Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Hunger Games Trilogy (Novels)

Plot: It is the post-apocalypse. North America is now an autocratic state with even vaster rich and poor divide than now. The Capital forces each of its twelve Districts, as punishment for rebellion, to send twenty-four tribute children to fight each to the death in a televised reality program called the Hunger Games. Katniss   Everdeen is girl of sixteen from the poorest of the districts, District Twelve, who, in order to save her ten year old sister Primrose--"Prim"--from being forced to compete when she is drafted volunteers to take her sister's place in the seventy-fourth annual Hunger Games. Winning the games becomes the least of the labors weighed down upon Katniss's already broken and belabored mind.

Verdit: There has been a lot said about this series and multiple different directions. I have read and heard a lot of it, but right now I am going to give my honest reaction to this series of books as a whole, as oppose to spending all day refuting and responding to the critiques. It is great. It is horribly sad, but great. The theme is simple, but excellent. War is trauma, war is horror, and what it is that people do to their child celebrities (especially the young starlets), Nice Guys do (and are taught to do) to women, and ultimately what the rich do to the poor--all if it in the name of some greater good--is not so different from the crime that is sending children to war, literal child soldiers or otherwise. War in general is of course not shown to be an agent of the greater good.

This is not happy story, this is a story of a child, an already traumatized by poverty child, being driven slowly but surely insane by war, proximately by her peers who have also been wounded and ultimately by those who can afford to be careless, hiding behind their wealth or whatever else they think makes it alright. It is not a story that ends well, but there is no other way it can end. Part of why I write this blog is to do what I can to make sure it does not happen again. It may be a lot of painful work, but slog through this trilogy. The third book is where it all comes together, but you need the first two. Do not think of these characters as role models or good decision makers as you go, they are not meant to be, nor can they be. We can though, so as you live, find a way to make it so. May the odds be ever in your favor...

Facts: It is 3 three hundred page books by Suzanne Collins. There is a film series in the works. It is alright, Jennifer Lawrence once again does good with what she is given to work with, but ultimately  not that  good. Read the books.

(Note most of these pictures are fan-art as the books do not have any art.)

Bechtel-Sarkessian Test: Visuals for this sections are going to be difficult, so I am just going to list with bullets some of the many times this story passes. These all involve Katniss because the only interactions between characters we are privy to are her's. The story is completely in first person...
  • Katniss chastising her mother before the draft takes her, Katniss, to the seventy-four Games.
  • Katniss hunting and sabatoging with Rue during the seventy-four Games:
  • Katniss's battle with Clove
  • Katniss and Johanna Mason's first "argument"
  • Katniss's "fight" with Johanna during the seventy-fifth Games
  • The many times Katniss is with Prim, trying to comfort her and or vice versa
  • Katniss with Coin, president of District 13 center of the rebellion, bargaining for many people's lives
  • Katniss and Cressida Jackson having to trust each other to fight through the capital
  • There is also the gossip between Katniss's stylists that she constantly over hears, though is sometimes made part of.
Better than Star Wars: in the books, unlike the whitewashed movies, we are given the impression that the cast is mostly mixed race and ethnicity. It is fact I agree with, and one discussed in plenty of detail in places already. These fan-art renditions, however, capture nicely what I could say better than I could say it.

(I will add the note that the only choice I like better in the movie is Lenny Kravitz and Cinna)

Suck it Disney: We have a variety of ages and sexes in the characters, especially starting in the second book, Catching Fire, where veteran Tributes from Games past are drafted out of "retirement." Though yes, many of these older characters remain unnamed and are never drawn.

Awkward Angle Syndrome: none that does not make sense in the context of the story.

Die Hard Test: this is an unfortunate, but legitimately sad, fail of this test. Those who have seen it, know what I am talking about, and know the disgusting truth of how poorly  many reacted to this fact and others. Oh, SPOILER WARNING!

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