Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Hunger Games

While on vacation I read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, a book all the kids seems to be devouring.  I am curious to see how the movie coming out this week will do.  It is a very captivating story with a plucky heroine.  All the popular elements are there - dystopia, war games (albeit with humans rather than on a hand-held device), survival, a little romance, family loyalty.   I'm going to order the next two books, Catching Fire and Mockingjay, to see how or if the trilogy concludes.  I hope it's a happy ending like the Harry Potter series had because I do think we all, regardless of age, need a sense of hope for the future.

The society that heroine Katniss Everdeen lives in is extremely restrictive and focussed primarily on survival.  Freedom is a thing of the past.  Schooling and, therefore, thought appear to be discouraged.  Only in the capital (somewhere near where Denver is now) do people have enough to eat or any culture at all.  People in the outlying 12 districts serve very distinct roles - producing food, mining coal, etc. - in order to provide the capital with luxuries.  Yet every year they gather round their TVs to watch the Hunger Games where two children from each district ("tributes") compete to the death.  The districts sacrifice their children for entertainment.  The underlying themes of the book are sad, yet Katniss and her co-tribute, the baker's son, prevail.  I am looking forward to seeing what comes next.

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