A blog by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration about justice and peace issues

This post will make the most sense for those of you who have read the Hunger Games series or at least seen the first movie. If you are reading this and have not seen the movie or read the books I recommend giving them a try if only for the questions they raise.

Simple low down – Katniss Everdeen lives in the future United States. Through different past events the U.S. has shifted from states into regional districts and  the districts are ruled by the Capitol, the nation’s largest city. Katniss lives in District 12, one of the poorest districts and the one responsible for providing coal to the Capitol for energy.

The Capitol, in an effort to maintain control over the districts, holds an annual “Hunger Games.” Each district (excluding the Capitol) holds a “reaping” in which  a female and male “contender” who are between the ages of 12 – 18 are selected in a drawing ran by Capitol officials. These contenders are then brought to the Capitol to live in an arena where they will fight to the death. The last one standing is considered the “victor” and when they return home may live in the “Victors Village” in their own district.

The entire “games” is televised and seen by Capitol citizens as entertainment while the families in the district must watch as one of their own children kills or is killed or both. Katniss’ sister, Primrose is chosen, but Katniss volunteers to replace her in the games. And so begins an incredible story of survival, the bounds of love, and the power of  the powerful to change a life.

The Hunger Games is a gruesome story line and one that is easy to dismiss as too fantastic. When would any country demand that their children fight to the death in a televised spectacle?

And yet as you read the book or watch the film there is something chilling and familiar in the lines of the story – tell me if any of this rings a bell …

A part of the world that guzzles resources while those who live around it are cast into poverty…

A part of the world that watches “real life” on T.V. finding humor, entertainment, and even pleasure in the struggles, humiliations, and tragedies of others…

A part of the world where a child who dies in one neighborhood is treated differently than a child who may die in another neighborhood…

Sound at all familiar?

The Hunger Games draws from realities in the present and casts them into the future – what will it look one hundred years from now? Reality T.V., consumerism, government, how we are in relationship to one another?

Will the great – great grandchildren of today’s first graders stand in a line praying that their name is not called ? What do we need to create today, what do we need to change today to make sure that the “odds” will be forever in everyone’s favor.

Read the book, see the movie, have a conversation and tell me what you think.

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Comments on: "Hunger Games: May the odds be ever in your favor!" (2)

  1. Thanks, Liz. Because of the fascination for these bks & movie on the part of several young people I know, I’ve intended to go to see it. After your comments, this is the week I’ll do that. It’s worth thinking about how our society is evolving, and having a hand in the direction.

  2. skhennessey said:

    Thanks for the reflection.
    I did see the movie…. and was interested that today in our Bible Study an older woman just gushed about watching the movie. It really struck a chord with her, and I think it was a lot about the idea of control and technology and inequality all combine together for the worse….
    I think one of the changes we need to make today is just to have conversations about how different technologies effect our lives and being able to really discern the effect on our community and spirituality……..Blessings!

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