To follow up on my recent review of The Hunger Games, I wanted to point out a handful of articles that touch on some of the issues that I juggled about, concerning specifically the politics of the novel, Katniss’ place in society and her role in sparking political upheval, and the likelihood of an event like the Hunger Games ever becoming an reality.
The first of the articles is called “The Missing Hunger Games Line” and concerns a single line of dialogue that was left out of the film adaptation, a line that the author, Marcy Kennedy, feels is important to the overarching themes of the series:
Even though I loved The Hunger Games movie that released Friday, I couldn’t help but notice that the screenwriters left out one of the most important lines in the book.
The night before the Games begin, Katniss finds Peeta on the roof of their hotel, watching the Capitol celebrate.
Peeta tells her, “I keep wishing I could think of a way to…to show the Capitol they don’t own me. That I’m more than just a piece in their Games.”
This makes no sense to Katniss.
Katniss didn’t set out to change the world. She just did what was right and change followed. She had no idea of the chain of events her seemingly small actions would cause.
It works the same way in real life.
When I was twelve, the boy who sat behind me in class would ask me to explain all our school work to him. I dreaded feeling that pesky tap-tap on my shoulder. When I finally lost my temper, he confessed—he couldn’t read. Somehow he’d slipped through the cracks, dismissed as either stupid or lazy, when he wasn’t either.
So I taught him (and felt guilty about snapping at him). At the time, I didn’t think it was anything important, but a couple years later, I overheard him telling a teacher how much I’d helped him and how much it meant to him.
I treasure that memory.
Kennedy examines what makes Katniss a catalyst for change in her world and has me thinking about some of my concerns regarding her passive role in the novel, and whether she’s not something of an unreliable narrator who unintentionally plays down her role in events or is just plainly blind to the effect she has on other people. The ideas presented by Kennedy have me reconsidering many of the opinions I originally formed after reading the novel.
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