Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mockingjay Fever: Learning to Educate Ourselves

"This is going to be just like Twilight," was what one of my friends said the night before we went to go see The Hunger Games. Now, I am willing to admit that there is a lot of hype around the best-selling novel and the film adaption. However, comparing The Hunger Games to Twilight is a gross offense. Mainly because The Hunger Games is actually a decent book with substance to it. However, what The Hunger Games has done is brought into question the ethical nature of such a violent movie.

Some family and friends that I talked to expressed concerns about the desensitizing effects that such as movie can have on a person: most importantly, young adolescents. Understanding their concerns about the film, I was also quick to respond by asking them if they had read the book or looked up a film synopsis.

"No, I haven't."


 Many times, people make rash assumptions or are easily persuaded by false, sensationalized information because they are too willing to rely on word of mouth, instead of  grabbing a book or a computer to seek the truth themselves. Though I know that such censorship happens in both secular and religious groups, my personal experience is out of a Christian background, as I grew up in a Christian home. At my house, we weren't allowed to read books like Harry Potter and I could only read Twilight after I did some serious research on the novel (which, if you ask me, was a waste of my time in retrospect). Their reason for censoring my reading of books such as Harry Potter and Twilight was because of scripture condemning witchcraft (Galations 5: 19-21).

While some may believe that my parents censoring me was a terrible transgression, there were more books that they did allow me to read rather than did not. Their concern was well meant, and what I learned from them is that I need to inform myself about what I am reading; that I need to be ethically concise of what I feed my mind. That's why I carefully read abstracts or research books before I read them.

If you read The Hunger Games, you will find out that the novel is dystopian fiction that illustrates how a corrupt government enacts severe hegemony over the rest of the nation (the twelve districts). This government conducts the Hunger Games every year to keep the people of Panem from ever trying to revolt, again. The Hunger Games, in both the book and film, is not a good thing. No one rejoices over having to be a part of it, and the tragic deaths of the young tributes of Panem are not taking lightly. Their deaths are felt with deep sorrow.

If anything, The Hunger Games calls us to question the world we are living in right now and the direction that we could take. The book and the novel beg us to be more thoughtful and considerate about our own lives and the lives of those around us. They show us what life could be like, including an atrocity like the Hunger Games: a world we wouldn't want to live in.

For those who are wary of the series, I encourage you to take a minute and look up what The Hunger Games is all about. Make the decision for yourself after you have made an attempt to get a fuller understanding what this hype is all about.

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