Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

With the movie coming up I decided it was time to reread this book.  Last summer when I read Mockingjay I really wanted to go back and reread the other two.  Sometimes it is hard to take the time to reread a book or series knowing that there are so many other good books out there, but I keep reminding myself that reading is for fun and there is no right or wrong.  It isn't like I have to read a certain number of books, so when I start to take the fun out of reading I try to take a step back.

Knowing the outcome of this book allowed me to step back and notice other details that might not have seemed as important the first time I read the book.  It turns out I actually remembered the book better than I thought I would have considering I read it almost two years ago. 

The contrast between what the people in the Capital have and the people in the districts have is so huge.  In District 12 they only have electricity for two or three hours a day while the Capital has hovercrafts and expensive  medicines, while there is so much to eat and so little to do that people are surgically augmenting themselves with tattoos and skin dye.  I was left wondering how the people in the Capital ended up there.  Was it just about where you lived when Panem was formed?  Could people from the districts ever have the chance to move to the Capital?  Do any of them have relatives in other districts and can they communicate with them? 

We have some of the same issues now.  Some people have so much money that they spend it on unnecessary items while people in the same city are homeless and starving.  How can a society manage to provide for all its members?  How hard should survival really be?  How do we help those less fortunate without making it so easy that people start to expect not even need to help themselves at all?

Above all that, where does reality television reach a point where it is too much?  Just as Katniss views her prep team as a group of silly pets, they view the contestants in the Hunger Games as less than people too.  Can the Capital group and the Districts ever see each other as other humans?

It will be interesting to see how this plays out on the screen.  Of what has to be cut to keep the movie to a manageable length and what makes it in and how the faces of the actors will supplant the ones readers formed on their own when they were reading.  Already I lost my picture of Katniss and replaced it with Jennifer Lawrence from a photo on the cover of Entertainment Weekly.

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