The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The Hunger Gamescatching Fire

With the new movie “Catching Fire” coming out this weekend in the U.S., it’s a good time to think about another one of my obsessions The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. I read the books. Then I read them again. And again. And again.

Girl on Fire

I also read a very interesting book The Girl Who Was on Fire: Your Favorite Authors on The Hunger Games Trilogy.

From Amazon.com:

In The Girl Who Was on Fire, thirteen YA authors take you back to Panem with moving, dark, and funny pieces on Katniss, the Games, Gale and Peeta, reality TV, survival, and more. From the trilogy’s darker themes of violence and social control to fashion and weaponry, the collection’s exploration of the Hunger Games reveals exactly how rich, and how perilous, protagonist Katniss’ world really is.•How does the way the Games affect the brain explain Haymitch’s drinking, Annie’s distraction, and Wiress’ speech problems?
•What does the rebellion have in common with the War on Terror?
•Why isn’t the answer to “Peeta or Gale?” as interesting as the question itself?
•What should Panem have learned from the fates of other hedonistic societies throughout history—and what can we?

The Girl Who Was on Fire covers all three books in the Hunger Games trilogy.

CONTRIBUTORS: .Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Mary Borsellino, Sarah Rees Brennan, Terri Clark, Bree Despain, Adrienne Kress, Cara Lockwood, Elizabeth M. Rees, Carrie Ryan, Ned Vizzini, Lili Wilkinson, Blythe Woolston, Sarah Darer Littman

Highly recommended.

Peeta and Katniss

Why did I become obsessed with The Hunger Games trilogy, although I am chronologically far from a “young adult”? The main pull to me was the connection with “reality” based television, which drives me crazy. Making people do crazy things for ratings on TV is insane to me. And demeaning and dehumanizing to the people who take part in it. I can so imagine a world where people kill each other on TV for the entertainment of the masses. And in The Hunger Games it’s even worse, because the reality TV is meant to punish the people watching by killing off loved ones from their communities. To control them and demoralize them. Until Katniss Everdeen came along and changed the game.

I love Katniss. She is so damaged. She doesn’t realize the effect she has on people. I think that is a very hard thing to do – realize your impact on other people. A long time ago I was in “group therapy” and that was something I learned. That others are impacted by my actions and speech. I always imagined that I acted for me alone, somehow. That no one cared what I did or said. That is so not true! We all impact on each other all the time, every day, every hour! Virtually or in RL.

Jennifer_Lawrence_in_new_character_portrait_for_The_Hunger_Games__Catching_Fire

Katniss learns that her actions have impacted her world in a big way. Even though she didn’t intend it. Sometimes that happens. People have sometimes come to me and told me how great an impact I have had on them, although I had no idea they were even paying attention to what I did. The thing with Katniss, though, to me, is whether her impact on others was natural or manipulated. Seems to me that other people with an agenda manipulated Katniss into performing a role that served their purpose, even without her knowledge or agreement. It’s a very sad story.

It a sad story even until the end. But I won’t tell. Spoilers!, as River Song says! 😀

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About NYCPAT

From New York City. Anglophile, theater-goer, love books, music and LIFE.
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7 Responses to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

  1. kelbel75 says:

    I read the trilogy a few years ago, to make sure it was appropriate for my son to read (kids violently killing kids sounded iffy to me 😉 ) I didn’t like Katniss, she was so closed off and cold. I know *why* she was that way, but I was constantly yelling at her in my head throughout the whole series 😕 I like movie-Katniss better though, or maybe it’s just that I’m used to her now since we have a 5ft. Katniss cut-out at the top of our staircase that I see everyday…my daughter is a Katniss fan 😉

    • Marie Astra says:

      I know what you mean about Katniss. She seems very stubborn sometimes. But when you think about how damaged she was it’s amazing she was able to function. I think Jennifer Lawrence is an amazing actor. She brings to the movie a fuller picture of Katniss than you can get in the book. Life and breath. Love that your daughter has a Katniss cut-out! You’re a great mom! 😀

      • kelbel75 says:

        It really benefited me to be able to “see” Katniss in the movie, to watch her body language and her facial expressions, etc. those kinds of details just weren’t there in the book, and I really needed them in order to connect with her. so Kudos to JL, most definitely! 😎

  2. Servetus says:

    I haven’t seen the movies but I adored the books. My buddy Didion started with them and she got something like a dozen people to read them, which I thought was hilarious; she practically had a lending library going. Here’s what she thought, and i liked her point about the way it called to mind books we’d read as teens:
    http://feminema.wordpress.com/2010/08/22/lost-in-the-hunger-games-series/

    Most of my friends and I completely identified with Katniss and her problems — how do you take care of things when you’re already one down, how do you deal with the problems you create for yourself in protecting your family and others, how do you deal with others’ expectations of you, what do you do when the world is stacked against you — and how do you beat the system? At some point someone said, “the Hunger Games are like our workplace, aren’t they?” So true.

  3. Marie Astra says:

    LOL, I like Didion! I did the same thing!! 😀 Love your list of what you all identified with Katniss. I also loved her focus on her mission – to save her family, take care of her sister, win the game – and just was like, huh? to the boys. I love that she didn’t look to them to take care of her. In contrast to her mother, who totally fell apart when her husband died. I will read that post now.

    • Servetus says:

      yeah, the not caring about boys was a big plus (and also so much like my youth). Didion also did a great long review of the film on her blog if you’re interested, look for it. I don’t remember what she thought just b/c I probably won’t see it; in the end the books were just too good to risk having them spoiled for me by the film …

      • Marie Astra says:

        Good choice. At least the first movie did not meet my expectations. Some bad choices by the director, IMO. I will look for Didion’s review. Thanks! And I probably will see the second movie. Will report back! 😀

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