Monday, July 9, 2012
The Hunger Games
So I have done it.
Read all three novels in the Hunger Games Series.
I know that any further statement by me is about to generate either immediate condemnation or commendation (tricky how words can be, isn't it).
So, let me be clear.
My opinion is just that. MY opinion.
Further elucidation: you do not need to care what my opinion is.
Perhaps I should explain why I am so keen on this point. I have come to the understanding that I am a bit two-faced at times. I am a people pleaser. There is nothing I can do about that. It is who I am. But because of that, I often double-track, tone down my honest opinion, and end up making myself sound like a fool with no real opinion and a fluke who just minces along as merrily as I can.
Point 1: I have an inherent desire for all people to think well of me. I do not want them to think I disagree with them on most things. That does not matter. Every person is different. We will all hold different views. From now on, I will state an opinion because it is mine. Because it belongs to me. Because I want it as my own. Not because someone else found enjoyment in expressing it and I mimicked until someone else disagreed. Yes, that was me. No more.
Let's just say I have been doing some soul searching.
Point 2: I really hate to disappoint people. Period. I know why. You may not. But it's enough to say I have good reason. Still, that is yet another part of life that I must learn to not get myself in a frazzle about. You see, disappointment is training ground. It is where you learn to do better. Or to not care about things of lesser importance.
Point 3: I CARE way too much. About everything. And everyone. Perhaps this is not bad. In a way. But it is crushing when they do not care back. And so I must learn to not set my heart on them so much. My anchor is in the one whom cares for me and loves me so unconditionally I will never have to question His purpose or truth.
Point 4: I am a selfish being with measly little motives for almost everything I do. Forgive me? I am praying to be over this. To be honest, almost every post I make on Facebook, almost every blog I do on here, was directed to, aimed at, or intended for a specific person (not always the same person), not myself. Almost. Some are mine, simply because they would mean nothing anyway. That said, I am done with that too. I will write what I want to write and say what I want to say...because it is GOD directing my pen, not man.
Point 5: Pray for me. A lot. Because I need it. I know God has His hands full with me. From day one, I was not normal. I refused to behave like other baby's. And that never changed, although outwardly I pretend to be like other people. That too I will now alter. I am going to be me. The REAL me. Who has been hiding for almost seven years. I don't expect it to be easy. I don't expect everyone to like her. But I think I am okay with that now. And that is the way it should be.
So there. I am done now.
That out of the way, I will go on.
The Hunger Games.
A tale of misery, of machinations, of miracles, of music, of missiles, and of mutts. (I like M's.)
A tale of fire, spirit, tyranny, war, espionage, and trust.
A tale where one girl unwittingly takes on an Empire. And wins.
The hard way.
So here are my thoughts.
This book has children fighting one another...to the death. There is no mercy. There is no second chance. That is the cold, bloody truth. And it's awful.
There is a quality of deception about Katniss (the main character) that infuriates. It is clinched in the final book when she agrees to the last Hunger Games. I do not want to give anything away, so I will say no more. But that was not cool. To me.
There is enough kissing between unmarried young people to make you gag. But I suppose you can put up with that if you must. Love makes a good story. It always does, if done right.
Katniss has absolutely no morals. Specifically at the closing of the trilogy. She does everything she does for one person alone: herself. Rescuing Prim is one of (one of) the only things she does for another person on her own initiative. And she often chooses to purposefully hurt people with her words. To punish them. To teach them. To manipulate them. To twist them to her own purpose. To win the game (with Haymitch).
It is not a book for the weak of stomach. There is blood and there is gore. No more than you will see on the screen at home watching The Kingdom of Heaven or The Last Legion. But it is there. And used to make you angry and disgusted at the Capitol.
Life is absolutely cheap, both to the Capitol and Katniss. So long as it is not her own beloved ones (Katniss's beloved ones, not the Capitol's).
I was just ready for her to choose who she was going to spend the rest of her life with. You can't love both Gale and Peeta. Impossible. So stop making it happen. THAT was unrealistic. And a little gross.
The purpose of the children fighting one another is to declare just how totalitarian, just how oppressive, just how tyrannical, the Capitol, the ruling government, is. They want you to see how perverted and repulsive they are. The writer did a masterful job at this. You hate the Capitol.
There is no hiding how unjust that government is. And it is very clear how to control the people who support it. Panem et Circenses (literally meaning bread and circuses). Those two things form the well-being of a population and is thus a very strong political tactic. It has worked in countless occasions: Rome, Athens, Carthage, Missouri. (Forgive the history coming out of me now.) Through this stratagem, you can control the people of any country, as long as you keep it up. It is not coincidental that two years ago (before I even heard of The Hunger Games), I coined a phrase that will one day title a book: Grain and Games. Ó Pure Grace 2010
Peeta stands for all that is good and right in the world. In essence, he is the true hero of the story. Katniss herself finds this to be true. (One plus for her! LOL)
There is such a determined resolve about the book of throwing off despotic government. It is encouraging, enlightening, inspiring. It makes you despise anyone who is out to take total control. Anywhere.
There is no magic. Yes, I said it. And I meant what you are thinking now. Magic is wrong. But this world is entirely created of characters in a place that exists much like we do. So there is no magic. Good job, Suzanne Collins.
These books take you on a journey, a journey that matters. It doesn't end in the happy fairytale style of Narnia, King George and the Dragon, Lord of the Rings (well, perhaps LotR's is pretty close, but still...), Princess Bride, and countless others I can't think of at the moment (that was a lame list, wasn't it, lol!). Things have changed, unalterably. They will never be the same. And there's nothing you can do to go back. The one thing that Katniss set out to protect, the one thing her whole world is wrapped around, is destroyed. It brings you to the point where you must question. Is this right? What is happening? Why does it matter so much?
And let more be said:
On the writer's side of things: this book was real. It was one where you open the book and find yourself transported, carried off, to a land that could be very close, just around the corner, and very personal. Every word is spellbinding. Because you are there. You are Katniss. You are fighting the Capitol. You are trying to escape.
I wish I had written this book. But for a more spiritual reason. I can imagine, at the very end of the very last book, sharing the gospel of Jesus. Showing others how desperate, how needful we are of His grace and mercy, because we are such a doomed, helpless, sinful race. For, without Him, these things are an inevitable end! The torture, the need for an escape like Haymitch and Katniss, the desire to hide, the hopelessness of despair, all are what a world without Christ would be. But with Him, we have unquestionable peace and understanding. We do not have to fear. We do not have to weep. We are free. We will always be free. With Him.
And so ends my thoughts on The Hunger Games. Oh, there are more. But they can keep. I am sure I will find some brilliant tid-bit tucked neatly out of the way in my mind ten minutes after I publish this and then regret not posting it, but that is life.... :D
Did I like it? Or did I not? That you will have to deduce.
No more to say, except:
Welcome to the new, real me.