How Have You Changed Since the Games?

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I just finished reading the Hunger Games trilogy. This was an amazing set of books. I laughed, cried, become enraged, and was completely drawn into Katnis’ world.

That being said, I don’t know that I liked these books. They are brutal to read, and I personally like my fiction happier. I know life isn’t; hello, I care for kids removed from their homes by CPS. I know life sucks and people are horrid.

I can see how the Hunger Games is a reflection of our world and culture and a warning of where we could be going. I get that. It doesn’t change the fact that when I finished at 1:30 am because I had to know how they end, I felt heartbroken. Yes, there is hope, but the pain, suffering, and loss, are so great that the ending doesn’t fix that for me. They gave up everything in order to change their world. And when they look at their children, maybe the nightmares are worth it. But my heart still ached when I closed the book.

So here is my question. If you have read them, or even seen the movie, and your heart ached for Katniss and the other children; if you felt The Hunger Games shows us about our current culture and where we are headed; what have you changed in your life? Have you stopped watching reality TV? Are you buying more local foods? Are you checking where your products come from and only buying them from countries with labor laws you agree with? Are you reducing your use of natural resources?

Now maybe you already live like this. Maybe you have nothing to change, and if not, you rock and please leave tips in the comments. But realize that if you are reading this, you live in the ‘Capitol’, even if you are not a policy maker or wealthy enough to buy and sell people, you still live in the capitol. And for peaceful change to happen it has to begin with us, IMHO.

Now I have never heard nor read an interview with Suzanne Collins, maybe this isn’t what she wants. Maybe this isn’t some big political statement, maybe for her it’s only a handful of berries. But what does the book mean to you? How have you been changed?

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5 responses »

  1. I liked the 1st two books, but was left feeling like this series was one book too many. I gave the 3rd book 3-stars, but I didn’t like it. I felt like she just bailed out at the end, and was left feeling as if the 3rd book was just a push for more income.

    They were compelling stories, and I understand, like, and have even written post-apocalypse stories. However, I can’t let myself believe that any society can be so callous. I have to believe that even in the midst of despair (the Great Depression, WWII) the world holds onto its fundamental humanity.

    I don’t watch reality TV. I can’t stomach it. If this trilogy is a warning, the only advice I can give is to beware of how much injustice you allow yourself to believe is acceptable. I was left more disturbed by (apparently illiterate) “readers” who were angry that the dark-skinned combatants from District 11 were black. How dare she create a black character with whom people can identify? How dare black people survive an apocalypse. I wonder how different her reality is from our reality. But a whole series where the underbelly of society prevails? One would hope for more triumph at the end.

    The books remind me of the short story, “The Lottery.” I hope that in the future, they are nothing more than that – just another good story, and a warning that never came true.

    • I felt the same way hoping that our society doesn’t become that perverse, then I thought about the Romans and throwing people to the lions and the gladiators and I realized that we have been that – to a degree, and hopefully we have learned our lesson, but some days I doubt it. Anyway enough of me being morbid. I agree the third was my least favorite, but I fear for me it was depressing. The message seemed to be that we have to become as bad as what we fare fighting against in order to win. Not a very pleasant message, but I fear realistic.

  2. I read all three books, and I agree with Bill. The third one was SO depressing. I get that the books are dystopian, but I want to see the hopeful human spirit too. And Katniss just came across as emotionally defeated in the last book. I guess I like a little more Sarah Connor in my apocalyptic tales.

    As to whether it changed me, no. However, at my age, I don’t think Collins’s portrayal of the Capitol and districts pointed out anything I hadn’t figured out before. It might have a different impact on kids and teens.

    Oh, and I never watch reality TV. I buy local foods when I can (which really started after reading The Omnivore’s Dilemm). And I don’t plan to dye my body a weird color…ever. Interesting post, Alica.

    • I agree Julie Katniss did seem very defeated in the last book, and I was upset that she never got to fall in love, that she never got to choose for herself. The ending just didn’t give me the sense of hope or HEA that matched the emotional pain I went through reading the books.

  3. I could see the books as a warning. The thing is, we humans have a history that’s rife with murder-as-sport. We no longer dash outside to join the throng for a good hanging, but we used to do it on a regular basis. We’ve socially evolved past it, but that doesn’t mean we won’t revert sometime in the future, if we are subjected to apocalypse-type disasters, and lose our civilization.

    As for what politicians and other “leaders” are capable of instigating… I wouldn’t put anything past them. They are perfectly capable of establishing bread-and-circuses if they think it will control the masses.

    As for lifestyle, I’ve been doing the crunchy-granola thing for a long time. I’m all about self-sufficiency and living a life that’s close to nature. Yet there is so much I can’t do myself. Can’t sew, can’t grow food very well. I live in the suburbs, so I have to drive everywhere. Now that we’re retired, we’re thinking of buying bicycles to do some of the close-in errands that way. But really, I don’t do nearly enough to be truly self-sufficient.

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