Skip to comments.The Hunger Games questions/opinions [spoilers, vanity]
Posted on 02/29/2012 6:24:10 AM PST by Feline_AIDS
Because the first movie is coming out soon, I have a question for anyone who has read The Hunger Games trilogy:
What did you think was the ultimate political message of the books? Because I've heard some conservatives claiming that it's a politically conservative message, but I'm not convinced.
Are we saying the series has a conservative theme because of the evil, oppressive government? How do you reconcile the possibly conservative themes with the end of the last book and the changes in government? (Which to me amounts to a political version of "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.")
Looking forward to your thoughts!
Have only read the first two, so cannot comment on the ending. The first two seem to have(at least) an anti-big-govt bent. Those opposing the big-govt are the heros.
I took it as a struggle against oppression and a fight for freedom. I think the ending was a warning to not become that which you despised and fought against to begin with.
...which is a hopeless effort. Trust me, that ALWAYS happens.
At most, a society can hold it off, but only if the society is also unsuccessful in being secure. Notice that the USA was quite secure for decades. That security came from strength and that strength generated political power worth fighting over. That fight drew the unscrupulous and criminal to grasp the power on offer. That leads to tyranny every time.
Only read the first one, and it seems to be a similar to the great classic Sci/Fi/Horror book “The Long Walk” by Stephen King. It seemed to me to be science fiction and I did not read much into it politically. To me it was a fun enjoyable novel.
I think the theme of the books is you can’t keep the human spirit down forever. Eventually the natural yearning for liberty will overcome any repression. I also think the world of the Hunger Games is a fictional representation of North Korea. People there are running the gauntlet not to entertain the elite but to escape, but everything else is eerily similar to that country.
I’ve read all three books. The political commentary is not as cut and dried as “Conservative vs. Liberal”. It’s more like an all powerful state abusing its citizens, a spark ignites revolution and what the state will do to keep power.
The message of the book is reminiscint of the message in 1984 - all powerful government is inherently corrupt and evil - but they don’t really get to that part of the story until the 2nd book and it’s not really emphasized until the 3rd.
There was a strong anti-tyrrany message to the books. However, I did NOT like the ending of the third book. Maybe the author was just tired of writing.
Which to me amounts to a political version of "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."
I think that happens in every society, because the hearts of fallen mankind are evil. There is none truly righteous, not one.
Now, because of the grace of God, both specific and general, it isn't as bad as it could be (see: Hell), and in some bright spots (see: America, 1789 - 1913), some civilized peoples can be really righteous. But nothing lasts forever.
I think the author was right to include the element of "new boss, same as the old boss."
True. To paraphrase what I've learned here over the years. It's no so much that power corrupts, it's that the corruptable are so attracted to that power.
Loved the trilogy. It also shows the complete and utter disconect of the ruling class from the people. They starve in the streets while the Capital feasts and paints its faces. Katniss, plunged into the Capital lifestyle, never forgets what’s at stake.
If it had a conservative message it would not be promoted by Scholastic would it?
I didn’t like the ending of the trilogy, either. It was somewhat disappointing.
This is what society looks like without God. I noticed in the books that there was not a single utterance of God. No, “oh my god” or “Lord knows”. Nothing. In their world, their wasn’t even knowledge of Him. When there is no God—the One True God—the government replaces Him, and this is the result. Children are pawns and people are easily replaced.
This is just a hint of where this world is headed. :^(
even if the books had as conservative message, you know the Hollyweird version won’t.
I read it for entertainment purposes, not for some political reason. If I am going to read a book on politics, I would go into the current affairs section of Barnes and Nobles and chose a book from one of the conservative folks. The Hunger Games is just fun. Just go to the movie and enjoy it. I recommend waiting a few days after the opening because it is going to be jam packed for a while. It will easily be the number one film for a couple weeks.
To answer your questions, I would have to say that the books are essentially conservative, whether the author intended them to be or not. After-all, the Left loves big government that controls nearly every aspect of ones life. The Left hates independence and self-sufficiency. The Left enforces political correctness so that truth and reality are denied. I think I could go on and on identifying the various aspects of Liberalism that were on display in the novels, but I will stop with these. In contrast, Conservatism values independence and self-sufficiency, small government and a repudiation of political correctness and controlled thought and speech. Katniss survived (before the games) by illegally hunting (a big Liberal taboo) to provide for her family. She showed great independence and an unwillingness to think as the government expected her to.
As for “meet the new boss, same as the old boss”, I didn't get that message at the very end. I seems to me that her actions (without giving too much away to those who haven't read the books) prevented that specific outcome. (That is not so say that it wouldn't or couldn't happen in the future.
Each ofthe "hderoic" charectorsw is independent and values their family, the anti heros depend on the government or a members fothe government.
In additoon the district that was 'destroyed" is pretty much self sufficient.
But I really didn't like the end either, mostly because of how
SERIOUSLY STOP READING
Warning to those who haven't read the books and don't want to know the ending: Stop Reading Now!
Yes that is true, but I still think the ending was very realistic and to a large extent, positive. Yes, Katniss was deeply damaged by participating in the Hunger Games and being put through horrific experiences by her government. But the truth is, all the tributes who survived were deeply damaged. When you were reading in the first book about Haymitch, didn't you wonder why he was an alcoholic, why he couldn't just get his life together? It is not until later that you understand why he drowns his sorrows. In the last book you learn what the others went through after winning the Games - how they were abused and used for the rest of their lives.
So, yes, Katniss is damaged - much like a Holocaust survivor who carries the memories and experiences with him or her forever. But in the end, despite her ordeals and scars and bad memories, she does experience some “heaven on Earth”. I am referring to family life with her husband and children. As for the spark of the divine, that would have been a nice element. However, in the totalitarian world in which the book is placed, there is no room for a God who commands 1st place in the hearts of the people. Much like in communist governments where religion is outlawed. The Government does not want any competition, or a form of morality other than what it defines as right and wrong.
What did you think was the ultimate political message of the books?
None. At least nothing overt/deliberate. Dystopias and mortal combat arenas are common & popular literary/movie themes (1984, The Running Man, Surviving the Game, Equilibrium). Hunger Games, I'm finding, amounts to a Rorschach Test: people are finding in it whatever cause/concern/outrage they want to find.
Of course, the setting demands a political concern. The depicted society is a brutal central government demanding much of the barely-surviving districts, with the Games an overt reminder to the governed that the central power can, and will, destroy any who oppose it. The author was inspired by TV coverage of Bush sending troops into Iraq - garnering accusations of Leftist intent in the story - while conservatives will see the depiction of a hard-suffering flyover country having fruits of their labors confiscated by a faraway central elite who lives it up with lavish extravagances - garnering accusations that our current administration is well on the way there.
Because I've heard some conservatives claiming that it's a politically conservative message, but I'm not convinced.
It is. Actually it's a Libertarian message, because whatever the motivations of the central power, the goal of the protagonist is freedom, self-sufficiency, independence, and caring for one's own.
I'll see how the next two books play out.