While we all cringe at Kristen Stewart’s expressionless face and the twinkle of Robert Pattinson’s chest, there’s a new-fangled craze which is worth more praise than the vampire-werewolf saga. I just finished the praised ‘Hunger Games’ trilogy and appreciate the various themes put forward by author Suzanne Collins. While Stephanie Meyer concentrated on romance and irrefutable love, Collins put forward characters that dabble in love, a female lead that is filled with independence and a setting that questions politics, policy and class.
While I adore the Twilight series, the comparisons to The Hunger Games is a little misleading. I think the fact that the trilogy put forward three main characters immersed in a love-triangle gives the craze a liking to Twilight’s multi-million dollar sell power. The Hunger Games story is a significant look into what our future can hold. It seems a little less fantastical than demons, vampires and people turning into dogs.
The story is told from 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen who lives in a post-apocalyptic world called Panem. The Capitol, a dominating metropolis, controls the twelve districts of the nation and annually holds the flashy, televised Hunger Games: one boy and one girl from each district of Panem is chosen to compete in a nation-wide battle to the death where there will be one winner.
Collins conceived the concept from watching reality TV as well as the US Iraqi invasion and the model slowly blurred into the futuristic perception of government dominance and public intrigue. Collins also considered Katniss’ character on a basis of a modern Theseus: a soldier, a hero, a reformer. The authentic mindset of Katniss and her confusing emotions over her suitors Peeta and Gale is less fantastical, understandable and gives her characters range and a three-dimensional quality.
The first book (Hunger Games) is followed by Catching Fire and Mockingjay, based on the inclusive themes. Collins exclusively deals with poverty and oppression as well as self-preservation. Collins’ presentation of a ‘big brother’ fold (The Capitol) is a little too realistic to fight away, attesting to modern day brawls for power, money and dominance.
Getting onto the screen
The movie adaption has filled fan appetites with a $155 million on its premiere night – more than the first Twilight movie gained. In a few days of its release this year, the movie grabbed $214.3 million in revenue worldwide. Katniss is played by the very lovely Jenniffer Lawrence and the male characters Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and Gale (Liam Hemsworth) give film-goers a taste of romance and intrigue.
Katniss’ strength and rebel status is inspiring. Her starting a revolution is a story to be told. In a world today subjugated by rich somethings who tell you what to wear, what to eat, what to make. In a more ultramodern take, Collins’ play on government reform and repression gives readers and fans a question to clasp: is this an exaggerated future for us? In a world today where reality TV dominates and sells, it is easy to turn into a commercial robot chewing up what society tells us to do. From the ever-popular ‘Survivor’ TV show and the US’ reign over world politics, it’s effortless to visualize a world that makes citizens victims for entertainment.
Could this be a future? So far, governments already control the media, land, food supplies, what we eat, what we watch. The Capitol’s adorned faces, fashion and technological superiority is already a given in first-world cities. Even now, what you look like overrides ethics and morals.
In short, the trilogy is a must-read. It’s exciting, fast-paced and keeps you guessing to the outcome – you will never guess it right.