Thoughts on "The Hunger Games"
Published on August 6, 2012 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I offer some of my thoughts on "The Hunger Games," as well as similar works, such as "Battle Royale" and "The Most Dangerous Game."

Here's an excerpt:

"I finally read 'The Hunger Games,' and I enjoyed it.

The book is brisk, pulpy and exciting, and I’m looking forward to reading 'Catching Fire,' the next book in Suzanne Collins’ best-selling dystopian young adult trilogy. At the same time, I was a bit shocked by the fact that children all over the place have read this violent book, in which kids are forced to kill other kids as part of some sick annual tournament sponsored by a futuristic totalitarian regime. Whenever I felt this way, I reminded myself that I read all sorts of disturbing and horrific literature when I was a kid, and that 'The Hunger Games' certainly couldn’t be any worse than, say, 'It' by Stephen King, or 'The Chocolate War,' by Robert Cormier. Today, the A.V. Club took a look at 'The Chocolate War' in their young adult book column, describing the book as a 'malevolent gem,' geared toward 'fans of unhappy endings.' Nobody dies in 'The Chocolate War,' but the level of violence — physical and emotional — is quite high, and packs even more of a punch than the 'Most Dangerous Game'-themed 'Hunger Games.'

Published in 1924, 'The Most Dangerous Game' is a short story about a man who falls off a yacht, swims to an island and is hunted for entertainment by the aristocrat who lives there. I read 'The Most Dangerous Game' in the seventh grade, around the same time I read the classic novel the 'Lord of the Flies,' about a group of British children who descend into savagery when marooned on an island. Obviously, works of literature (or movies) where humans hunt and kill each other like animals is nothing new, and 'The Hunger Games' is a proud new entrant in this bleak and subversive canon. What makes it a little different is that it’s clearly packaged for a teen audience, while the authors of 'The Most Dangerous Game' and 'Lord of the Flies' probably imagined a more adult readership."

Click here to read more.

Rule of Thumb contributor J.K. Eisen expounded on this topic here, while Rule of Thumb contributor Tony Are discussed "The Hunger Games" book and movie here.

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