modern culture would be WWE SmackDown where the crowd is cheering to see blood and destruction until there is a victor. However, no one dies, its all choreographed and our culture chooses to observe without coercion. The Hunger Games depicts forced conformity to evil played out for entertainment by which a population's will is distorted and broken.
So why love a book that sounds so dark? Because, it is a well crafted power struggle of good versus evil. The Hunger Games is the first in a trilogy, and while I'm way behind the power curve of popularity in reading, or even commenting on these books, I can't wait to get to the next one.
Disclaimer: I wouldn't recommend these books for young adults before they've received Confirmation -- so around age 14 or older.