Monday, March 26, 2012

The Hunger Games?

Are my husband and I the only ones struggling with the teen-on-teen violence in the Hunger Games books and movie?  To be honest, I've not seen the movie nor read the books.  I've merely seen the movie trailer and have also talked with some preteens/young teens who are interested in the Hunger Games.  I hear that it does have a positive ending in which the main character comes to decry violence of any kind.

However, my understanding is that, along the way,  teens are placed in a situation where they must be killed or be killed.    Is that wise mental food to be serving teens given the fact that we've seen some horrendous acts of school violence by troubled children/teens/young adults in the past few decades, as well as seeing teen lives taken by gang violence?  On the other hand, am I a hypocrite to be bothered by this, as I have watched movies in which adults are killed?  Saving Private Ryan, for example, showed war in all its ugliness, but I did view it. 

Where does all of this fit with Phil. 4:4-8's admonition to guard the things we think about?I think we are naive if we don't understand that the things we choose to read and watch do affect us on some level.     

What about you?  Have you read the books or seen the movie?  If you have, what did you think?  If you have, are you eager to or reluctant to see what it's all about?  Will you let your preteens and teens see or read this series?

I wasn't interested in the Twilight series, either.  I heard an interesting point on a radio show.  The original Dracula by Bram Stoker was clearly portrayed as evil and unappealing, while the vampire characters in Twilight are portrayed as being tragically romantic -- and tragic romance is irresistible to many a young girl.  Having neither read the original Dracula or the Twilight books, I can't speak to that with certainty.  But, I did find that thought to be interesting.

What say you?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.



JoannaTopazT said...

I read The Hunger Games (because it was picked as an "all town reads" selection -- largely because of the strong youth interest -- and was therefore automatically one of my church book club's selections). I probably wouldn't have read it if it was not "assigned." I have not seen the movie, but the situation in the book is very much like the sorts of reality TV shows that are so popular these days, and was apparently based on the historical Roman gladiator contests. So it deals with a long history of, and current obsessions with, voyeurship of other people's struggles, violence, etc. I think it actually has some value in pointing out how disturbing this trend is by carrying today's "Survivor" to a logical extension: a national obsession (in the fictional state) with watching other people kill or be killed for entertainment value. I don't have any preteens or teens, but since so many of them are reading it I think there's real value in parents reading it if only to be able to discuss it with them.

~aka Calla Lilly~ said...

No one in my family has seen or read The Hunger Games, Twighlight, or Harry Potter. We have no desire for such disturbing twaddle and fluff that has been not so cleverly disguised as literature.

Elizabeth said...

I've heard good and bad things about it. I hope kids are getting the right message out of it. I know that when I have read books as a teen and later on as an adult, I've often understood it differently as an adult than I did as a teen/preteen. Case in point, I so wanted to be Scarlet O'Hara after reading GWTW, but, later on, realized that Melanie was the true heroine of the story and a role model better worth imitating.

That's why it's good to talk with teens/preteens, as you say, Joanna, to see how they do interpret modern culture.