Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Hunger Games and Our Society

A corrupt society would look like the following. The weak and poor are trampled on by the rich and strong. Exploitation is rampant as is poverty. People do not have the rights to voice their opinions about this or risk being silenced.  Worst of all, people are mindless in this society. While it looks like our freedom of speech will be able to be preserved for a long time, we are getting closer to this kind of society than we would like to think. Yesterday, I saw "The Hunger Games" for the second time and it was just as great as it was the first time.

Obviously, both the book and the movie have an excellent plot. While many might like to argue the implausibility of it, I don't think it's so far from reality. People stand aside in the face of injustice all the time and they continue to do so to this day.

For anyone with any semblance of a brain, the themes of the book are quite apparent and the movie only hit this closer to home. Seeing this only made me think about these themes even more and how they are apparent.

Collins claimed that this was inspired, in part, about our society's increasing desensitization to violence. It's everywhere, of course, from video games to reality TV shows to the media in general. Sometimes it really can be a little hard to differentiate.

I think the whole system of the Hunger Games are symbolic of injustice itself. As anyone can attest to, there is much injustice in our society and there are many people who stand by and do nothing in the face of it.

In our materialistic, capitalist society, there are so many people who get left behind. And there are so many people who sit by and let it happen.

In an ideal world, the American Dream is true. Anyone can rise above despite their circumstances. That really isn't true, though. Not everyone is created equal and not everyone is of equal circumstances. Some people simply do not have the intelligence and/or the resources to rise ahead. How is someone in a crappy education system with absolutely no guidance and no resources supposed to rise ahead? Particularly if they happen to be of average will, intelligence or fortitude? Do they seriously have the same chances as a person who grows up in the top 1% and has everything paved for them? Add to the fact that the former has dark skin and the latter has light skin and the chances become even less. That's ridiculous. Worst of all, there are politicians actively trying to take anything that might equalize them a little bit like libraries or school funding. The reality is that the rags-to-riches people are statistical anomalies.

Not to mention, there is a huge, huge divide between the 99% and the 1%. That gap is growing.  I don't think most people even realize how big that divide is. The rich in this country are the Capitol. By taking steps to keep their own wealth, they make sure we remain in our own social classes. They pit us in our own Hunger Games as we try hard to succeed while they sit on the top and smile.  For example, the rich are not taxed nearly as much as the middle class are in this country. Many CEOs in major banks have been known to do corrupt bank practices that bring their companies under and sometimes even the whole economy. Also, major companies have been known to use business practices that are meant to decimate the competition. In addition to all of this, it is getting harder and harder to have the funds to go to college without having massive debt from the interest even though one does need college to go ahead. The money you need to be in the 1% is growing, while the money you need to be in the middle class remains the same. While the Occupy Wall street movement wasn't as unified as it could have been, it did have a point. There is astronomical amounts of unfairness.

It almost seems like capitalism is the Hunger Games. People are pitted against other people to fight for the top. Everyone apparently has the same chances but that isn't true. Some people come from career districts and some people come from District 12. Some people are throwing food away and some people are literally starving in this country.

Also, people have been becoming more and more mindless in this country. It scares me how many people think they're informed just because they watch the news every day, even though American news is becoming increasingly biased. I'm also frightened about how many people don't think about what certain activities are doing to them. We have more knowledge at our fingertips than ever and yet so many people are loath to use them.

As a society, we get very clear messages. We are told to fight to the top and be successful. We are told that we are supposed to want, want, want, just because that kind of attitude is what keeps companies going. We are told to be cutthroat and materialistic in our quest to do this and to only want the best. The reality TV shows and violent movies encourage violence to resolve conflict while we are being told to be conformists by the media at large. As a whole, it seems that the general attitude is to be complacent and lazy and accept what you are being told without question.  Shouldn't it be alarming when se, a normal human need, is considered more disgusting than violence and is rated more harshly in the U.S.?  It doesn't seem like anyone is fighting this attitude and I'm troubled by it. There's not enough emphasis on activism and actually helping people in need.

I think my point is that the Hunger Games really isn't some far-fetched plot scheme. The whole practice is relevant to our society at large.

As always, we have two choices. We can sit aside and do nothing or we can do something about it.


  1. When I saw the title of this post, I was more than a little wary of what could have been forthcoming, but yet again you haven't failed to impress. Your skill with words perfectly compliments your intelligent input, and I really enjoy reading your blog.

    1. Thank you for your kind comment. I'm glad it didn't disappoint

  2. I agree with everything you say!

  3. Excellent! You definitely hit the nail on the head.