fenderlove: James Marsters with Romeo and Juliet quote over it. (Default)
( Aug. 13th, 2012 03:24 pm)
I am reading The Hunger Games for one of my graduate classes this coming semester (it's on dissent and rioting in Modern Europe, and the professor thought it would be fun, I guess). I'm not sure I understand the hype, but, then again, I'm only half-way through the book and I've already been spoiled due to the Internet for most of the plot. The main problem I have with reading this is the grammatical style of Suzanne Collins. I want to take a red pen to most of the book. I know that it's a first person narrative so most of the grammatical choices can be excused, but it gives me a migraine because it is so distracting to me (especially after I spent too much of my time last semester re-teaching those skills to my history students, and they still refused to get it).

Also, the thing I was looking forward to the most about this book was the world-building, and I'm not really getting it. I feel like I'd rather find out more about what happened to North America to make it like this. Slaughtering dozens of children for almost seventy-five years is sort of the kind of thing that people don't usually stand for in most cases. How is a little teeny tiny parcel of land in the Rockies controlling all these people? I suppose that is why the professor wanted us to read the book, so that we would be asking those types of questions. The only thing I have been getting has been to be beaten in the face with the "bread and circuses" metaphor... and some of that beating is from literal bread. Katniss is, at least, a competent female protagonist from what's been presented so far; I will give Collins that.

I'm more interested, though, in a character that, I think, is in another book-- Finnick. From what I read about him, he sounds fascinating, and I'd like to learn more about him. However, I don't think I'm going to continue with this series after this first book. At the half-way point in the first Harry Potter book, I was hooked, but The Hunger Games leaves me feeling rather cold (I suppose I always have a "You see what happens when people forsake empathy and charity for their fellow human beings?" mentality for things like this). Maybe I'm just the kind of person that prefers WWII-metaphor magical worlds to Ancient Rome-metaphor dystopian post-apocalyptic futures. I hope that the fans of the book, particularly the younger ones, will consider the implications of a country that leaves most of its populace to die of horrible conditions and starvation while a select few rule over everything in abundant luxury, taking all the resources and hard-work of others for themselves and leaving nothing for anyone else. I live in District 11, technically. Tennessee would be part of the agricultural center of Panem. District 11 makes all the agricultural-based staple foods (not the livestock-based) to feed the whole of the country, but it is the second poorest district (first being the coal district). Isn't that just the way of the world?

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