The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1) The Hunger Games discussion


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Hunger Month

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message 1: by Syahira (last edited Jul 31, 2011 04:28PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Syahira Sharif It’s started... the fasting month for Muslims.

This is not a religion discussion but I’m focusing more on the theme of Hunger during this month of August.

Somehow I feel disconnected with the characters during the reading so I'll try to do it again. I've just finished with the second and third book last week but I plan on rereading the Hunger Games again after a couple of minutes ago.

Just now, I've just finished chatting with some random people about fasting in a public movie chat. Some are curious (asking when we start fasting, can you drink and etc) and other were pretty ignorant (particularly on matters such as "You can afford food, you have to eat" and "if you eat and instead of fasting use your time to help a charity, means a lot more" and "and fasting doesn’t give food to anyone else.").

After using carefully worded words, I try to emphasize on the matter that we fast due to many reason (besides its compulsory to every Muslim in the world) but my emphasize was on self-reflection (like noting the unfortunate poor people who are starving and this time we too hunger along with the unfortunates) and charity (we must donate to the poor and orphans too).

Eventually the discussion lead me to the hunger in this book and other post-apocalypse books such as Ann Aguirre's Enclave (Razorland, #1) by Ann Aguirre and movies like Spirited Away.

I know in this modern time where food are no longer scarce and are easily accessible in excess. People do take for granted on the food and water that we have and good food are sometime wasted away. (Don’t worry, I'm at fault too when sometimes I throw away some of my leftover that I couldn’t eat)

In the book Peeta and Katniss view the Capitol's excess food and entertainment with disdain and contempt as they thought all about the hunger in the districts. Sometimes I wonder if it’s the same contempt the poor countries had on us.

Thoughts?

(isnt it nice not to have juvenile threads on character loving once in a while)


Trinity I agree with you. I also wonder if it's like that in poorer countries, with us wasting food and everything.


Emma The Hunger Games made me reflect on a lot of things that I take for granted having grown up in an affluent and 'stable' society. There is currently a lot of complaint in the UK about our economic problems, and I do have sympathy for people who are struggling, but at the same time there is still so much waste and it is nothing compared to what other countries continually suffer.

In The Hunger Games, the situation of District 11 threw a particularly sharp comparison for me. They work hard to grow the crops but they don't benefit from the bounty because it is all sent to the Capitol. That is so similar to the fruit we buy at the supermarket that is grown in Africa and imported at a cheap price. At least Fair Trade means the producers get a decent return.

It is good to have a discussion about some of the more serious topics raised by a book. Literature has always been a powerful way to communicate and provoke debate. I think the best books are ones that make us reflect. It is interesting to understand that is part of what fasting is about in Islam too - I have a couple of friends who are Muslim but they have never mentioned that.


Syahira Sharif Emma wrote: "The Hunger Games made me reflect on a lot of things that I take for granted having grown up in an affluent and 'stable' society. There is currently a lot of complaint in the UK about our economic p..."

In the second book during the tour at the capitol, -where Katniss saw that its normal to eat in abundance (binge eating) and then purging it all out with a laxative to 'maintain the figure'-, its like a mirror image on the food trend in our world which strangely fascinatingly near accurate (bulimia is a psychological disorder) but pretty horrifying. Personally, the Hunger Games books is far effective in dealing hunger and image issues in future unlike the book Scott Westerfield's Uglies.


some muslims do think that fasting is just to fill the 5 islamic principles that some forgot that its really is a month of self-reflection but I've seen some muslims do buy food in excess -like having a feast for the 30 days of hunger- its still not pretty sight when you see beggars in the hungry crowd at food bazaars.


Emma Syahira wrote: "abundance (binge eating) and then purging it all out with a laxative to 'maintain the figure'-, its like a mirror image on the food trend in our world which strangely fascinatingly near accurate (bulimia is a psychological disorder) but pretty horrifying."

I agree that there was a comparison between how we binge-eat and how other people are starving but I don't think Collins was including people who suffer from bulimia or anorexia - I think it was more about greed. At that part of Catching Fire, Katniss refers to being shocked at people being sick 'not from an illness of body or mind' and as you say bulimia is a psychological problem.

I didn't feel the image issues were very strongly pushed in The Hunger Games, although there was obviously a fair bit of reference to the way that the citizens of the Capitol used cosmetic surgery and how they wanted to give Katniss breast implants after she survived the first games so that she would conform to their perceived idea of beauty.

Again, it was more about the social differences - how vastly different peoples priorities were. The people in the Capitol have the time and money to worry about things like appearance whereas Katniss is concerned about survival but that is probably a generalisation because not all rich people are vain and not all poor people are unconcerned about their looks.

I'm afraid I can't comment on Uglies, I'm not familiar with it.


MizziQ The hunger games really brought up those issues, I thought. Their were mad at the Capitol for having a lot of food...but I do agree it was more of greed. I am so guilty of taking for granted how much food I have in the house and how easy it is to get more on a whim. I thought it was intresting how much time the Capitol put into making the contestants appear beutiful...whatever their definition of that may be. That was what struck me the most. The hunger was a HUGE thing but like Emma said about them making Katniss try to be "more" afterwords. It was all about appearance. Yet when people are indulging on food its not even about appearances. It's all self serving. This is where it comes back to the greed. Everybody has it but some are born and grow up with so much of it it's hard to stop. It's a vicious cycle.


message 7: by RP (new) - rated it 5 stars

RP Woah, i've never thought of this book like that! And I guess I agree, i've never wondered actually if poorer countries look upon other countries with those thoughts. Thanks for the insight! Something to think about, also when muslims fast it's also to get a feel of how people in the third world countries feel no?


message 8: by L (last edited Aug 04, 2011 01:30AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

L I wondered many times how the people in poor countries who grow our food look upon the people who buy the food, when they themself don't have enough food.
I totally agree with Emma. While the Capitol people only care about their looks and gossip and stuff, like many people in rich countries do, the districts care about if they're going to have enough food and if their children will be sent to the Hunger Games or not, just surviving, like many people in poor countries.
That's what I like about the Hunger Games, it's about so many subjects, it's thrilling and with some romance, but also has a meaning, about cruel regimes and about the diffrences betweening people living with much and less welfare, who are dependent of each other.


message 9: by Tim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tim Schultz It didn't seem to me that Collins was commenting on anorexia or bulimia; I was instead reminded of ancient Rome. The Capitol and Rome share many similarities: blood sports, indulgent sexuality, as well as the habit of vomiting during feasts (Roman houses featured a special room known as the vomitorium for just this purpose) Like the Capitol, Rome was finally crushed by it's neighbors, the supposedly 'barbaric' peoples who had formerly paid tribute to them.


message 10: by Emma (new) - rated it 4 stars

Emma Tim wrote: "It didn't seem to me that Collins was commenting on anorexia or bulimia; I was instead reminded of ancient Rome. The Capitol and Rome share many similarities: blood sports, indulgent sexuality, as ..."

Wow, I have never heard about the Roman vomitorium's. Some of the character names are apparently taken from Shakespeare's Julius Ceaser. The parallels to Rome are very clear - the arena is the Colosseum, the 'barbarians' fighting for the entertainment of the mob and sometimes gaining celebrity status.

Comparing a dystopian vision to something that has already occurred in human history (more than once) kind of makes Plutarch's comments at the end of Mockingjay resonate all the more strongly: "We're fickle, stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self-destruction." Cynical but true?


message 11: by L (new) - rated it 4 stars

L I mentioned the Roman names (I've never read Shakespeare's Julius Ceasar, but I just recognize them) and when I thought about the Hunger Games theme in history, the Ancient Roman empire came to my mind. However, I didn't connect these facts but know I see what they have in common. That makes The Hunger Games even more fantastic, because when I learn the stories about what happend in the Ancient Rome, I think: "Thats cruel". But while reading the Hunger Games, I think: "Horrible! Awful! President Snow is the worst guy that ever lived!" and what happens in dystopian novels is not that unrealistic.


Sadiya Syahira wrote: "It’s started... the fasting month for Muslims.

This is not a religion discussion but I’m focusing more on the theme of Hunger during this month of August.

Somehow I feel disconnected with the ch..."


i am a muslim too and know what you mean. I only keep some fasts since i'm 14 but it is fun to keep them. I always pray during namz to Allah may he keep everyone in the world happy and healthy i hope this will come true. but it is sad how most people including myself at time take hunger for granted. you dont know how the feel until you keep the fast


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