I realize that everyone and their brother is posting about The Hunger Games right now, but I just wanted to say a few things…
******SPOILER ALERT!!! IF YOU HATE SPOILERS, PLEASE DON’T READ THIS B/C YOU WILL HATE ME FOREVER!*****
First of all, this series sucked me right in. Collins’ writing is tight and moves right along. Katniss is a character that we immediately sympathize with. It’s not hard to visualize the world Collins describes, a post-Apocalyptic world where the few rule the many.
I loved that Katniss was protective and knew how to survive in the woods. But what I didn’t love was that every time Collins let us grow close to a character, she killed him/her off.
Yes, there are times when many people die senseless deaths, like the Holocaust, Gulags or the Pol Pot massacres. We wonder at how these dictators take power.
Yet I would argue that even during these horrific times, with horrific atrocities, a surprising number of people SURVIVE. So I think Collins wound up over-killing.
And this over-kill (quite literally) serves to effectively communicate her worldview. Life can be senseless, and then you die.
Are there glimmers of hope? Barely. But Katniss’ mentor is drunk throughout all but the very tacked-on ending of the series. Are MG-ers supposed to look up to this guy?
Maybe the very palpable fear of death is what draws some to the series. But some of us aren’t going to feel that same fear of death (Christians), nor see the motivations to use others to get ahead as something necessary.
The funniest thing I ever saw was on FB, where you could sign up to get a Panem ID card. To which I say, what person in their right minds would want to PRETEND to live in such an abominable, fake place?
It’s like signing up for a Gulag, peeps!
I’m not saying I don’t see the draw. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy the series. But I am saying that we need to read every book (especially ones we’re willing to put into our MG-ers or YAs hands!), keeping the Worldview of the author in mind.
Because all authors have a worldview, and it informs everything we do to our main characters. Even if we pretend that we don’t.
I’m not saying don’t read the books! But read them, and when you get to the end of the series, put the books away and think, “Hmmm…now how do I feel about that ending? What was that trying to say?”
It’s what we need to do with anything we watch or read. Otherwise, we’re just as bad as any district citizen who blindly believes the propaganda.