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Author Topic: The Hunger Games -- spoiler alert!  (Read 65142 times)
walker_percy
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« Reply #60 on: April 23, 2012, 8:34:33 AM »

Yes, european. The 12 districts are useful to the Capitol for their resources: coal from 12, agriculture from 11, etc. The set-up reminds me a bit of Nazi annexation of nearby countries allowing German citizens prosperity. People in the Capitol live beyond comfortably, downright decadently. Accepting grain rations, tesserae, does put your name in a Shirley Jackson style lottery extra times.

The districts are under Capitol rule and were vanquished in an uprising 75 years earlier, forcing them to offer tribute. (This aspect reminds me of pagan Rome.)

You can Google a Hunger Games map to see how the districts lie. Basically the US minus coastal areas lost presumably to global warming and rising ocean waters.

Other than the two above broad historical references, the stronger in my mind being with Rome for its gladiatorial contests, I don't see a connection to modern US politics. I suppose when Republicans are wanting to get into power, they sometimes ride waves of discontent with the size and reach of government, and the Capitol is definitely oppressive. I've heard a couple of evangelical Christians point to the book and say see what happens when we remove God from society. Eye roll on that one. I think it's just a very imaginative story, not an allegory for anything modern. I suppose if I were to mine it for a truth, it would be that human empathy should underlie moral and political systems. Duh.
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mended_drum
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« Reply #61 on: April 23, 2012, 2:22:19 PM »

According to my teen cousin, it's not politics that makes them think hard about the books, but competition arranged by adults.  One cousin told me earnestly, that the Hunger Games are just a literal version of what happens to him every day:  he's "forced" to compete for grades, for college admission, for a good job and successful life against his friends in a set of games that he thinks of as "to the death."  And the adults have all of the good toys, while he'll get killed and his generation gets, um, frakked and ends of with little or nothing.

I asked if he'd had that discussion in school, but it apparently comes from talking with his gaming buddies.
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walker_percy
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« Reply #62 on: April 23, 2012, 6:11:31 PM »

Nice, drum. I wouldn't have seen that. I suppose you could add military service to the list, young bodies conscripted into wars arranged by grownups.
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bioteacher
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Confused and sad. Or happy. I'm not sure...


« Reply #63 on: April 23, 2012, 8:56:47 PM »

MD, that is a neat observation and one I didn't pick up on myself.
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mended_drum
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« Reply #64 on: April 24, 2012, 10:42:09 PM »

MD, that is a neat observation and one I didn't pick up on myself.

Yes, me either.  But with the level of anxiety I see in my students over the last couple of years, it should have occurred to me.  Some of them really do think that adults have put them in a battle to the death for success, especially the ones that have been competing since they started school.  Hell, our student affairs people harp on the freshmen to create "productive leisure time" rather than just relaxing. 
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elsie
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« Reply #65 on: May 08, 2012, 12:32:22 PM »

Anyone else see Stanley Fish's Hunger Games essay: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/07/staging-the-self-the-hunger-games/?ref=opinion?
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dr_alcott
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« Reply #66 on: May 28, 2012, 5:46:32 PM »

I've just finished the trilogy and have quickly read through most of this thread. A few quick thoughts:

Overall, I think the series is imaginative and Katniss is a compelling heroine. I find TF's OP to be pretty compelling, particularly the ways in which Collins seems to have it both ways by both subverting and relying up on the princess narrative, especially in the first book. But that storyline fades as the trilogy advances and Katniss is made less attractive, physically speaking, and derives more of her power from other places.

As I read books 2, I kept thinking about the Bechdel Test. I would have liked to see more female relationships. In book 3, I liked that Katniss gets more of her emotional support from her sister and even from Joanna than from Peeta and Gale.

Have I missed some discussion of how Katniss ends up paired off with the guy who tried to kill her, twice? (Yeah, yeah, Peeta was hijacked. I get that. But still.)

On Collins' writing: by book 3, I was really irritated with the device of ending almost every chapter with a one-liner.

Overall, though, I liked the series. Didn't want to put it down, in fact. How long do we have to wait for the second movie?
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scampster
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« Reply #67 on: May 28, 2012, 5:57:32 PM »

Overall, though, I liked the series. Didn't want to put it down, in fact. How long do we have to wait for the second movie?

November 2013! So don't hold your breath :-) I actually didn't love the move, although I enjoyed it enough. I can see why people who didn't read the books didn't like it - so much information about the characters gets left out by necessity and the characters seem rather one-dimensional I think.

I mentioned this on another thread, but the album from to the first movie is really quite good, especially if you are a fan of Arcade Fire and/or bluegrassy-folky music.

As for ending up with Peeta, I thought that ending felt right.
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dr_alcott
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« Reply #68 on: May 28, 2012, 6:09:57 PM »

Overall, though, I liked the series. Didn't want to put it down, in fact. How long do we have to wait for the second movie?

November 2013! So don't hold your breath :-) I actually didn't love the move, although I enjoyed it enough. I can see why people who didn't read the books didn't like it - so much information about the characters gets left out by necessity and the characters seem rather one-dimensional I think.

Yeah, Katniss isn't nearly as interesting in the movie as she is in the book. We lose her perspective on so many things. And the scene where she realizes they've won, followed by the announcement that there will be just one winner, is really drained of its drama, I thought.
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You must be your own snow, Dr_Alcott.  You must lift, and sparkle, and then melt away.

I love everyone here!
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