Discussion: Behind the Hunger Games

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Welcome to my first discussion board.

The Hunger Games is one of my favorite films (among Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter). I love epics and films that have stories and/or characters that make me stop and think or inspire me. The Hunger Games is one those films. I’ve read the books and seeing the films so carefully imagined for the screen was definitely great.

There are many reasons why I love Hunger Games: Katniss Everdeen who I connect with on a personal level, the dystopian world, the author’s creative analysis of the human condition, and the truly epic journey the characters travel.

Katniss Everdeen is by far my favorite female character in any film I’ve watched. I’m personally very introverted and rarely, if ever, have I seen a female character exhibit traits similar to my own. Katniss was a breath of fresh air. Her character showcased a truly unique female character that had no archetypes. It’s honestly so exhausting seeing female characters drawn up as having either romantic intentions, easily fits into some sort of crowd, is a fashionista, weak or some other stereotype. Like Katniss, I don’t make friends easily if I make them at all, I have zero interest in clothes or looking pretty, I don’t trust people easily, and I rarely display emotions or thoughts unless I have a reason to do so. So a character like her really meant a lot to me.

I love post-apocalyptic worlds. I like seeing the creativity and the thought processes that go into it. Honestly, it’s one of the best studies into humans, besides war. The true test of humankind is usually met when the rule book is thrown out. How do we react when our government, laws and institutions can no longer be relied on. In that terrifying freedom the individual becomes their own ruler and they must decide whether to hold on to their past ideals or create their own. The creation of Panem really makes a person think. It was an American civilization torn apart to by its own civil war. The victors of the war had to contend with the huge amount of POW’s from the losing side. They could place them in districts, treat them like prisoners working for the capital, but they needed to keep a revolt from happening again. So they created the Hunger Games; a sure-fire way to break the spirit in the districts.

The author really delves into the human condition in these books. The Capital is really quite interesting. It’s clear that what the people there believe has been carefully crafted by the government through propaganda. Even the Hunger Games were very carefully showcased to the capital as an ‘honorable’ sort of Gladiator games. Honestly, when you compare Roman culture to that of Panem it’s easy to some similarities. They lived lavishly and through years of conditioning from the government thoroughly believe that the people in the districts are as happy as they can be and that the Hunger Games are merely feats of honor by the districts. I mean honestly, think about the Native Americans. Our history books downplay significantly the horror that these people went through. For years it was common to play “cowboys and Indians”. Without really knowing what they went through or are going through now we dress up like them on Halloween, we stereotype them in television. It’s easy to think that were would be no way our current civilizations could be anything like the people in the Capital, but even looking at our current situation how often have we ignored or downplayed horrible atrocities for the sake of our convenience and lavish lifestyles?

In any case, the Hunger Games is one of my favorite films because besides being beautifully done with amazing actors, an in-depth storyline, it really makes me stop and think. Whenever I feel caught up in life I watch the movies. They ground me back to reality. They make me look at my life and make me think about the world and where we are heading as a people. The Hunger Games helps me reevaluate my priorities. I don’t know if it’s the rebellion or the heartache the people in the districts go through. I don’t know if it’s the true atrocity of children killing children in a broadcast game. Whatever it is it’s something that I feel reminds me of my own humanity.

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