I am a grown woman who read the entire Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. I loved it and could not wait to see the film adaptation of the first book. The film did not disappoint, but the parents in the theater did.
In case you live under a rock, the first book is set in a futuristic United States controlled by the greedy, wealthy 1% that live in the Capitol. The rest of the country is broken into districts based on what they can produce for the Capitol. Every year, in remembrance of the districts' previous uprising, two children from each district are offered up as tributes. Tributes go on to the Capitol to compete in a reality show called The Hunger Games, where they kill each other for sport and the entertainment of the Capitol.
Let me repeat the gist of it: CHILDREN KILL EACH OTHER ON TV FOR ENTERTAINMENT.
As a writer and reader, the social commentary of The Hunger Games is impressive. It reminds me of Junior year English class when I read Lord of the Flies for the first time. The idea about what happens to a society when its authority and self government are stripped away fascinated me then, just as the themes of The Hunger Games fascinate me now.
What FRIGHTENS the crap out of me, though is how unaware so many parents seem to the fact they are essentially playing into the Capitol's construction. When I saw The Hunger Games in the theater, I counted at least 20 children under the age of 10.
WOW! I bet most kids under the age of 14 reading The Hunger Games don't grasp the larger themes, like how the desensitization of society towards violence leads to more violence. The glamorization of the movie stars in the film and the love triangle underneath the story make kids think The Hunger Games are "cool."
Taking an 8 year old to see The Hunger Games is desensitizing him to violence before he has the ability to understand the broader concepts. I wonder if these parents read the book before taking their kids to the movie? And if they did read the book, and their children read the book, I wonder if they discussed it with them. Do parents even talk about the larger themes of books anymore?
Kids are playing The Hunger Games in their backyards. Unless they are rebelling against the Capitol and its ideologies, which they wouldn't have read about until book three, that's pretty sick. Are they PLAYING THE HUNGER GAMES? As in "I'm Katniss and you're Cato and I kill you?" Yeesh- You might as well start entering your kid for the reaping now, because we're not that far off from watching people kill each other for sport. Don't believe me? Just flip on Jersey Shore or The Bachelor or some other awful example of "reality."
It's not hard to imagine our road to the Capitol. The Hunger Games is not good fun like Harry Potter or Twilight. I think the foresight Collins has is genius and challenges parents to WAKE UP!! At this rate, the odds are not in our favor.