Paradox Of The Hunger Games - It's About Us, Not the Future
Kids Face Bullying, Suicide, Murder And Competition
Reading hundreds of Hubs, major movie critic's sites, and newspaper articles about the books and film The Hunger Games, I see a small percentage of writers that understand that the premise of the story is based on today and not the future. I'd call it a real-life adventure horror tale and we are all Katniss. I know I was at age 16 and I sometimes feel the same today.
Just as famous author C.S. Lewis wrote an outer space trilogy to grab readers' attention so he could speak to them about current issues and faith, Suzanne Collins does so to focus on the dangers and decadence of 21st Century society in Western Culture and the world. Her story comes from her impressions of the TV reality show Survivor and the televised material on the War In Iraq.
Undergirding all this is the fact that team- and some individual sports are based on concepts of war. Right now in America, teens are committing suicide in greater numbers than ever before.
Bullies and cyberbullies are causing teens to die. Did you know that in the 1990s in America, the number one cause of death of children 5-years old and younger (all the way to infancy) was murder? (Reference: Healthy People 2000 research materials, 1980 - 1999.)
In the 1990s, the number one problem in schools from daycare to grade 12 in my region was VIOLENCE. That is not changing in the 2010s.
While a frenzy among mostly younger viewers are writing about Team Katniss and Team What's -His-Name and running to buy as much movie paraphernalia as possible, and writers egg them on to make a profit, many viewers do not see or perhaps take seriously, that today's life is dangerous.
Reality - We Can Use The Lessons of Hunger Games
It's OK to love a movie and go out and buy some related products, but sometime down the line, remember that people just like you are dying right now like the kids in the books and movie. They are dying by their own hand, by murder, but beatings from bullies, by child abuse, by hate crimes, by poverty, by the trafficking of children and teens, and by drug overdoses
Some parents feel that The Hunger Games Trilogy novels and film(s) are too graphically violent for middle- and high school youth. However, if these kids do not experience these materials (parents can join in), then do we have an alternative to use to prepare the young people to face the real world of daily dangers from the problems listed above? It may "never happen to your child", but it will likely happen to a neighbor's or in the nearest school.
It's real. Although many parents tell their children that the YA novel The Hunger Games is fiction, the premise is real and they must have this knowledge. While the story is fictional, the the things that are happening to children and youth in it are more real every day. For a tragic example, many young prostitutes are murdered when they become "too old." Elementary school children are forced to sell drugs.
Competition in school from peers and parents is tremendous, so much that "B" students sometimes commit suicide - and all this among bullying and in some places, child predation among staff; and, the necessity of schools supplying two meals a day because kids are starving.
One of my 17-year-old GED students dropped classes for a year to work full time at both White Castle® and McDonald's® - over 70 hours weekly - to help support his young siblings. I worked two jobs at age 18, because college financial aid laws required the students to be 21 years old at the time in order to receive their help in my state.
First graders are now wearing kids' high heels and makeup to school. Little-kid beauty pageants are a huge industry.
How is all this not The Hunger Games? -- It is.
Connecting The Hunger Games To Real Life
- "The Hunger Games" As Expression of Youth Crises, Mockingjay As Hope
The images of Katniss running forever through the film with both peer killers and reality show sponsors breathing down her neck in a future decade reflect life today. Among peer pressure, bullying, discrimination and competition for good schools and
Let The Children Live To Grow Up
Don't let the opportunities of this movie for experience and discussion pass your family by. Have a good time watching the film and reading the books and movie related magazines - there are a lot of them!
Parents can take their children to the theater and read the books in order to be able to answer questions and reassure kids about what they see and read and what is happening in the real word.We need to talk with our children form the day they are born, and probably before their birth. Every decade, the world becomes more complex and fraught with dangers as well as opportunities.
If the kids can't handle the Hunger Games material, then we need to discuss the realities of the dangers in society with them ASAP, a little at a time from an early age. They must have the information in order to know what to do when confronted with these scenarios, either personally or through seeing a friend hurt and suffering.
© 2012 Patty Inglish
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