Friday, March 14, 2014

The Hunger Games: A Discussion

So, The Hunger Games, both books and movies, are a huge phenomenon in the United States right now. I seem to be in the minority in that I don't like them. Now, I have read the entire trilogy, so I actually do have a basis for my opinion, but I'd like to hear your thoughts. Let's have a discussion on The Hunger Games

  1.  Have you read the books?
  2. Have you seen the movies?
  3. List one thing you like about the story.
  4. List one thing you dislike about the story.
So, for me: Yes, I've read the books; no, I haven't seen the movies; I like the character of Peeta; I find the story depressing, so I dislike that. 

How about you? What do you think about The Hunger Games? Feel free to include other thoughts than just the answers to those questions. 


  1. I have read the books, I have seen the movies, I like that family means so much to Katniss (but that's just one example of what I like in the story), I dislike the character Alma Coin.

    1. I agree with you on Coin. :) What else do you like about the story?

    2. I like Peeta. He's so sweet and he's a good person. Even though I don't like that Haymitch is always drunk in the story, I like him because he is quite funny. I like the suspense in the story and how it keeps you on your tip toes. Seriously I've never really thought about these things before. I just liked the books... (and movies).

    3. Yes, Peeta is a sweetheart! And you're right: the pacing and suspense were certainly well done. :)

  2. I have read the books. I have seen the movies. I love the books because of what they represent. I hated Katniss until what was probably halfway through Mockingjay (it's been awhile. I don't remember everything).
    And now to try to convince you to change your mind, even just a bit (please don't think of this as hate. I'm not hating. You just didn't mention this, so I wanted to make sure you got it):
    It's a great story. Sure. Fast-paced, thrilling, conflicting, and with some romance. But here's the thing (two things, actually).
    I barely remember the plot.
    I remember the meaning.
    Panem is a reflection of our own government. It's corrupt and (ours is becoming) controlling. The Hunger Games will probably (hopefully) never be a real thing in the US, but remember that it was in Rome. That's what the Colosseum was about. But if our rights keep getting repressed, we will rebel. I think that was what Collins was trying to get at.
    The second thing: the Capitol. WE ARE THE CAPITOL. That may sound silly and weird or harsh, but we are just as obsessed with fashion and glitter and how we look. We want to be entertained just as much as the Capitol citizens did.
    Now, as for what you said about the depressing part:
    Yeah. Yeah, I agree. But ask yourself--how can a story about rebellion and war not be sad and still be realistic? In war, morbid things happen, and terrible thoughts are spoken. There are deaths. It's not pretty, but it happens.
    It will happen.

    1. Oh, don't worry. I appreciate your thoughts, and I've wanted to discuss this with a Hunger Games fan for quite some time. So, thank you. :)

      Do you remember why you started liking Katniss? And why did you dislike her in the first place? She was never my favorite character, but I disliked her as her character darkened.

      In what I'm about to say, please understand that I'm not trying to bash you for liking The Hunger Games. I'm just trying to discuss some of the things that come to my brain about it. :)

      I agree with you on the parallels. I believe Suzanne Collins captured a great deal of the potential future in this country. I'm not disputing that. I've read more than one discussion/review of the themes in this story. What I'm wondering is this: What are you going to do about it? Stories with disturbing truths can be great, but they're only as great as the action they stir. So, what are you, Bekah, going to do with the truths The Hunger Games revealed? Are you going to treat it as inevitable and steel yourself for it? Or are you going to do something now? That's one of my problems: Yes, I've the seen the theme discussions. However, what I've noticed among fans is that they love the story, but they don't do anything about the message. If I'm off, please correct me, but that's what I've sensed on the Internet.

      As for war being depressing, you're absolutely right. I dislike stories that don't feel hopeful, though. I believe that, no matter how dark things get, hope can still rise. And I know a lot of people get that message from The Hunger Games, but I don't. The end depresses me. Did you find it hopeful?

      I hope none of that felt like a personal attack; it wasn't meant as such. :)

    2. I liked Katniss at first, but then she started turning selfish and angry and bitter. So the same as you. Sorry I didn't make that clear. >.<
      As for what I'm going to do about it: I don't know completely yet. I do think that if a rebellion comes in the USA, it will be when you and I are very old or dead. I could be very wrong about this, though. :P I *do* think, though, that the next step to fixing things is to give the answer. Thursday morning I came up with an idea for my own dystopian story with a few different twists (more in a moment).
      Because here's the thing:
      The Hunger Games and Divergent both address that our government isn't as good as it could be. They go through a rebellion. But neither say what changes after the rebellion. They kind of do, but they don't go very in depth.
      The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are amazing pieces of work with much truth in them. The USA is falling away from them, though.
      So I'm going to write a dystopian trilogy, and I'm going to do it the right way. I'm not basing this solely on my opinions, though. That would be disastrous. I'll be talking to a lot of people, doing boatlods of research, and then I'll figure out just what to do.
      Something else I've realized is that I can't do this on my own. Collins and Roth have introduced the problem. Now it's time to give the answer-not just me, but anyone who's given this some thought. I think that part of the reason why you feel The Hunger Games doesn't end with hope is because Collins didn't really show how the reconstruction went and what the government was like after the rebellion.
      And I so agree about the obsession of the story. Again, remember: WE ARE THE CAPITOL. Especially our generation. (But it is a pretty good story. I'll give Collins that.)
      On the hope: It's there, barely, but not really. Peeta and Katniss had two kids. A fresh generation came, "innocent" and without the threat of a gruesome death hanging over them. Things were getting better, but you're right. It really wasn't shown.
      And back to what I'm going to do: I really don't know completely yet. I decided I wanted to do something Thursday night, and this blog post of yours really came up at the right time. (God is just amazing like that, isn't He?) As I stated before, I can't do this on my own. This is bigger than just me. But I don't know what to do yet. With prayer and thought and discussion, though, things will come.
      So two questions:
      1. Have you given any thought to doing anything?
      2. Considering it looks like you've given a lot of thought to The Hunger Games, what would you like to see if it was re-done, not necessarily the same way, but with the same idea (a corrupt government, crazy class differentiation money-wise, over-controllingness that's practically a dictatorship, and rebellion)?
      *Also, please don't think I'm bashing you. I think you have made some wonderful points. Also, don't think I'm bashing Collins or Roth. Both are amazing storytellers who have shown a true, true point. I just think it's time to act on that point.

    3. (When I said I was going to write a dystopian trilogy the right way, please understand I didn't mean to sound conceited. Suzanne Collins and Veronica Roth didn't write theirs the wrong way. They introduced the problem. That's wonderful. As I said above, now is just the time to take things a step further.)

    4. I personally really liked the fact that she wasn't likable. It made her character come to life. Because her life was bad, she acted that way.

    5. I understand, Bekah, and I knew you weren't being conceited. :) I think you've got some really good thoughts there. You're right about Collins not showing the reconstruction. That could have helped a lot. As for your questions:

      1. I've given some general thought to it, though I don't have all the answers, of course. The only true answer is Christ. But for me, personally, I hope we never get that bad. And I think the only way we can do avoid it is to fight evil as we encounter it. Not necessarily just as it affects us, but as God urges us to do something. The Justina Pelletier case that I mentioned a couple weeks ago is a good example. But there are other ways to fight this culture: don't support movies that purvey these ideas of immorality and apathy (I'm not saying The Hunger Games is one of these, by the way, but there are plenty of them out there.) Same with music and books. The market caters to what's popular; so don't be a part of making those ideas popular. I think apathy is the most dangerous thing in this: if we don't care about things that don't affect us personally, we're contributing to the downfall of our country. Again, I'm addressing the issues The Hunger Games brings up. :) We have to utilize our voices; make your views known in whatever way God gives you. :)
      2. Let me get back to you on this one. I'll give it a little more thought so I'm clear and hopefully helpful.

    6. Elsie, I think I understand what you're saying. A character who makes mistakes is human. But how are we supposed to learn from a heroine who is unlikable? And, in my opinion, the greatest heroes rise above their circumstances instead of simply acting as a product of it. Would you agree?

    7. On Katniss:
      Elsie, you're right. having her be unlikable makes her real. Raw. Nobody is perfect. Bluebelle, you're right. But I would say the way we learn from Katniss is we see what we hate, so we *should* say to ourselves, "I will neverevereverrrrr be like that."
      Another point:
      I totally agree with Bluebelle on saying that the greatest heroes rise above their circumstances. But was Katniss really great? She only tried to save her own skin and those around her because she didn't want to live without them. There wasn't much selflessness from what I remember.

    8. That was my point about Katniss: I don't consider her to be great. But you're right: sometimes we can learn just as much from a negative example as from a positive one. That's why classic tragedies exist. :)

    9. Ahhhhhhh I understand, now. :)

    10. Bekah, I must extend my sincerest apologies for never answering your second question, about what I would like to see done if The Hunger Games was done differently. I'm so sorry! I never intended to ignore the question; I just didn't make the effort to give you an answer. :(

      Unfortunately, I don't have a very detailed answer. All I can say is this: I would want to see true hope demonstrated. And I would like to see a main character who exemplifies something heroic. No, they shouldn't be perfect; honestly, I wouldn't want them to be. But give the character some core belief that should be emulated.

      Did you ever get to working on your dystopian trilogy? If so, how's it going?

  3. Also, this is for both of you: What did you think of Gale's character and actions?

    1. He's angry and bitter, which is understandable but not acceptable. His actions are basically the same. I felt bad for him, honestly.

    2. I kind of vacillated between sympathy and intense dislike. Toward the end of Mockingjay, though, I highly disliked him, for obvious reasons, of course. I think Gale is the cautionary tale in this story, showing what can happen when we don't stand for principal. My problem with Katniss was that she became very much like Gale in some ways. Do you think so?

    3. Yeah... I have to agree. It's sad, really. :(

    4. It is. They're both tragic figures, in some ways. Though not tragic in the same way as Finnick and Annie. *sobs*

  4. I've read them, I've seen both movies so far. I loved the fact that the ending wasn't completely perfect, showing that people still remember bad things. I also liked Peeta. :-) I can't think of a lot that I didn't like. Plutarch drove me nuts, though. But it was a very well done story.

    1. It is true that people can't just erase their memories. It's what they do with them that matters, I think. Thanks for commenting!

  5. I read the books, and I watched the movies (multiple times)
    I like how Hunger Games addresses that our goverment isn't as good as it could be. And Peeta, I like his character alot, how hes caring towards Katniss even though she doesn't feel like she needs anyone to lean on.
    I dislike some of Gale's actions. And President Coin.

    1. Thank you for stopping by and joining the discussion! I don't think any government is as good as it could be, simply because governments are made of fallible human beings. James Madison said:
      "But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions."

      What are you most looking forward to in Mockingjay?

    2. That's a really interesting quote! But... *blushes*
      What does he mean by "external/internal controls on government?"

    3. I think external controls are the watchfulness and action of the people, which has sadly declined in the last half-century, and internal controls are the checks and balances that have also been largely disregarded lately.

    4. Glad I could clarify it for you! :)

  6. I've read the books and only watched one of the movies. I like the sort of thrill it gives me when I read it, I dislike all the deaths, especially Prim's and Finnick's.
    Tane ♥

    1. They are indeed an adrenaline boost. Which movie did you see? Are you intending to see the others? I know, Prim and Finnick's deaths were just heartbreaking! :( Thanks for commenting!

    2. Yes Prim's and Finnick's deaths were dreadful *sniff*(I'm actually bursting to tears here...) I hate how Annie is 'left behind' when Finnick dies and she has a baby too! Finnick doens't even get to see his own child!

  7. I've read the books and seen the movies.
    One thing I didn't like was that Katniss seemed a bit distant to me. I thought she focused a lot on herself, except for trying to make sure her family survived (and then eventually making sure Peeta survived). I could kind of relate to that though, seeming distant to people and focusing on myself because of depression, but still wanting my family to "survive" so to speak through a situation. Hopefully you can understand what I'm trying to say? :)
    I agree with Tane, the deaths were all heartbreaking, especially in the last book, since that is pretty much all that happens. :p

    Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed the series actually (I put the like/dislike things backwards haha), it caught and held my attention well (I have ADD so sometimes it's hard for me to make it all the way through a book easily unless I'm really interested in it), and I liked the quote where President Snow said "Hope is the only thing stronger than fear" :) It is such a great reminder and so so true. :)

  8. Thanks for commenting, Sarah! I agree with you about Katniss' distance. And though, yes, you're right, it's an understandable defense mechanism, it's not really a good trait in a heroine, in my opinion. Because, of course, it makes it difficult to like her.

    *laughs* We all have those moments! Hmm, that's a good quote. I hadn't thought of it, but you're right. Very true. :) Funny that such a wonderful thought would come from the villain, but that's how stories go, isn't it?

  9. This discussion has really made me think! The next time I read the books I will think about these things more and see how it makes me feel about the series. But we have to remember that no one is perfect and so the books we humans write can not be perfect either.

    1. That's great, Senni! That's what I wanted with this discussion, so I'm glad it's worked! :)

      And yes, no one's perfect. And no human's book will be perfect. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't analyze the imperfections in a story. :)

  10. Have you read the books? Yup, all three :D
    Have you seen the movies? Yup, both of them. CATCHING FIRE was amazing, but the first one stunk.
    List one thing you like about the story. The food. The food just had me going crazy. If I were a cartoon character, there'd be hearts in my eyes.
    List one thing you dislike about the story. It's kind of...depressing, how Katniss goes berserk at the end.

    Basically, I think THE HUNGER GAMES set the trend for YA dystopian fiction, and what with DIVERGENT and all that coming out, I just felt like it was too much. YA can be really depressing.

    Most of the characters in the book annoyed me. Katniss annoyed me because she was kind of naive, Peeta annoyed me because he was too nice, and Gale annoyed me because he was just...Gale. I think my favorite character was Finnick. He seemed the most real.

    Sorry, I'm posting kind of late :(


    1. Hey, no problem! I'm happy to still hear opinions! :)

      The food? *laughs* I don't really remember much about the food, but I'll take your word for it. :) And yes, it is depressing. You and I are in total agreement there.

      It definitely started a trend. I just wish we could find some hope in these books, personally.

      I see what you mean about the characters, though I personally like Peeta. But yes, Finnick was an amazing character. Very complex.

  11. I'm with you, I also don't like the Hunger Games. I read the first two and couldn't finish the third one. So far I've only seen the first movie. I think it was pretty good considering how much they had to fit in to just 2 hours.

    So, something I like about the story. Umm... I think that it (the first book anyways) was put together pretty good. I didn't feel like it was being drawn out like i did with the second book. Everything seemed to fit.

    One thing I don't like about it - the writing. The writing was awful. I felt like she described the unimportant things more than she should have. It felt like the people had no emotion when they spoke most of the time and she described the food instead of people. Well, except for Effie. She got a bit of description. :)

    It was kind of funny to me because I ended up caring for Effie and Cina more than I cared for Katniss (She actually got on my nerves a lot).

    So, yeah. I really have no idea why everyone is raving about it. I guess that's one of the great mysteries of our time... LOL! :D

    1. Interesting input, Tiana. Thanks for commenting! I hadn't really thought about the writing, though if I read it again now, it would probably jump out at me more. Writing stuff has been making reading less enjoyable lately! :D

      I don't really remember caring for Effie, though Cinna made an impression on me.

      I've heard others say that Katniss annoyed them, as well. Which is interesting, since there are a lot of people that think she's a great, strong female role model. I tend to disagree.

      Well, everyone has their tastes, but I see what you mean! :D


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