Monday, April 23, 2012

The Holocaust and The Hunger Games

I may find myself with some newfound enemies today.  So be it.  I must confess I am no true fan of The Hunger Games.  I attempted to watch it at one point and have spoken to a great many people who have read it. Call me strange but however one may argue the point I find myself at a loss in appreciating a story in which adolescents are forced to murder each other.  Now, if the story followed an assassin destroying the evil people in the capitol and eliminate the games entirely, that I could understand.  I have heard many people say that they really only read it for its other merits.  It is beautifully written and filled with soul inspiring metaphor.  Having a degree in English I can assure my gentle reader that such aspects of literature exist in works by Milton, Dickens, Austen, Melville, and the like.  And I assure them that such works are exquisitely well crafted and uplifting.

I have also heard the idea that The Hunger Games is a warning to never forget the past for fear of repeating such atrocities.  It is a marvelous teaching method.  How else do you teach people such an important lesson?  I'll tell you.  When I was 16 my brother, mother and I toured Western Europe and Israel.  My brother and I bickered day after endless day.  My mother could not calm us and had quite given up trying to reach us.  And then we toured the Children's Holocaust Museum in Israel.  We entered the door bickering.  I hardly remember leaving but my mother describes it thusly.  My brother and I were silent, somber and all but trembling.  Without seeing what was before us we exited side by side and silently sat down next to each other on a concrete bench staring with blank eyes at the ground.  You might have heard a pin drop.  My mother was required to do something to shake us out of the horror we had just experienced and even consent to speak.  The bickering had stopped. 

Teach children and adults the atrocities of history, educate them about the world in which they live which still includes slavery, give them a dose of hard, solid reality and they will not forget it.  These things are not entertainment.  They are real and they are all around us, beckoning our attention and sympathy, not for some fictitious character but for our own brethren and sisters of human flesh. 

3 comments:

  1. Another blockbuster post Michelle. I haven't read any of the 3 books but I did see the movie and agree with you entirely.
    This world sadly is still filled with the horrible acts of slavery and other means of human suffering that need to be shown to our children so they won't grow up thinking all is well with the world so they don't have to worry about anything.
    Thanks Michelle and have a great Tuesday.
    Odie

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  2. the other 2 books work towards what you are talking about in eliminating the games. But sadly I have to agree with what Tom said and this is where our society seems to be heading as it is.

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  3. Glad to hear that the other two books head toward that. I have talked to other who have read it and have no other light to shed on the subject other than the goings on in the Games themselves. Honestly, I was at a loss at how I was supposed to stomach the plot line long enough to find out.

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