Some Other Perspectives on “The Hunger Games”

May 18, 2012

I’m always surprised to see that one of the top posts on this blog is my review of The Hunger Games.  There are a lot of reviews of this book (or the movie) out there right now, and I am continually seeing new ones that bring out other points I didn’t see or didn’t expound on.  Here are some good ones I’ve seen.

I should note that I am neither for nor against The Hunger Games.  As a Christian, I don’t find them objectionable as reading material; however, I don’t think they’re worthy of praising to the skies, either.  So I read both negative and positive reviews, and usually find something to agree with in both kinds.

Why Hunger Games is Flawed to its CoreAuthor N.D. Wilson, while not saying we shouldn’t read The Hunger Games, makes some very sharp observations about the book and how it misunderstands human nature.  I don’t agree with everything he says here (I usually LOVE his writings, so I was surprised!) but the review has some good points and well worth the read.  “Many people point to Peeta as the truly noble and sacrificial character. I don’t mind him as a character, but a picture of heroic sacrifice he ain’t. In Hunger Games, he’s fundamentally passive and submissive. He’s that guy who is happy to ‘just be friends’ with the cute girl. Or a lot more than friends (but only if she initiates). He’s just the puppy at her heels. “Sure, kill me Katniss. Oh, you’d rather we both killed ourselves? Yes, Katniss. Whatever you say, Katniss.” Really? There are plenty of guys in the world just like Peeta, and kudos to Collins for using the type, especially since nice second-fiddle fellas like that confuse and conflict girls tremendously. But worldview readers are gaming themselves into seeing something that just isn’t there.”  More interesting observations at the link!

Amusing Ourselves At Their DeathsThis two-part review by Mark Meynell is long but worth the read, focusing on the dystopian and political aspects of Panem.  “Orwell’s great anxiety was that the world would be controlled by fear and the suppression of truth, whereas Huxley suggested it would be manipulated through hedonism and distraction from truth. Big Brother inflicts pain, whereas the World State inflicts pleasure.   Suzanne Collins’s remarkable dystopia … combines both poles of Orwell and Huxley. In her futuristic world of Panem, twelve districts … are exploited by the Capitol, whose citizens live a Versailles-like life of luxury and ease. In reality, both are controlled under the watchful eye of President Snow’s regime: one through Orwellian terror, with the 12 districts policed by so-called Peacekeepers, and their food supply ruthlessly rationed to ensure dependence; the other by Huxleyan pleasure.”


  1. Yes, I still haven’t quite figured out what I think about the Hunger Games. It’s a good story in some ways, not so much in others.

    • Oops, I posted by accident before I had finished. For me, it was just about worth only to hear the writing style. However, the characters (the most important part to me) fell a bit flat. There was nothing wrong with Katniss, but she definitely could have been more sympathetic, I think. Whereas Harry Potter can pull off the poor suffering hero trick for sympathy, it doesn’t work on Katniss. Mostly, the characters just left me not really caring for any of them.

      (SPOILERS! SPOILERS! Spoilers through Mockingjay. SPOILERS!)
      All the good ones get killed, really.
      (SPOILERS end)

      Did you ever read Catching Fire and Mockingjay?

      • Yes, I ended up not caring much for the characters, either, especially because they were always making decisions differently than I would have, so I had a hard time agreeing with their choices.

        I have not read Catching Fire and Mockingjay, but I’m not really interested in doing so…

  2. I have read all three of The Hunger Games. I read them last year. And I also own them all. Now there my favorite series right. But the Bibles always been the best!!!!! I do like the characters quite a lot but there are many choicies I probably we not have made. Although I’ve never played such a horrific and disgusting game such as The bloody gory Hunger Games. So if it where to save my life maybe. But I would hope I would do the Christ like thing and trust in the Lord and pray there to be another way out. I would recommend reading the last two but don’t fall into my opinion if you don’t care for them. Oh yeah! I finished Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis. It was okay but it was extremely confusing at times!

    • Yes, personally I would love to read a fanfiction about a Christian sent to the Hunger Games and how faith in Christ would change their reactions to the Games. That would be interesting! 🙂

      I’m glad you enjoyed “Out of the Silent Planet”; I’ll bring the next book for you at church. 🙂 The Space Trilogy is definitely confusing. I found it easier to understand the second time I read it.

      • Ooh! I should write that…

        I, too, found the Space trilogy confusing…I think I have it figured out, for the most part. All but the last one…

  3. Right now I’m in the middle of two books so could borrow it another time.
    I just have to finishe some of these books before I get another and I don’t want it to get lost because I can’t read it yet! Thanks! See you tommrow. 🙂 but trust me I can’t wait to read the next one!!

  4. With all this take about The Hunger Games here is The Hunger Games for Christians! I do know Evan Agler and I was talking to hime resently. He’s the author of Swipe. I do encourage you to read it. Just look it up on google or go to his website.
    I only know Evan Angler throught cyberspace or other wise email.

    • I am interested to read “Swipe” at some point.

      Personally, though (and this is more a critique of “Swipe’s” publishers and reviewers than its author) I dislike it when people market books as “the ‘Christian’ alternative to XYZ”. If XYZ is truly antithetical to Christian thought, Christians shouldn’t be trying to emulate it. If it is NOT antithetical to Christianity, why do we need an alternative? Do we need some second-class version of a first-class book just because it’s more “Christian” than the original? (I saw a very sorry “alternative to Harry Potter” once – and I didn’t even LIKE Harry Potter at the time, but this “alternative” looked laughably awful.) Do we need our own “Christian” versions of popular culture, so we can have our own “cool” thing to read? …It just bugs me sometimes. Sorry, random rant over. 🙂

      • That’s totally fine Bethany! I agree to wait your saying. I just really thought it was interesting cause if you read Revelation 13: 16 and 17 its almost a perfect match. And my favorite part is that he has no swearing or sexually content or even a hint which I’m very happy about because much of today’s books do. And in the second books synapses it says these which made me go insanely crazy ” Can the gentle words Logan has found in a tattered………(Jordan) 🙂 Here it comes…….band BIBLE really stand against the strongest military the World has ever know!!!! Then it talks about him having to act though Faith alone. Sorry I’m ranting so much about the book series. It’s just it very rare to have something like this. 🙂

        • No problem about your ranting! 😀 Regarding Kindle lending, I believe this is possible, but you would have to research how to do it. I think some books can be lent and others can’t, so you’d need to check to make sure it’s a lendable book. I’d like to read it sometime if you can loan it to me! 🙂

  5. It also taks about opening people’s eyes to Christianity !!! Do you know if you can lend kindle books? I own it on the knidle so if you ever wanted to borrow it…..

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