Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Today I Started Reading "Catching Fire."

Haven't even finished the first chapter yet. 

But this post isn't about Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games).  It's about The Hunger Games, which I just finished reading today. 

I'm at a bit of a loss for words over this book.  It's intriguing.  Rather disturbing.  I couldn't put it down though. 

It's supposed to be America of the future with a new, highly corrupt government.  Many people are poor, hard-working serfs living in one of 12 districts.  Every year the youth have their names put in a drawing to decide which boy and girl from each district will be put in an arena to fight to the death.  It's like the gladiators, only televised.  Reality tv gone so very, very wrong. 

When I think about it, I consider the many different kinds of civilizations and cultures that have existed in our world and I worry.  I worry because this barbaric type of government is just as possible now as it was in the past.  I want to believe in the good that is in people, but I'm not so naive as to think that power doesn't go to leaders' heads. 

The quote that comes to mind is, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."  (Edmund Burke) 

 I wonder what the prequel to the story is.  How did those people get that way?  How does any group of people end up with a corrupt government?  I'm guessing that, generally, it is something that happens gradually over many generations.  Until all of a sudden someones great-great-great-great-great grandchildren have no freedoms and no food.  And it doesn't get any better until people (like the girl in the story) decide to take a stand and go against the oppressors.  Like Rosa Parks.  Like the Civil War.  Like the Revolutionary War.  Like most wars that are fought to win back freedoms, equality, and a better way of life. 

I hope that none of us ever take any amount of freedom that we enjoy for granted.  Never be complacent and assume that our way of life will always be.  We've got to make sure we leave this world better than it was when we entered it.  For our children's sake.  I sure don't want any of these "end of the world as we know it" type books and movies (fiction or history) to become life for our posterity.


Vicky said...

I've never heard of this novel but it sounds like the kind of thing I would enjoy. I like sci-fi and alternative history. I love the imagination the author has had to put into it.
Some near future novels can be quite disturbing. I remember reading "Brave new World" by Aldous Huxley in high school and being a little freaked out by baby growing system... although sometimes when the bump kicks too much I do wish I could put her in a glass jar and decant her when she was ready! x.

Meg said...

Oh, I love those books. I couldn't put them down either.

KBoo said...

Good books. It gets more stressful, though. It sounds a lot like the Roman Empire. My husband was able to point out several similarities.