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Footnotes 2017-2018 > Hunger Games Trilogy Discussion

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message 1: by Jason (new)

Jason Oliver | 2063 comments I read all three books several months ago and have some opinions I would like to share. In real life I don't have any book friends so her I finally get to talk about all my ideas.

So the citizens of the Capitol are umcompassionate and desensitized to the atrocities of the games. They actually root for the games and enjoy them. While reading the book I became to get the sense that by rooting for Katnis and hoping she prevails against the careers, hoping she prevails against the governement, I started to feel like I became a citizen of the Capitol. I passively watched and was entertained by the Games. Yes I think the games are senseless and was rooting for them to fail but I'm still rooting for my fighter, for Katnis to prevail.

The few people I have talked to about the book (mainly teenagers) tend not to get the same thing I got out of the book.

I found themes of desensitization, divide and conquer, and means to an end.

Desensitization
Are the hunger games maybe football and all the life threatening dangers involved. maybe it's just war viewed as a quick answer to conflict despite the lives lost. War becomes similar to entertainment.

Divide and conquer
Each district is a division In the people and each district had a different social class. the government can easily instill fear and gain control through divisions. Today's society is divided my every means possible. Things as large as racially and politically to as small as regionalism.

Means to an end
Even the good guys are bad. The good guys do bad things to justify their vision of good. Even Katniss.

I am interested in your opinions and comments.


message 2: by Amy (new)

Amy | 8519 comments Jason, I felt so bad that no one has had the chance to respond. You just joined the group a week ago, and I don't think folks somehow saw this. We have a tremendously lively group with a lot of interaction, so please excuse us if we didn't give you a hearty welcome. Maybe my responding Will somehow call more attention to your thread. What a first week in PBT you've had! First, some obnoxious chick spoils the book you're reading right at the point that you're reading it. Then somehow, your very worthy discussion didn't get picked up. Again, maybe my response will help get it noticed. I find Sundays are hard anyway and some things can slip by.

I read hunger games maybe about five or even seven years ago, pretty much the whole trilogy. I found your thoughts interesting, but I have to admit that I was pretty Unconcerned about whether or not the author was trying to make any illusions to our current life and lifestyle. Although it's interesting to ponder and wonder. I tend not to really like dystopia as a category or genre, but I enjoyed these and they carried me along. I actually read all three of them, and part of the reason why is that I like to stay current with what's popular. Plus I knew that my kids would be getting to this series sooner or later and I wanted to preview it first. I enjoyed the ride, but didn't think too much of it. There are certainly images in it that I will never forget.

Welcome to our group Justin. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on many different kinds of books and genres. I hope you'll read some African-American with us this month, or November related themes. And I look forward to getting to know you better, as will the rest of our very vibrant group.


message 3: by Jason (new)

Jason Oliver | 2063 comments Amy,

No problem. I just assumed I was all by myself with my analysis of The Hunger Games. And your spoiler wasn't that much of a spoiler. I knew something was going to happen and I was almost to the Gala party. Although the name is Jason. Hahaha.

I am going to read the November tag. May we also review previously read books pertaining to the monthly tag?

Thank-you for the warm welcome into the group.


message 4: by annapi (new)

annapi | 4973 comments Welcome, Jason! I read the Hunger Games trilogy so long ago I can't remember enough to contribute to the discussion, but I agree with the themes you listed. However, I read it for pure enjoyment without thinking of any kind of analysis at all.

I enjoy dystopia when it's well done and so far HG has set a high bar. I find there's too much junk out there (like Divergent and Maze Runner). Have you read Battle Royale, which HG was probably based on?


message 5: by Karin (last edited Oct 24, 2017 06:24PM) (new)

Karin | 7002 comments I have read this trilogy more than once and seen all of the movies. It all started because my daughter was reading the first book back when it was fairly new and still homeschooling (for school). I read it each time one of my kids read it, then when each movie came out. I still can't believe I've read it that often, but it's always at the same 4 star level for me.

The first time I read the first book I was horrified and kept thinking I should put the book down, but didn't. Bear in mind that I read this first in 2008 (yes, when it first came out) and my eldest was turning 13, so it made it much worse for me than if I'd read it BC (Before Children ;) ), although it still would have been shocking.

I think that some of those themes are there. Have you read what Suzanne Collins said about how and why she wrote it? I think that gives the best initial insight, since I'm a firm believer that most authors know exactly what they are intending when they write (not all, naturally!). The Hunger Games really brings out the gladiator-Roman games type of mentality in people in an up-to-date way but with some scifi thrown in (and horrifying). Not all, not those sacrificing people, but the wealthy. (view spoiler)

However, I don't think any of those themes are new to humankind. Desensitization happens OFTEN. Think of the gladiator games, people coming to watch hangings, how the Chinese revolutionaries encouraged children to touch executed bodies to desensitize them (children who showed up to school with blood on them from that were rewarded), and many, many, many more examples show up.

Divide and conquer is also old, too.

However, that doesn't make this any less disturbing! Also, we have no idea what happened for the US to get wiped out so so few people and this structure to appear. In addition, it's quite obvious that (view spoiler), although it takes a while for that to really sink in. (view spoiler)


message 6: by Jason (new)

Jason Oliver | 2063 comments Karin, Thank-you for your comment.

I agree these themes are not old but very few writers are able to weave such strong themes especially in the young adult genre.

I have not read the authors thoughts yet. I plan to but after I have fully digested my own thoughts and takeaways from it.

The book is wonderful writing, decent developed characters and a great story that continues the page turning.

My biggest take away personally was feeling like a spectator of the gladiator games myself. I am no different than the citizens of the Capitol.

I have not watched the movies and don't think I will. I enjoyed and hated the books at the same time. I personally believe those are the best pieces of literature. Books that can tear you in different directions allowing new or hidden feelings and thoughts and emotions to the surface.


message 7: by Nicole R (new)

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7758 comments Hi Jason! It has also been many, many years since I read The Hunger Games, and like others, this is a book that I read for pure enjoyment and did not analyze very deeply. But the one theme I definitely agree with you on is desensitization.

I think it is a theme we see throughout history. Rationalization of bad acts and then desensitization to those acts. It brought back images of gladiators in Rome (or, at least Russell Crowe in one of the best movies of all time). What I thought was interesting about this battle to the death, is that the government painted it as an honor to represent your territory. That gave it more of a feel of the honorable death of samurais or kamikaze pilots.

This seems to be a common theme in literature, history, and contemporary life.

Glad you are diving right in to PBT! Even though some people post spoilers in their reviews and ruin entire books for you! (j/k Amy!)


message 8: by Jason (new)

Jason Oliver | 2063 comments Nicole R wrote: "Hi Jason! It has also been many, many years since I read The Hunger Games, and like others, this is a book that I read for pure enjoyment and did not analyze very deeply. But the one theme I defini..."

Thank-you Nicole for the welcome to the group.

Yeah and then get my name wrong. Hahaha playing as well Amy.

Nicole,

Is there any nation that does not portray dying for your country an honor, even when you don't agree or not even aware for the reasons for fighting.

I am not sure why the author wrote the book but it seems to be much deeper than your average book. Maybe he didn't intend it, but I found it. haha

I read the book because of continually being told I had to read it. As my post mentioned above, completely torn with how I feel about it. Love and hate it, which is a good thing.


message 9: by Jason (new)

Jason Oliver | 2063 comments annapi wrote: "Welcome, Jason! I read the Hunger Games trilogy so long ago I can't remember enough to contribute to the discussion, but I agree with the themes you listed. However, I read it for pure enjoyment wi..."

I have not read Battle Royale however I do like dystopian novels.

Some of my favorites:
The Giver Louis Lowery
Utopia Sir Saint Thomas More
1984 and Brave New World of course

I did enjoy the first Divergent book but it was far from great. Did not care for the other two.

A Great series Ioved when I was younger was the Shadow Children Series by Margaret Peterson Haddix but it is a 4th grade reading level. Reading it to my daughter now.


message 10: by annapi (new)

annapi | 4973 comments Jason wrote: "I have not read Battle Royale however I do like dystopian novels."

I only ask since HG was pretty much a carbon copy of BR, but so much better done. BR was just plain bloody, gore for the shock value. And I think I caught part of the movie some time ago, which was also gory as is typical for the Japanese. I read BR just to see how close HG came to the plot. It was interesting to see the similarities and differences.


message 11: by Nicole R (new)

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7758 comments I think there is a difference between dying for your country and committing an “honorable death” (suicide) like samurai or kamikaze. I do not think that is ubiquitous across countries and was the subset I was highlighting.

But, yes, I think that honoring those who die in battle generally is cross-cultural/cross-societal.


message 12: by Karin (new)

Karin | 7002 comments Jason wrote: "I have not watched the movies and don't think I will. I enjoyed and hated the books at the same time. ."

I watched the movies with my kids, who were all old enough for the rating (we're rather strict on that at our house due to the fact that each of my kids is sensitive in different ways. Interestingly, none of them are keen on R movies even though 2 of them are old enough, so it wasn't as though they balked or rebelled on this). They were well done, but I wasn't keen on all of the changes.


message 13: by Jenni Elyse (last edited Oct 29, 2017 10:51PM) (new)

Jenni Elyse (jenni_elyse) | 1309 comments Welcome, Jason! The Hunger Games trilogy is one my favorites, both in book form and movie form. I agree with your assessment and I see those themes as well. Honestly, however, it's almost midnight where I am so I don't have much else to say, though. ;)


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