Catholic Readers discussion

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)
This topic is about The Hunger Games
394 views
Fiction > Recently learned that Suzanne Collins (author of Hunger Games) is Catholic

Comments (showing 1-37 of 37) (37 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

Kyle Timmermeyer (KyleT) | 6 comments So, Suzanne Collins wrote Hunger Games, and she's Catholic. Does this surprise anyone else?
As a (devout) Catholic writer who isn't terribly explicit in my books about the Catholic beliefs I espouse, I wonder what kind of expectations we place upon writers we know (or discover) who are Catholics, too... Interested to see where this conversation goes, if anywhere. :)


message 2: by J. (new)

J. Hord (Stratiotes) | 6 comments Graham Greene and Flannery OConnor come to mind as two great Catholic authors who did not necessarily wear their faith on their sleeves and wrote some pretty "earthy" stuff. Great literature does not have to be overly graphic but I think it does have to be real and relevant.


message 3: by Dan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dan (dwestrick) | 20 comments just curious - where did you read/find out she was Catholic?


Kyle Timmermeyer (KyleT) | 6 comments I didn't know Graham Greene was Catholic... I agree, Mark.

Dan, I don't remember where I first read it. It's not as if Collins is shouting it from the rooftops, but if I were to google it, there'd be a reference or two.


message 5: by Gil (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gil Michelini (gilmichelini) | 11 comments http://communities.washingtontimes.co...

"While the Roman Catholic author, Suzanne Collins, attempts to remove all religion from the story, the central plot leads inevitably to the conclusion that a world without God leads to an environment that encourages gladiator-like cheering while children brutally kill children."


message 6: by Dan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dan (dwestrick) | 20 comments Thanks Gil!


Kyle Timmermeyer (KyleT) | 6 comments Gil wrote: "http://communities.washingtontimes.co...

"While the Roman Catholic author, Suzanne Collins, attempts..."


Yeah, I think that's the article I read that convinced me that she was in fact Catholic (and it wasn't someone projecting).


message 8: by J. (new)

J. Hord (Stratiotes) | 6 comments Gil wrote: "http://communities.washingtontimes.co...

"While the Roman Catholic author, Suzanne Collins, attempts..."


I mentioned Graham Greene before but also JRR Tolkien - both disliked being referred to as "Catholic authors" but the Catholic influence in their work is unmistakable. I think that is as it should be - if our faith is real, it will come out whether we intend it to or not.


Kyle Timmermeyer (KyleT) | 6 comments Mark wrote: "Gil wrote: "http://communities.washingtontimes.co...

"While the Roman Catholic author, Suzanne Colli..."


Well-said, Mark!


Vicky | 9 comments I recently read the Hunger Games series. I was disappointed that there was no form of religion or spiritualty in the future Suzanne Collins projects. I doubt that the average secular reader would catch the connection of the games to this lack of Christianity.

Vicky


message 11: by Candy (new)

Candy Bridges (calligraph) | 8 comments I wrote about the Hunger Games on one of my blog posts after I saw the movie. It might interest you. Give me your thoughts
http://candymariebridges.com/the-hung...Candy Marie Bridges


message 12: by Erin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Erin | 10 comments interesting! I read the Hunger Games books and enjoyed them. another Catholic author that comes to mind is Anne Rice. she wasn't Catholic, then converted, then reverted, i think.


message 13: by Robert (last edited May 29, 2012 07:34PM) (new)

Robert Hernandez (Rhlogic) Wow! Good to know. No wonder both the book and the movie was found acceptable by Catholic radio hosts. Looks like there is a Catholic instinct going around.


message 14: by Robert (new)

Robert Hernandez (Rhlogic) I also celebrate to find that a talented and famous person is a Catholic (a real one) I am glad to hear from you people, because few others care. Thanks!


message 15: by Kyle (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kyle Timmermeyer (KyleT) | 6 comments Robert wrote: "I also celebrate to find that a talented and famous person is a Catholic (a real one) I am glad to hear from you people, because few others care. Thanks!"

Feeling's mutual!


message 16: by Vincent (new)

Vincent Chough | 44 comments Maybe just being open about her faith is enough... or is it?


Sharon | 3 comments Another Catholic author is Dean Koontz. He started out writing books in the Stephen King-type mode (without the filthy language), but now he's "sneaking" in his Catholic beliefs (he converted while in college). He especially focuses on family and on the sanctity of life. I'll bet most of his fans don't even realize that he's "preaching" to them :)

Re Maribel's comments about "The Hunger Games" and kids killing each other: I really wish people would get over that aspect of the book. It's not exactly like the kids are CHOOSING to kill (though some of them seem to enjoy it, sadly). The government is FORCING them to kill in order to control the population and the "entertainment" of it (but mainly control). If all anyone can focus on in reading "The Hunger Games" is the violence, then they're missing the point ENTIRELY. If you question reading that particular book because of the violence, then you might as well not even read the Bible which is chock full of violence. The violence isn't the point, though.....


Sharon | 3 comments Candy wrote: "I wrote about the Hunger Games on one of my blog posts after I saw the movie. It might interest you. Give me your thoughts
http://candymariebridges.com/the-hung... Marie Bridges"


Candy wrote: "I wrote about the Hunger Games on one of my blog posts after I saw the movie. It might interest you. Give me your thoughts
http://candymariebridges.com/the-hung... Marie Bridges"


Great review, Candy. I liked your "take" on the movie. Shows you were THINKING, something sadly lacking today even among Catholics. And you made the connection to sacrificial love -- excellent observation. In reading "The Hunger Games", I saw it as a warning to all of us that this is what we could come to unless we stop on this wrong path we're on -- or at least TRY. I think if we don't even try to stop this insanity, God will judge us harshly. We may not succeed (that's God's job), but at least we have to try!


message 19: by Candy (new)

Candy Bridges (calligraph) | 8 comments Thanks Sharon for taking your time to respond to my post on the Hunger Games. I appreciate your thoughts on my thoughts. :)
And to what you say about the path we are on, I say, Amen sister.
Meet Me In The Mountains by Candy Marie Bridges


message 20: by Candy (new)

Candy Bridges (calligraph) | 8 comments So true. If we stay in a bubble and choose to not face the darkness in the world, guess who wins?
Meet Me In The Mountains


♥iDevourBooks♥ ☆Sonic~Obsessed☆ (booklovesbooks) | 13 comments It's interesting that Suzanne Collins is Catholic, although I didn't know that Dean Koontz is Catholic. Interesting. :)


message 22: by Cleo (new) - rated it 1 star

Cleo (cleopatra18) | 23 comments I thought the premise for the Hunger Games was interesting but I think Collins missed a great opportunity. Like it or not, the book revolves mainly around these games and these games show children trying to kill each other, most of them quite happy to do it. Wouldn't it have made the plot more interesting if Katniss went against what everyone else was doing and refused to kill (ie. did the right thing)? How would she have gotten away with it? What ramifications would her actions have had? How many people could she have affected in a positive way? I felt the same way when I read Divergent; I thought the premise even better than the Hunger Games and, in the beginning she set up an amazing plotline involving all different factions, but it quickly regressed into a teenage 'love' story.

As the book stands, you basically have a character who has elevated survival above everything else, therefore elevating self above anything else. This is not a biblical principle.

Just to give you a sense of the effect of the influence of the book, a church nearby recently decided to do a film night in which their youth were allowed to act out a scene from their favourite movie and it was filmed. A number of them decided to act scenes from The Hunger Games and in every single instance the kids chose to act out something violent (stabbing, murdering each other, etc.)

I think we sometimes fail to realize as adults that the deeper themes in a book (or themes that we fabricate ourselves to make us feel better about the book), are not readily apparent to children/teenagers. They often take what they see acted on the surface and emulate it. If, as adults, we don't give them guidance, at the very least we do them a disservice and at the worse can be culpable for giving them a distorted view of their faith.

Honestly if one wants to read about sacrifical love, fighting for good over evil, etc. there are better books out there.


message 23: by Coco (new)

Coco (ohnoitscoco) | 12 comments I think Sharon and Cleo make some good points--having not read the books myself (yet), my opinion can be taken with a grain of salt!

Sharon mentions that the violence of the story isn't the "point", and getting past that, the story can be good for us--healthy to consume--if we're aware of the right messages. I think that's true. A violent work can better us as people if the violence is at the appropriate level of graphic and shows that it makes us worse people. A reasonable person can see that and say, "That's exactly what we shouldn't do, and there's why." (I don't agree with your comment about Catholics being sadly unthinking. I think we all think very much and very caringly, but we wind up with different opinions based on the info we're able to find. :) )

Cleo mentions the wider ramifications of it in the way teens emulate things. I think she's onto something there. The Hunger Games is marketed to teenagers. Sure, adults are reading it and are able to process the themes correctly, but this is a YA book. Are the themes and the way they're presented appropriate for the age group? I don't think so. It would have gone better as an adult novel.

But books are always going to be written like this to the wrong age group. We can't stop what is published as easily as we can teach our children and teens how to see the underlying messages of any particular media and whether they make them better people by consuming them. There's a very good book on how to know if a story is "healthy" for us and how to teach children to do the same: "Infinite Bandwidth: Encountering Christ in the Media" by Eugene Gan. I encourage it to everyone. :)


message 24: by Cleo (last edited Mar 03, 2013 08:01AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Cleo (cleopatra18) | 23 comments Thanks for your comments, Coco and thanks so much for the book recommendation.

To clarify, it's not so much that I have a problem with violence in novels, per-se. I've read a number of excellent books where violence is the theme. Like it or not, it's part of the world in which we live and I think it's important to face that. My issue with The Hunger Games (and many modern novels targeted at children) is HOW they portray the violence and the actions and characteristics of the protagonists. As I said in my last post, Katniss puts survival (ie. self) before anything else and is presented as the hero that the reader should look up to. IMO, there are many better role models that children should be steered towards.


message 25: by Mark (new)

Mark | 20 comments Cormac McCarthy is also Catholic, isn't he? He wrote The Road, and also No Country For Old Men.


message 26: by Ce (new)

Ce (Ceckis) | 7 comments there are "catholics" and Catholics... Biden says he is "catholic", yet he rejects many fundamental teachings of the Church.


message 27: by Mark (new)

Mark | 20 comments Amen to that! :-)


message 28: by Szymon Lech (new) - added it

Szymon Lech Dzięcioł (wickedwoodpeckerofthewest) | 5 comments As I said in my last post, Katniss puts survival (ie. self) before anything else and is presented as the hero that the reader should look up to.
-----------------------------------------
Primo, indeed on 74-th arena Katniss put her own survival above the others. Well she didn't know them after all. But overall there were at least two people she was willing to directly sacrifice for. Prim and later on Peeta.

Secundo, after reading Mockinjay I really don't understand how anyone can see Katniss as "hero to look for". That's just totally opposite to whole idea of the story.


message 29: by Robert (new)

Robert Italia (Robert-Italia) | 24 comments Szymon Lech wrote: "As I said in my last post, Katniss puts survival (ie. self) before anything else and is presented as the hero that the reader should look up to.
-----------------------------------------
Primo, ind..."


Not a fan of "dystopian" fiction with its gloom and doom and hopeless futures. I think its popularity says a lot about what youths are feeling these days.


message 30: by Szymon Lech (new) - added it

Szymon Lech Dzięcioł (wickedwoodpeckerofthewest) | 5 comments Not a fan of "dystopian" fiction with its gloom and doom and hopeless futures. I think its popularity says a lot about what youths are feeling these days.
-----------------------------
Well but after all we were promised by the Scripture, that before Days are over there are gonna be some pretty awful times. (Also there should be thousand years of peace with Satan locked in some prison, but I'm quite sure we haven't had those yet). Gog and Magog, Camp of Saints, Beasts, Dragons, persecutions.

So well we should expect some pretty serious dystopia.

Not a fan of "dystopian" fiction with its gloom and doom and hopeless futures
---------------------------------
Thankfully HG doesn't give us hopeless doom. There is hope. Only not easy one, not cheap one. And good for that.


message 31: by Robert (new)

Robert Italia (Robert-Italia) | 24 comments Szymon Lech wrote: "Not a fan of "dystopian" fiction with its gloom and doom and hopeless futures. I think its popularity says a lot about what youths are feeling these days.
-----------------------------
Well but af..."


I like to think of this universe as an evolving dream of God's as He moves us toward Heaven, not Hell.


message 32: by Szymon Lech (new) - added it

Szymon Lech Dzięcioł (wickedwoodpeckerofthewest) | 5 comments I like to think of this universe as an evolving dream of God's as He moves us toward Heaven, not Hell. I like to think of this universe as an evolving dream of God's as He moves us toward Heaven, not Hell.
---------------------
My friend you should stop reading Teilhard de Chardin ;)

Besides I didn't said God moves us to Hell, I said that road to Heaven is kinda rocky, thorny and not really what I call fun.


message 33: by Robert (new)

Robert Italia (Robert-Italia) | 24 comments Szymon Lech wrote: "I like to think of this universe as an evolving dream of God's as He moves us toward Heaven, not Hell. I like to think of this universe as an evolving dream of God's as He moves us toward Heaven, n..."

No, not God, dystopian.


message 34: by Treasa (new)

Treasa | 8 comments Whether the universe continues to evolve or not doesn't matter much to the ordinary human being....we only get three score and ten years, on average, to get to know, love and serve God!


message 35: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 36 comments Robert wrote: Not a fan of "dystopian" fiction with its gloom and doom and hopeless futures. I think its popularity says a lot about what youths are feeling these days.
--------------------------------..."


I haven't actually read The Hunger Games, but I do like dystopian literature because I think it can do a really good job with social commentary. Case in point, the Japanese novel Battle Royale which has a similar premise to Hunger Games and is loaded with social critique.


Robyn Ellis | 6 comments This is awesome! It doesn't really surprise me either since the book has a very strong moral viewpoint and lots of social justice connections to our own world.


message 37: by Silver Rose (last edited Aug 27, 2014 11:53PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Silver Rose | 2 comments Szymon Lech wrote: "As I said in my last post, Katniss puts survival (ie. self) before anything else and is presented as the hero that the reader should look up to.
-----------------------------------------
Primo, ind..."


I actually think that Peeta is seen as the moral compass of the series, especially in the first book. Katniss may be the main character, but the author seemed to take a different approach with her role.


back to top

unread topics | mark unread


Books mentioned in this topic

Meet Me In The Mountains (other topics)
Divergent (other topics)
Battle Royale (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Candy Marie Bridges (other topics)