It’s been a long time since I’ve felt so moved by a book that I have to write something about it. For a moment, I thought this was just an ordinary “craze” people will forget about by the next vampire movie. But after reading the entire series, I understand now how different this is. Absolutely disturbing. Inspiring. Mind-blowing.
So this is why I’m addicted to the Hunger Games.
Katniss Everdeen, the heroine in this trilogy, is actually depicted as a strong character—physically, mentally and emotionally—who doesn’t need to use her sexuality to exude power. Naturally, she is seen as a role model in District 12 for having taken up the role of breadwinner in her family and does this mostly by hunting, her means of livelihood and greatest hobby. She is most aware that the essence of a woman does not lie in being a wife and having kids, she hates being perceived by her audience as merely Peeta’s tragic love interest and she doesn’t care at all if she is caught eating with her hands. But of course, most of all, she acted as the mockingjay, the symbol of a rebellion, that in all ways defied the stereotypical primness of a female.
It speaks of the Capitol’s (might as well say CAPITAL or CAPITALISM) insane greed and oppressive ways, capable of putting innocent children to the most despicable thing ever that is the Hunger Games. In fact, just when you think the setting is a “future United States” or a society so backward it succumbs to such barbaric ways, you realize it’s already happening or it still is. Exploitation, waste, self-indulgence, vanity, arrogance—it’s everywhere. Just the fact that the story opens your eyes to this truth makes it worth reading. But seeing this through Katniss’ eyes compels you to get up and actually do something. And how I love stories like this which calls you to make a stand. Capitol or District 12? North or South? Wealth or poverty?
The story also allows one to effectively examine his or her means to an end, his or her capacity to remain humane despite the inhumanities surrounding him or her and shrouding his/her consciousness. It’s so easy for some of us to turn into someone whose vengeance and hatred is so strong he/she forgets why he/she is fighting in the first place or what he/she is standing up for. And yet the story so poignant makes you realize that there is no point in being a hero when you lose yourself in the process.
As much as I want to dismiss the love angle and focus on the underlying tones of suffering and subjugation, I can’t help but be moved by the love which, cliché as it sounds, conquers all. I know that the author in fact wants to show the mockery of being consumed by sappy love stories against waking up to realities of societal problems but she also makes it clear that, despite the world, love can still exist as hope does. Even in the simplest of things… like pearls and dandelions.