The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games - WordPress

I’m not a major Hunger Games fan, although I do thing the movies are well done and certain characters, like Finnick, are very interesting.

I think it relies too much on emotional angst and Katniss. I mean, would an entire country really care that much about her motivations for the berry stunt? I mean, I get that it’s supposedly a rare show of defiance but enough to spur an entire revolution? I think not. It all seems like a contrived plot device to force Katniss and Peeta into an angsty situation.

A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) is kinda by benchmark in terms of measuring universe complexity and all the wonderful things that come with it like realism and moral ambiguity.

Universe Complexity

The Hunger Games takes place entirely in Panem, which is a country in North America in the future. The series immediately loses some points for me by not saying anything about the rest of the world…I get that the implicit excuse that the rest of the world is a wasteland but frankly that just doesn’t seem plausible to me. I also understand that the author wants to set the Capitol up as this supreme authority and that another country would undermine that but, if you have to have a implausible universe to make a plot device work then it isn’t a very realistic plot device.

Secondly the political situation in Panem is woefully simple; the capitol and 12 more or less subjugated districts with a mostly withdrawn district 13. What would be interesting would be if district 5 and district 6 had a territorial/cultural conflict or if district 8 has an extremist religious cult or if district 9 had a state-santioned monarchy…I understand that the districts should be thought of more as federal states than as countries but after 75 years (or more) of relative isolation things would be more politically complicated than just ‘Districts 3 to 13 vs. Capitol’. That’s another point, exploring the history of Panem could have been very interesting.

I just feel as if Suzanne Collins sacrificed a complex universe for page after page of angst and easy anti-dictatorship rhetoric.

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