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'The Hunger Games' could be more fact than fiction

(Photo Courtesy of Scholastic)
(Photo Courtesy of Scholastic)

In a few weeks, people will be lining up at theaters to see Jennifer Lawrence become Katniss once again in the final film in "The Hunger Games" series. People are anxious to see if The Capitol gets overthrown, and if Peeta is healed from his tracker jacker-induced hatred of Katniss.

This avid devotion to the world of Panem has claimed a copious amount of fans since the books hit the shelves. I have fallen into this category, and I am anxiously awaiting the final installment. However, each time I watch any of the films within the series, I do so with a grimace on my face and a tear or two streaming down my cheek.

Not everyone watches these films with the same remorse. What shocks me is people fall in love with these films with little regard for the issues at hand in the film. We have created a desensitized fanbase, so much so that a "Hunger Games" theme park, complete with Peeta Mellark’s bakery, is said to be in the works. The article on Time went as far to say, “Presumably, child visitors to these parks will not have to fight each other to the death like their on-screen peers.” Yeah. Let’s hope not, Time.

The dynamic of Panem is not as far off from present day as people seem to convince themselves it is. Truthfully, there has to be real-world parallels in order for Suzanne Collins’ to write a series of this kind, but society is not acknowledging this fact.

An article on Quartz makes the parallel between present day, “The Capitol is the rich nations of the world: the US, Canada, Australia, Japan, Israel, New Zealand, some oil kingdoms, most European nations. The Districts are the poor nations of the world—Haiti, Nepal, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Papua New Guinea, many countries in central Asia and Africa, all of which have per capita incomes less than $10 per day.”

Although we do not pin children against each other and have them fight to their death, the Capitol implements the games to implement fear and order across Panem in order to keep their system of hierarchy. Numerous countries in the world thrive off fear to keep control, and we still mindlessly see the movies with little acknowledgment of this fact.

The remixing of the moving track “The Hanging Tree” from the third film that played on the radio after the release of the film resembles how Panem would desensitize their districts to the awful occurrences occurring around them. We should not continue this trend by creating a theme park.

When the final film is released, each audience member should reflect on the very real issues presented in this film as opposed to treating it as some far fetched spin of reality. Media should never have a hold on desensitizing individuals to issues, and we should not let them do so.


Reach the columnist at dpharias@asu.edu or follow @Dpharias on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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