One of the first critics to miss the point was Laura Miller. Writing in The New Yorker in 2010, she claimed that “dystopian fiction exists to warn us about the dangers of some current trend,” and she went on to interpret The Hunger Games as “a fever-dream allegory of the adolescent social experience,” her idea being that coming of age in America is now a particularly scathing crucible, with foreboding trends, like bullying and near constant parental surveillance. It was a fine theory, but a bit of a stretch, as there are so many more obvious warnings. Suzanne Collins, author of the young adult trilogy, who also happens to be a Roman Catholic, rarely responds to what is written about her work, but she felt compelled to make a public clarification later in an interview with The New York Times.
Collins said: “I don’t write about adolescence. I write about war. For adolescents.”
Upon the release of the first Hunger Games in March of last year, reviewers and commentators in the Christian media weren’t much quicker on the uptake. Christian websites, magazines, blogs, and chat boards were abuzz with discussions about the film and the series of novels it was based on. Parents questioned whether they should allow their children to see the film, exchanged warnings about the content, and advised each other onhow to talk to your kids about [insert part of story deemed morally questionable]. Nearly every moral issue in the story was considered and discussed—the suicide pact, the scene where Katniss and Peeta sleep together but don’t “do anything”—every moral issue that is, except that one which lies at the heart of the story…
One thought on “MOVIE REVIEW: What Catholics missed in The Hunger Games”
Thank you for a wonderful article! I haven’t read the books or seen the movies, but now I think I will. As a teacher I know about The Hunger Games series & how popular it is with the kids. I didn’t want to see it in the theaters because I just can’t watch violence; even reading about it is painful. It is amazing how people (whether Christian or not) tend not to see our culture’s misplaced trust in violence as a path to security.