The Hunger Games offer a vision of a future where people have become little more than slaves to a totalitarian regime. Most of the population of the country of Panem has been stunted to a subsistence living standard under the surveillance of the Capital’s peacekeepers. They are confined and fenced off into districts. Each district produces specific products for the Capital. The people who live in the Capital live in luxury, able to fulfill any hedonistic desire. The President makes sure they are entertained and also kept in line by the Hunger Games.
The Hunger Games came about after the Capital put down a rebellion in one of the districts, totally destroying it as an example to the others. For the entertainment of the Capital’s citizens and to remind the districts of its power over them; every child from 12 to 18 must put their names in to be chosen as tributes. Every year a boy and a girl from each district are chosen. They are put into a cleverly designed arena where they struggle to survive and kill off the other tributes.
It’s written in the first person narrative of the main character 16 year old Katniss Everdeen. It took me a few chapters to get into it, after it got to the point of Katniss getting ready for the game it was a real page-turner.
Susanne Collins (I read somewhere) was inspired to write these novels by the Iraq war and reality shows like Survivor. What struck me most about it was this is just the kind of society you would expect if everyone turned away from God. Through out history there have been societies like this and they still exist today where the ruling elite exert their power.
The good thing I see in the popularity of these novels is it may make young people more aware of the danger of an all-powerful government. There are real world initiatives to control human populations and to cordon them off into sustainable developments. The United Nations Agenda 21 is being implemented as you are reading this: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/10/un_agenda_21_coming_to_a_neigh.html
I hope these novels inspire young people to get politically active and to want to claim back our founder’s vision of liberty and freedom and self-reliance. Maybe they will see and understand how government control of an economy reduces everyone to poverty.
America was unique in that it was founded on the principal that human beings get their rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness from our Creator. Somewhere in one of the books I think Katniss asks Gale something like ‘what kind of government do the rebels want? He answers, ‘a republic, along time ago this country was a republic.’ There is no more explanation after that.
Nowhere in the books is there a mention of God or prayer or with all the deaths, any reference to an afterlife. All their hopes and courage comes from the love of family and relationships. In the first book Katniss takes her little sister’s place as a tribute and it’s her love for her little sister that gives her courage. In the end there is still little hope in a better future no real escape from the nightmares of the past. A just society cannot exist without faith in God. Human beings left to their own devices will always seek to serve themselves and dominate others. The Roman Empire put on elaborate games at great expense to entertain the ruling elite. It was during that time in history that the King of Kings began to reign and the rock that smashed the idol in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream Daniel 2:35 began to grow and it will grow into a mountain that will fill the whole earth!
Unlike Katniss and her friends we really can hope for a just and righteous future and we can use our God given abilities to free people with the truth, Jesus is Lord!