It is not uncommon for films based on books to fail to do the books justice. This is certainly the case with the Hunger Games movie. While it attempts to faithfully mirror the book, it misses the point and reduces the book to needless violence. If they truly wish to understand the vision of Suzanne Collins, readers should not bother with the movie and go straight to this series of books. In their interactions with the Hunger Games book, the readers are confronted with complex yet eye-opening insights into the struggles of human survival.
In authoring Hunger Games, Collins must have been inspired by the brutal reality of human struggle. The book focuses on a contest for survival and the extreme lengths that individuals are willing to go to hold on to their lives. By highlighting how humans are willing to betray friends and strike alliances with foes, the book suggests that the need to survive is a basic element of the human spirit. Even the most enlightened individuals will undoubtedly trample on the weakest to guarantee their survival.
Through its focus on human survival, Hunger Games presents a refreshing perspective on vulnerability. It makes it clear that in competitive environment, the weak and the vulnerable are severely disadvantaged. This is indeed the truth about the human experience. Today, as the coronavirus ravages the world, the vulnerability of the poor has been explored. It has become nearly impossible for poor Americans to receive tests for this disease while the famous and wealthy enjoy unhampered access. Hunger Games is essentially a warning that if it fails to fix the system, the US will descend into a society that crashes the weakest.
For the most part, Hunger Games portrays humans as remarkably resilient. Using the character of Katniss, Collins reflects on the human capacity to cope and withstand adversity. However, she also makes it clear that this capacity is not unlimited. When confronted with extreme hardship, humans simply fall apart. For this reason, societies need to spare no expense in alleviating suffering. Special focus should be given to those who have endured too much and are on the verge of crumbling.
While it is true that Collins depicts the human race as resilient and patient, she also indicates that in dire situations, individuals will not hesitate to abandon their values and turn on one another. Basically, Collins holds up a mirror and confronts readers with the question of what they would do in circumstances where they have to choose between self-preservation and the common good. If the events in the book are any indication, many will choose to save themselves at the expense of others.
As they approach Hunger Games, readers need to be careful. Reading this book exposes one to the danger of becoming depressed, frustrated and losing faith in humanity. Collins reflects on the difficult decisions that humans are often forced to make. What is most depressing is that these decisions are inevitable and are a vital component of the human experience. Sadly, as noted above, many will make decisions that secure their interests and will give little attention to the welfare of others. This book could actually cause readers to hate being part of the human nation.
Whereas it is entertaining and enlightening, it is nearly impossible to read Hunger Games in one sitting. This is because the book addresses serious and complex issues that readers may find to be too overwhelming. Therefore, instead of seeking to digest as much of the book’s themes as they can, readers should be patient and allow the book to reveal itself. They should also abandon whatever notions that they may have and approach the book with an open mind. It is only by doing this that they will truly appreciate Collins’ vision and inspiration.
It can be argued that the main goal that Collins aimed to accomplish was to warn humanity about the dangers of dystopian society. In the book, she focuses on a society where citizens are forced into a backward tradition whose outcome is death and misery. It is indeed sad that such is the society that more and more countries are becoming. The US could soon join the list of dystopian nations where to survive, one must be massively wealthy. The country should take steps now to eliminate the issues that could give rise to the Collins’ dystopia.
The Hunger Games has proven so popular that it is one of the most read books of all time. Having read this series, it is fairly easy to understand why it has found a massive audience and risen in popularity. Among the issues that make the books appealing is their hard-hitting commentary on the ugly side of being human. Many readers relate with the events and characters in the books because they understand the struggle of looking out for others without neglecting their own needs. Those who are yet to read the books should understand that a thrilling experience awaits.
The Hunger Games is aptly named. It depicts a hungry and unequal world; a world where individual progress is valued more than the wellbeing of the entire society. Furthermore, this series shows that as currently constituted, human societies are unsustainable. When pushed too far, the poor and the marginalized will rise up and demand a change in the structure of society. The world should heed the message that Collins conveys in the books and take action now to promote equality. Hunger Games receives 8 out of 10 for its brilliant portrayal of the human struggle.