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I just wanted to post my thoughts on The Hungar Games as well as a friends


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I don't agree with your assesment that watching the Hunger Games for entertainment would pass the Pilippians 4:8 test.

 

Regarding your last sentence, as a pacifist, I would not kill anyone. Regardless of if I were drafted into the army, forced to participate in the hunger games, or anything else. I'd rather give my life than take that of another.

 

Even if other people depended on you for their survival? (I'm not trying to argue you out of your position, just wondering if that changes the answer at all.)

 

I think you and I view the purpose of entertainment differently. The purpose of the Hunger Games isn't to make you laugh or divert you from your life. It's to make you think and question.

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I don't agree with your assesment that watching the Hunger Games for entertainment would pass the Pilippians 4:8 test.

 

Regarding your last sentence, as a pacifist, I would not kill anyone. Regardless of if I were drafted into the army, forced to participate in the hunger games, or anything else. I'd rather give my life than take that of another.

 

What if it was to save your children or your husband?

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I do not think these books were written to glorify violence. I think the emphasis was instead on how man's inhumanity to man is not limited to direct conflict, but also often spills over into the horror of forcing the victim to perpetrate more victimization onto others.

 

:iagree: The themes in this book were just so deep that I called it disturbing and wanted to close my eyes to the violence. But as I read more and more opinions about it, and bring my own literature experiences and human experiences into it, it's not really something as simple as saying it glorifies violence. Can our children grow up in this world without being exposed to violence, even horrific violence? It has existed, it exists now, and it will exist. I like this story for how it interweaves man's triumphs over evils. Gosh, I absolutely hate studying the holocaust with my children. How on earth do I find any purpose in that to show how man came out better than before? It's simply a horrific piece of our human history, but one that we must tell so it won't be forgotten. Now, I realize that The Hunger Games is a work of fiction and should not be compared to real life events, however, we should come away with the themes and what we can learn from them and not focus on the story in such a shallow manner.

 

My dd19 went to see the midnight showing with a group of friends, but she's going to go again with me. Dd13 is just expressing an interest in reading it after beginning it a couple of years ago and putting it down. I'm excited to share the positive themes with her, including a strong, vibrant, passionate female character to help balance out the negatives of the story.

 

The themes of human experiences are simply not all kittens and daisies, but that doesn't mean they aren't worth exploring. And as we've seen on this board, different children, regardless of age, will handle material differently. Saying that no person under a certain age should not see it is kind of presumptious. But I do hope that those kids who shouldn't see it are prevented from doing so. I think there is time for such mature themes and forcing them onto a person not yet developmentally ready is just not a good idea.

 

I've done a complete 180 on my opinions of this book. It just took much more time for me to process it all than at first glance.

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What about parts of The Bible that glorify war and soldiers? What about the parts of The Bible that describe horrible, violent acts? Are you skipping those too because they don't align with your view?

 

Mrs. Mungo, I am well versed in the Old Testament.

 

No, I don't skip those. Not to mention, it's no secret on this board that I'm pacifist and you're not. There's no reason for you to assume that I make myself intentionally ignorant of certain scripture so as to make it 'align with my view'. I do not assume you do that. I assume you understand and interpret them differently than I do. :)

 

 

For one, I do not read them for entertainment. I read them to understand how the Old Covenant was all a type and foreshadow of Christ, as well as a better, fuller understanding of the character of the Lord. From what I understand, reading the Hunger Games would not help me do either of those things.

 

There were many things done under the old covenant that were no longer necessary with the coming of Christ. Christ himself taught non-resistance and pacifism.

 

I have NO trouble rectifying the instructions given to Israel in the Old Testament with my beliefs. And that's because I believe I have a good understanding of the Old Covenant and the New Covenant.

 

Not to mention, there is no more 'nation of Israel' like there was in the Bible. There is no country on earth that is God's. He no longer has a nation of his people. One must take that into account when justifying war today.

 

Just my thoughts and opinions. I am well aware that they are not widely shared.

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Even if other people depended on you for their survival? (I'm not trying to argue you out of your position, just wondering if that changes the answer at all.)

 

I think that exactly the sort of question that the story is pushing. It's easy to say, "well, I would never kill someone," but most of us would kill someone trying to murder our child if it came down to that. Stories like this question how far we would go.

 

I think you and I view the purpose of entertainment differently. The purpose of the Hunger Games isn't to make you laugh or divert you from your life. It's to make you think and question.

 

I agree.

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What if it was to save your children or your husband?

 

Even if other people depended on you for their survival? (I'm not trying to argue you out of your position, just wondering if that changes the answer at all.)

 

I think you and I view the purpose of entertainment differently. The purpose of the Hunger Games isn't to make you laugh or divert you from your life. It's to make you think and question.

 

I'm curious as well. :)

Just for curiosity's sake. I know there are some who won't fight regardless of circumstances. While it isn't something that I can understand personally, that is their choice and I respect them for it. Anyway, I was just curious what your position is (bethanyniez - did I get that right? Sorry, if not)

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What if it was to save your children or your husband?

 

No. even then. I would not kill for any reason. To do so would go against the teachings of Christ, in my understanding. There is no exception. Not for war, not for abortion, not for anything. Murder is either right or it's not. It is either ok for a human to take another's life, or it's not.

 

That is my belief.

 

(And btw, I am asked that same question every single time someone finds out I'm pacifist. I find that interesting. :))

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Mrs. Mungo, I am well versed in the Old Testament.

 

No, I don't skip those. Not to mention, it's no secret on this board that I'm pacifist and you're not. There's no reason for you to assume that I make myself intentionally ignorant of certain scripture so as to make it 'align with my view'. I do not assume you do that. I assume you understand and interpret them differently than I do. :)

 

I wasn't suggesting you were ignorant. I was *asking* if you shield your children from them. There are some particularly horrifying events.

 

 

For one, I do not read them for entertainment.

 

Entertainment is not the only reason to read fiction.

 

I read them to understand how the Old Covenant was all a type and foreshadow of Christ, as well as a better, fuller understanding of the character of the Lord. From what I understand, reading the Hunger Games would not help me do either of those things.

 

But, you don't really know what sort of lessons or character is revealed because you haven't read them. Therefore, I don't think it's really fair for you to speak to that.

 

The rest is walking a political line, so I'm leaving that off.

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So, is that what he did?

 

Precisely what he did - did not realize it in my sleep-deprived state this a.m., but it is what he did. it's brilliant!

 

If so, very cool. For all the reasons you stated; that in & of itself, this portrayal is a commentary on things. Wow.

 

Yes! I think it is the MOST fascinating thing about the film -- but I am probably in the minority. Yet, all the interviews I have read from the actors and from Gary Ross say that it IS a movie about reality tv. That bears out my perspective.

 

(I hadn't thought that deeply about it, just thought it would be one way to show the movie; though I'm kind of icked out to think we'll see more of the gore then than Katniss saw -- is that the case, too? Seeing the other deaths that she wasn't part of but learned of later?)

 

The gore is not what is described in the book - which, if one thinks about, is also in keeping with what I see has the director's approach: society has become desensitized to violence maybe in part because an actual killing would be too heinous to observe...so instead of displaying the layers and layers of awfulness and horror in watching one person kill another, in the film, Gary Ross has made it RELATIVELY (I said relatively to all of you out there) quick and clean -- Katniss displays a sort of cringe reaction when she is getting ready to shoot at someone initially -- then her survival instinct takes over.

 

You will see how 'glossed over' (for artistic and apparently philosophical purposes) the killing is portrayed. I don't know if I am making sense, but you can ask me questions if you need.

 

They show 'blood' on the ground and on the grass -- the film is shot in such quick scene sequence, that I had difficulty knowing when I might want to cover dd11's eyes -- but it all turned out well. Her questions this morning about the author's and director's motivation, objectives, the philosophical opinion of the written work......our discussions have been fascinating and we have talked about this for hours.

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I wasn't suggesting you were ignorant. I was *asking* if you shield your children from them. There are some particularly horrifying events.

 

I see, I must have misunderstood you. I didn't realize you were asking if I shield my children from them. No, I don't. For the same reasons I don't shield myself from them.

 

 

Entertainment is not the only reason to read fiction.

 

True, but I would think it is usually the *main* reason. Perhaps I am wrong? Intersting point. I do have my children read fiction, but am very careful about what it contains.

 

But, you don't really know what sort of lessons or character is revealed because you haven't read them. Therefore, I don't think it's really fair for you to speak to that..

 

Hunh. Well, I don't need to read them to understand that one of the main plot lines in this piece of fiction goes against an important belief that I hold. Just the same as so many on here would argue that no one should read a bad parenting book just to glean the bit of good they can from it, I would not find it necessary to read the Hunger Games for the bit of 'character lesson' I may get from it. Same idea. JMO.

 

 

The rest is walking a political line, so I'm leaving that off.

 

I wasn't meaning to be political. Sorry if it came across that way. I find that funny, actually, since I also do not participate in government or politics at all. :D

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I haven't seen the movie yet, but I have read all three books. Anyone who thinks the books are glorifying murder and power did not understand the books.

 

I am sorry your daughter and your friend's daughter were disturbed.

 

Exactly.

 

My daughter, my son and I all read the books. None of us thought they "glorified" the violence. It was supposed to be horrifying, and it was.

 

As a side note, I truly don't understand why anyone would go to see a film based on a book without first reading the book. And, if they do, why complain about the story?

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Exactly.

 

My daughter, my son and I all read the books. None of us thought they "glorified" the violence. It was supposed to be horrifying, and it was.

 

As a side note, I truly don't understand why anyone would go to see a film based on a book without first reading the book. And, if they do, why complain about the story?

 

...and here I was just thinking that maybe I should go see the movie this weekend, despite not having a chance to read the books yet... :leaving: :D

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(And btw, I am asked that same question every single time someone finds out I'm pacifist. I find that interesting. :))

 

That's because most mothers would do anything, violate just about any teaching of anyone to save the life of their child. To do otherwise is incomprehensible to me.

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I've got lots of homeschool mom friends who are all ga-ga over the movie coming out, 'Because the books were SOOOO good!', blah blah blah. There's no way I would read something like that for entertainment, nor would I watch a movie version. Same for my kids.

 

But they ARE good books. I'm not saying they are great literature, but they are thought provoking and raise really interesting questions about the world in which we live. And they do it in the context of a story that is appealing (not the violence, but the human and relationship stuff).

 

I've said before that I have trouble saying I "like" the books, but I am very glad that I read them. The story and the characters and the ideas have stuck with me more than many of the other books -- both modern and clasic -- that I have read in the last decade.

 

I'm not a believer in the idea that art has to be pleasant. I believe art must have something real to say. And these books do.

 

(Edit: By the way, I'm a pacifist, too. My reading of these books resonated for me on that front, too.)

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Now, I am not a pacifist, and I think pacifism in the world of the Hunger Games would be an interesting topic to discuss. As a pacifist, what would the most honorable course of action have been if you were a participant in the Hunger Games?

 

We also discussed "what would the capital do if you just refused to fight. Consensus among those teens and preteens in book club: The capital would make you want to fight by punishing your district and your family to get to you."

 

 

However, this in and of itself leads to powerful discussion, which boils down to NO ONE can make you do ANYTHING, but they sure can make you want to!

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True, but I would think it is usually the *main* reason. Perhaps I am wrong? Intersting point. I do have my children read fiction, but am very careful about what it contains.

 

Hunh. Well, I don't need to read them to understand that one of the main plot lines in this piece of fiction goes against an important belief that I hold. Just the same as so many on here would argue that no one should read a bad parenting book just to glean the bit of good they can from it, I would not find it necessary to read the Hunger Games for the bit of 'character lesson' I may get from it. Same idea. JMO.

 

And what about non-fiction such as The Hiding Place or semi-non-fiction such as Night? Do you think people read those primarily for entertainment? A big reason to read fiction is for commentary on society. That is the reason that the neo-classical model of education relies *heavily* upon study of the "great books." Do you intend to follow TWTM way of learning in the rhetoric stage?

 

I don't see how something that is supposed to be a...manual(?) for lack of a better word can be compared to books with a plot. These are completely different types of writing, reading and commentating.

 

I wasn't meaning to be political. Sorry if it came across that way. I find that funny, actually, since I also do not participate in government or politics at all. :D

 

Participate has a lot of meanings. I think if you have an opinion on whether Israel does/should exist as a nation-state and are sharing that with others, then you are participating in politics, even if you don't vote.

Edited by Mrs Mungo
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I haven't seen the movie yet, but I have read all three books. Anyone who thinks the books are glorifying murder and power did not understand the books.
This. Ditto for anyone who thinks its all about "the romance." Gah! This is NOT Twilight.

 

ETA: Didn't realize how big this thread had gotten. I'll get back after we're done school. :)

Edited by nmoira
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Those who are privileged to enjoy being pacifists are only able to be pacifists because of all of those willing to sacrifice for them.

It is very easy to be a pacifist living in the US, or many westernized countries.

Try being one during the Hutu/Tutsi uprisings. Try being one in a small village in Afghanistan, or during WWII.

I would by far be more willing to die than to kill. But I do not condemn those who righteously kill.

Many of us are very lucky to have lived in a place and time where we can so easily judge and claim that "we wouldn't do that no matter how we grew up or had to live". That attitude kinda makes me ill, and all I see is ignorance and sheltered privilege.

Sorry - but to me, that attitude is just as offensive as this post is (most likely) to pacifists, I'm sure.

 

On the topic of the actual movie- closely analyzed, there is soooo much more to these books than what is on the surface. The historical references to Rome and the "bread and circus" mentality are all over the place. Condemnation of those who live in excess and live in luxury at the expense of others is all throughout the book.

Each set of tributes, from the 12 districts, can be seen as representing one way of dealing with the power of the Capital. What is glorious is that the author has shown that the two tributes who were attempting to act through love for others (Katniss and her sister) and through the willingness to die in order not to kill (Peeta) are the ones who triumph in the end over the capital. Seen this way - the author is showing that only love and self sacrifice are powerful enough to conquer evil.

The Careers are not really evil themselves, but they are products of evil who attempt to survive through acceptance of that evil as necessary to their survival.

Anyway - the books are very well done. I hope most who read them will analyze what they have read at the deeper level that the author intended.

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That's because most mothers would do anything, violate just about any teaching of anyone to save the life of their child. To do otherwise is incomprehensible to me.

 

And to intentionally go against what I believe the teachings of Christ are is sin to me. I would not want to intentionally sin.

 

Don't misunderstand me. I would give my life for my children. I just do not believe that Scripture gives any situation in which, under the new covenant (;)) anyone should take the life of anyone else. There is no exception given for parents and children. There just isn't.

 

To me, to kill someone because I did not want them to kill my child makes me just as bad as them. Why is it ok for me to kill them, but not ok for me to kill my child? According to scripture, it is not.

 

There are many absolutes in life, to me. And this is one of them.

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Those who are privileged to enjoy being pacifists are only able to be pacifists because of all of those willing to sacrifice for them.

It is very easy to be a pacifist living in the US, or many westernized countries.

Try being one during the Hutu/Tutsi uprisings. Try being one in a small village in Afghanistan, or during WWII.

I would by far be more willing to die than to kill. But I do not condemn those who righteously kill.

Many of us are very lucky to have lived in a place and time where we can so easily judge and claim that "we wouldn't do that no matter how we grew up or had to live". That attitude kinda makes me ill, and all I see is ignorance and sheltered privilege.

Sorry - but to me, that attitude is just as offensive as this post is (most likely) to pacifists, I'm sure.

 

Well you're right there. I didn't realize that me being pacifist was offensive to others; but your post sure was offensive to pacifists. Ignorance and sheltered priveldge are pretty offensive terms.

 

I don't hold my beliefs because or when they're easy to hold. I realize it's easy for someone to say 'Oh yeah, sure you're a pacifist now, but I bet if someone was holding a gun to your child's head, you wouldn't be then." But what you're saying is that I do not have the strength of character and conviction to follow through on my beliefs, regardless of the sorrow it would cause me. Yeah, that's kinda offensive.

 

My freedom to be a pacifist does not come from any other place than Christ. And since I don't want to be political, I'll leave it at that.

 

And your statement that you will not condemn those who 'righteously kill' highlights the difference in the beliefs of you and I. I do not believe that there is anything anymore such as righteous killing, since we are no longer under the Old Covenant.

 

And this will be my last post in this thread, because I fear it's come very far from the OP, and I don't want to do that. I am always willing, however, to discuss my beliefs, if anyone wants to pm me or start a new thread.

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I just can't imagine thinking these books promote the society they describe.

 

 

The entire idea is preposterous and indicative of inability to think critically.

:iagree:I read the books. I thought they (particularly the first one) were fascinating, disturbing, and not hard to imagine becoming real. Just because a book or movie is fiction, I don't think that necessarily qualifies it as "entertainment" in my view. For me, the thought-provoking subject matter makes it something different than entertainment. It's intended to make you examine society and your own attitudes, not make you laugh or feel satisfied. This is the kind of book that I like.

 

My favorite movie when I was 10 was "How Green Was My Valley." It is set in a Welsh mining town, and several men die in a mining disaster. My sister could never understand this. She said, "How can you have a favorite movie where people die?" She watches movies purely for entertainment value. She watches movies that make her laugh and where the guy and girl end up happily ever after. I watch movies for more reasons than just entertainment. If I'm in the mood to be entertained, I watch "Ernest Goes to Camp" or "Home Alone." If I want to think, it might be "Amistad," "Empire of the Sun," or "The Hiding Place."

 

Every since I was 11, I have read extensively about WWII and the Holocaust and own many movies about them. Some of these stories are fictional as well. I don't read or watch them for entertainment. They are sickening examples of sinful mankind at its worst. I watch them because I want to keep the memory of what unchecked power, bigotry, and passivity can do. I watch them because they make me examine my own heart and attitudes and make me consider the possibility that I might have to make horrifying decisions some day. I am inspired by the stories of people who were faced with torture and death--and even that of their families--and yet chose to help the Jews anyway.

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First, to the OP, I am so sorry you had a negative experience at the movie. That is never an easy experience. I found the series to be very deep and educational, but even I have wondered if I am up to the visual.

 

If someone is a pacifist then there is no reason for them to read the books. If violence is portrayed as a viable solution to a situation then a pacifist will not agree. Violence is never the solution and it would be better to suffer the violence than to do violence at any cost or price. Done. It's like asking a Christian Scientist under what circumstances the would seek help from a medical doctor. You are asking them under what situation they would betray their deepest held religious convictions, the foundation of their faith.

 

I had thought, when reading the books, that it would have been interesting if one of the 'tributes' was a pacifist. It would have made for a very short ending to that character, but an interesting statement.

 

Collins is interested in exploring how war effects children. How do young people react when forced to make ethical decisions before they have much life experience? Why do we use our young to fight our wars? What does that do to our world and our nations?

 

I found her series Gregor the Overlander to be equally difficult to read, but it is geared to a younger audience. I am guessing because so many of the characters are anthropomorphized animals? That series ended on such an painful note. My 11 year old son did read that series, but it is clear he doesn't really understand the underlying messages....even though she hits it with a hammer a few times. This is not a criticism, she is writing for a younger audience and she occasionally uses some literary neon and flashing lights hoping a little bit catches their eye.

 

Given that he didn't seem to understand that Gregor wasn't just having a cool adventure and that he will have to pay a very heavy cost for the rest of his life (was it worth it?), I don't think my 11 year old will be reading Hunger Games any time soon.

 

But, I found much value in the trilogy (and Gregor). I can't wait for my son to get a little older and more critical so we can have some interesting discussions.

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That's because most mothers would do anything, violate just about any teaching of anyone to save the life of their child. To do otherwise is incomprehensible to me.

Exactly. This is what I find so disturbing about the book - the parents do nothing year after year even when they know if their child is selected chances are that she will die.

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First, to the OP, I am so sorry you had a negative experience at the movie. That is never an easy experience. I found the series to be very deep and educational, but even I have wondered if I am up to the visual.

 

If someone is a pacifist then there is no reason for them to read the books. If violence is portrayed as a viable solution to a situation then a pacifist will not agree. Violence is never the solution and it would be better to suffer the violence than to do violence at any cost or price. Done. It's like asking a Christian Scientist under what circumstances the would seek help from a medical doctor. You are asking them under what situation they would betray their deepest held religious convictions, the foundation of their faith.

 

While I can agree that most people would not want to be put on the spot to discuss what would make them betray their convictions, I still think books that push those issues and make us think about it privately are worthy books.

 

I had thought, when reading the books, that it would have been interesting if one of the 'tributes' was a pacifist. It would have made for a very short ending to that character, but an interesting statement.

 

But Peeta was a passive character. He mainly survived through camoflauge. The one death attributed to him was an accident. And he was one of the survivors. Katniss and Peeta only survived *together* because neither would kill the other. Doesn't that give a pretty big nod to pacifism being legitimate?

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though I'm kind of icked out to think we'll see more of the gore then than Katniss saw -- is that the case, too? Seeing the other deaths that she wasn't part of but learned of later?)

 

For the most part, the movie is through the eyes of Katniss. If a killing happens while she is there, even if she's not involved, such as the bloodbath at the cornucopia, it is shown. Most of the killings, however, you know happened because the cannon booms and you see the picture in the sky like in the book. Even the killings you see are not graphic. Some blood and a dead body laying on the ground, usually. Not even necessarily the ability to see how exactly they died. It's actually done rather tastefully more like the old style of war movie. No real gore.

 

A friend of mine read the books (maybe only the first one) and didn't like them. Her main reason is because the people struck her as sheeple because they didn't *do* anything to change what was going on in their lives (at least not in the first book). They went along. The thing is, through the lens of today, I agree with her. How could they do nothing? But the problem with thinking that way is it's not set today. The US is gone. Panem is in it's place and Panem is quite different. To refuse to participate means death, probably not just for you, but for your whole family. The Capitol's power is insane. So people feel powerless, which is exactly why the rebellion did happen.

 

Really, right from the start there are inklings of pushing back as far as they can. They can't do much for fear of the ever-present Peacekeepers. There's the mockingjay pin. There's Gale saying they could run away and live in the woods. There's Peeta saying if he's going to die he wants to make sure the Capitol knows they don't own him. Things like that. It reminds me of something a friend once told me. She was raised Muslim and she talked about going to visit family in Iran and seeing how even under such strict rules, women would toe the line. They wouldn't cross it for fear of being punished, but they would do everything they could that was okay. I don't think I'm explaining it as well as my friend did. I was really reminded of what she said when I first read the books.

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True, but I would think it is usually the *main* reason. Perhaps I am wrong? Intersting point. I do have my children read fiction, but am very careful about what it contains.

 

 

I wish I could find this great CS Lewis quote on how fiction allows us to experience lives that we can't live ourselves. Something about even allowing him to experience the life of a mouse. I think of Black Beauty and how it brought to light the abuse of horses because others could see through the eyes of a horse.

 

I think Hunger Games does bring complex themes to light. It would be easy to opt to die in the arena if only your own life was at stake. But her death likely would have meant starvation for her family. So, it's not as cut and dry as kill or be killed. Which would be a much more obvious moral choice. I also think Katniss herself struggles with her ability to kill even to protect those she loves. She knows it isn't the moral high ground. It's more like she's trying to figure out the best path out of a set of horrible choices.

 

It definitely deals a lot with oppressive government symptoms. As well as some living in excess while others starve (hmmm... America vs Ethiopia) and how easy it is for those with excess to ignore the plight of others. And, I think there are governments that exist much like the one in the book. North Korea, anyone?

 

Like another poster mentioned, Peeta did very much act as a pacifist. He wanted to stay true to himself while Katniss wanted to survive.

 

One way I was taught to look at books and movies is though the lens of creation, the fall, redemption, and recreation. When a book plays out these themes, it is very easy to look at it with a Christian worldview. We clearly see the fall in HG... lack of respect for life, oppression, etc. We also see redemption. Katniss took the place of her sister, Peeta is willing to die for Katniss, I forget the name of the guy who helps her get ready, but I think he also works to redeem those from district 12 by showing their beauty and purity and elevating their status. I haven't read the third book yet, but at the end of book 2, we see the beginning of recreation. They are trying to set the world right, overthrow the government, and live in peace and prosperity. So, to me, this book fits right in with a Christian approach to the world. You just have to look carefully at the themes it portrays.

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But Peeta was a passive character. He mainly survived through camoflauge. The one death attributed to him was an accident. And he was one of the survivors. Katniss and Peeta only survived *together* because neither would kill the other. Doesn't that give a pretty big nod to pacifism being legitimate?

 

Well, passivity is not the same as pacifism.

 

If a character was religiously or philosophically pacifist they would not cooperate at any point with the violence. I am guessing a truly pacifist character would not participate willingly in the interviews or the ... where they get brought in by chariots (can't remember what it is called). They would sit and not participate in the spectacle in any way. Much the same way that Quakers will not participate in war. They will not take a non-combat position in the military, as a CO option, because they see any participation as validation of violence.

 

And yes, Peeta is passive, as is Foxface, but they do not take a pacifist stand against the Capitol.

 

I want to be clear that I am not a pacifist, I just think it would have made for an interesting character. That said, I think that the stand that Katniss and Peeta take at the end shares much philosophically with pacifism.

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Exactly. This is what I find so disturbing about the book - the parents do nothing year after year even when they know if their child is selected chances are that she will die.

 

The inactivity of the adults is awful, I agree, but it's also realistic. They were once teenagers themselves, who watched their playmates and friends go off to the games, and be brutally murdered. This becomes clear in one of the later books, when even one of the most fortunate/prosperous citizens of District 12 is plagued by lifelong psychological and physical repercussions from the PTSD of watching her sister die in the games.

 

Everyone is starving, and the parents are doing all that they can to provide for themselves and their children. They don't have the energy or the time or the resources to launch a revolt of their own.

 

And they know what will happen if they try.

 

And Katniss's parental situation is particularly intense: her father is dead, and her mother is mentally ill and can not care for her family.

 

Having parents be unable or unwilling to take care of their children is a common thread in children's books and stories. It wouldn't be a very interesting story if the parents were always there to step in and efficiently and maturely handle any issues that pop up! In the vast majority of kids books and fairy tales, the parents are dead or very busy or incapacitated in some way. In the Hunger Games, they are so beaten down that they have no resources to rise up: they know what will happen if they do.

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In our society, RIGHT here in our own neighborhoods, there are children hurting and a parent or even both parents, other adults sitting back feeling powerless to do anything. This feeling exists without the "troopers" ready to force the adult into submission. Why is it so hard to believe that these adults would feel completely powerless to protect their children... especially after 73 years of Hunger Games.

 

I challenge those of you who do not understand how it is possible for those adults to do NOTHING for their children, too look at our WORLD and tell me you see ONLY adults protecting their children the way YOU would. Tell me there is NOT fear of those in higher power.

 

Take a look at homeschooling, not those who do, but those who don't. Those who want to and will not, because they are afraid of the laws and rules that surround homeschooling. Even when they are disappointed by what their children are learning in public schools, academically and emotionally. People feel like they MUST send their children to school, like their hands are tied.

 

Katniss says she will not have children. I believe this is her way of fighting the Capital, they put children between ages 12 and 18 into the Hunger Games and she says she will NOT have children. Not only will she not bare the agony of seeing them at the reaping or worse in the games, but she will not ALLOW the capital to have that control over her.

 

It is also possible, that in this make believe world people do fight. Gale and Katniss discuss leaving... in the book they meet some who have left their district. However, those who may fight have not baring on the story from the point of view it is being told. It does not matter if other parents hid their children and refuse to allow them to attend the reaping, because they are not Katniss, she is who Hunger Games are about.

 

The movie does not discuss District 13 and what happened to it for fighting. This clearly has an impact on how the citizens respond and react to the capital. Those who see the movie and have not read the book will miss this HUGE conection.

 

My DD is only 8 and has not read the books. She said she would NEVER fight for her life in the games, she would just die instead. We discussed how the capital would deal with that and my son said, "what if they made me suffer because you would not fight? What if they started to kill your friends, if you did not fight? What if you found EVERYONE you know would die, if you did not fight? Would you be willing to just die, if that means the capital would kill everyone else? "

 

Also, I discussed that winning means money and money means food and comfort for your family. With my son (who read the book), I discussed that Katniss was the provider for her family. Without her she was concerned they would starve. If she wins, she would not HAVE to hunt for them, but could provide for them, lavishly. We discussed how not only could she save them, but she could make their lives better.

 

Then we discussed rather her life would be better... He immediately said it would not, because she would have the rest of her life to remember all the terrible things that she did. Money cannot fix that.

 

I am glad that my son has read this book, giving us an avenue to discuss these things and more. I look forward to my daughter also reading them

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The inactivity of the adults is awful, I agree, but it's also realistic. They were once teenagers themselves, who watched their playmates and friends go off to the games, and be brutally murdered. This becomes clear in one of the later books, when even one of the most fortunate/prosperous citizens of District 12 is plagued by lifelong psychological and physical repercussions from the PTSD of watching her sister die in the games.

 

Everyone is starving, and the parents are doing all that they can to provide for themselves and their children. They don't have the energy or the time or the resources to launch a revolt of their own.

 

And they know what will happen if they try.

 

And Katniss's parental situation is particularly intense: her father is dead, and her mother is mentally ill and can not care for her family.

 

Having parents be unable or unwilling to take care of their children is a common thread in children's books and stories. It wouldn't be a very interesting story if the parents were always there to step in and efficiently and maturely handle any issues that pop up! In the vast majority of kids books and fairy tales, the parents are dead or very busy or incapacitated in some way. In the Hunger Games, they are so beaten down that they have no resources to rise up: they know what will happen if they do.

 

I could easily see this happening in real life. The parents had been through it as teens and lived. They think, well, there's a small chance of my child being chosen. If their child is chosen, then how can they fight it? The rest of the parents in the community are going to be so relieved it wasn't their own kid, they will just sit back and cross their fingers till next year. Plus, in the books, the government was showing the destruction of the 13th district. "See what happens if you rise up against us?"

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As a side note, I truly don't understand why anyone would go to see a film based on a book without first reading the book. And, if they do, why complain about the story?

 

I don't know, there are an awful lot of movies based on books. Sometimes I don't even realize a movie was based on a book until after I've seen it. Sometimes, like in the case of Moneyball, I don't have an interest in reading the book, but very much want to see the movie.

 

However, with a series as popular and as, from what I gather, thought-provoking as The Hunger Games I would definitely want to read the books first. I guess people always have the right to complain about the story, but it seems like it might have been a good idea to have researched it more before going to see it. It makes me think of the time I watched an elderly couple ask for two tickets to the movie Threesome. The ticket seller asked if they knew anything about the movie and they said they didn't. She ended up steering them towards a different one.

 

ETA: In case it's not clear, I agree with you that it makes sense to at least find out what the premise is before going to see it. I haven't really sought out much information about the books/movie before reading this thread, but I still knew the movie was based on to-the-death games with teenagers as the competitors and I thought of Shirley Jackson's The Lottery when I saw the trailer. I guess I would have been surprised not to be disturbed to some extent.

Edited by LeslieAnneLevine
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Interesting. I actually feel the opposite. I thought it was extremely well done to NOT be a R rated movie. I am glad my 10 and 12 year olds read/listened to it and love it as much as my husband, me, and my parents. We've had some awesome conversations about the themes and story. I thought the movie was quite appropriate for tweens/teens. BUT you have to know your kids and their sensitivity level and how much exposure to certain things you are willing to allow. None of us here felt it glorified murder at all. Quite the opposite, really. I actually will have no problem watching it on DVD at home with my younger two (3 and 5) around. They've also seen all the Harry Potters and other movies like that.

 

Me too. I thought the movie was very well done. The themes gave us rich conversations...talks about bravery and virtue, and keeping our humaness in the midst of inhumanity.....we talked about courage and despotism....governments of tyrants. We compared the Hunger Games to the Games in Rome. We spoke of how governments can only manipulate people so far before they rebel.

 

Just the deep conversations that came from the books and the movie last night, made it worthy of our time. Btw, My dd is 13.... And after reading Grimms Fairy tales and Bulfinches Mythology, well HG was pretty tame.

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Slightly OT and please be gentle with me as I'm struggling with this topic at the moment.

 

A friend of DD-just turned 12-lent her The Hunger Games this past weekend. She read about 3 chapters before I was aware of this. Having heard from several sources of the violent nature, I did some googling, came here on these boards, and have ultimately decided to read it before she continues. I wanted to see for myself if I thought it was appropriate. Honestly, I have no desire to read this myself...it's just not the kind of book I would pick up and read. However, I spent a great deal of time here today, reading all about the book and movie, and I am still left with one question. It seems that the overwhelming opinion is that the book is meaty and full of discussion points, there are lessons to be learned, etc. etc. But what I'm struggling to understand is why the rush to introduce this to 9-14 year olds (which seems to be the average age of the readers)? If it's a great and worthy read, excellent. But why are so many people allowing their younger children/tweens to read it and watch the movie? What's the harm in waiting a few years? It just seems that everyone is agreeing that it's violent but that it's all okay because of these discussion points, lessons, etc. Is there a reason why these topics need to be discussed at these young ages versus waiting til they're a little bit older?

 

And as background information, we're not real strict here on what dd reads...I'd just seen things here and there about Hunger Games that made me want to check this out further before dd continued reading.

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Slightly OT and please be gentle with me as I'm struggling with this topic at the moment.

 

A friend of DD-just turned 12-lent her The Hunger Games this past weekend. She read about 3 chapters before I was aware of this. Having heard from several sources of the violent nature, I did some googling, came here on these boards, and have ultimately decided to read it before she continues. I wanted to see for myself if I thought it was appropriate. Honestly, I have no desire to read this myself...it's just not the kind of book I would pick up and read. However, I spent a great deal of time here today, reading all about the book and movie, and I am still left with one question. It seems that the overwhelming opinion is that the book is meaty and full of discussion points, there are lessons to be learned, etc. etc. But what I'm struggling to understand is why the rush to introduce this to 9-14 year olds (which seems to be the average age of the readers)? If it's a great and worthy read, excellent. But why are so many people allowing their younger children/tweens to read it and watch the movie? What's the harm in waiting a few years? It just seems that everyone is agreeing that it's violent but that it's all okay because of these discussion points, lessons, etc. Is there a reason why these topics need to be discussed at these young ages versus waiting til they're a little bit older?

 

And as background information, we're not real strict here on what dd reads...I'd just seen things here and there about Hunger Games that made me want to check this out further before dd continued reading.

 

 

I think you are a great parent for choosing to read the book before your DD did. This is what I suggested in the other thread. I also said 10 years old is way too young for this kind of reading let alone movie watching. I agree, why push this on your young kids? My son wants to play Wii all day, but I don't let him. Just because your child wants to read a book doesn't mean they should.

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I read the series starting when I was 12 and did not find it scary. I throughly enjoyed it and found it to be a nice change from the love sick books my friends were reading. That being said I have always been extremely mature when it came to reading material and movies. I was reading personal accounts of the black death and yellow plague in third grade but I would never expose my lil sister to that since she is much more sensitive. I think its ridiculous that someone would rate these books 18 and up. The world is a very scary place and the things going on in it make this book look like childs play. I also found it a bit odd that the parents were not actively helping their children but then again look at the horrors of history and you will find similar cases of people standing by as their family and friends suffered painful deaths.

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I haven't read the books (but likely will, now that I know about them!) or watched the movie (maybe, maybe not), but my understanding is that the book is written to the "young adult" (over 14) crowd & the general consensus in the movie is that most of the tickets are being sold to the over 20 crowd right now. So, I guess I don't see that this is being touted as for 9-14yos?? Not that there aren't some very mature & ready-to-read-it kids in that range, I just didn't get the impression that this is who the book is pushed for...

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Slightly OT and please be gentle with me as I'm struggling with this topic at the moment.

 

But what I'm struggling to understand is why the rush to introduce this to 9-14 year olds (which seems to be the average age of the readers)? If it's a great and worthy read, excellent. But why are so many people allowing their younger children/tweens to read it and watch the movie? What's the harm in waiting a few years? It just seems that everyone is agreeing that it's violent but that it's all okay because of these discussion points, lessons, etc. Is there a reason why these topics need to be discussed at these young ages versus waiting til they're a little bit older?

 

 

I have not read the books yet, but we will. Here's my opinion. We discuss these issues at age appropriate levels, with my son that has been earlier than later.

 

These are not one time discussions, these are years long discussions. My son is 14 1/2, it seems yesterday he turned 10. In four years he'll be eligible for military service. He used to be interested in joining. At 18 if he joined the military he could have the possibility of going to war. So when do you have these discussions? Wait until their 16? The week before he's deciding on joining the military?

 

I've allowed my ds to watch violence and gut wrenching movies, and he plays video games like Call of Duty. He's the most compassionate gentle kid you'd want to meet. I think part of it is he understands human nature, he understands history and what man has done to other man in the name of religion, country, or security. We don't shy away from these topics. If I wanted until now to start discussing it would get lost in the shuffle of other daunting tasks for teens. Puberty, math, peer pressure, learning to drive, dealing with feelings for the opposite sex, all those things could crowd the modeling and discussions we've had for years.

 

We try not to dwell on news, but you can't read headlines or study current events without encountering violence. We watched Hotel Rwanda a few years ago. We stopped the movie many times to discuss the events. What irritated me is that what I remember of this genocide was a few blurbs in the paper. It's easy to dismiss violence that happens a world away. Those real events are hard to discuss. I've had to explain my tears many mornings as I read about violence in the news.

 

IMO it's easier to discuss these issues through a novel, a work of fiction. You can pick it apart, discuss the issues and themes and help your children see what kind of adults they want to be. Then you set the book aside because it's not real. It doesn't tear at your heart like some of the real stories do.

 

I hope to raise a son with a strong moral code. That doesn't mean we simply avoid violence, we talk through it, we play the what ifs.

 

I used to work in an animal hospital. One of the most heartbreaking things was when an owner would bring in an animal in distress for whatever reason. They didn't know what to do. I was trained to know what to do in an instant. I knew what would happen if I didn't react right then and there. It wasn't always pretty and I still have dreams about dealing with hurting animals. I want my ds to have that snap judgment about right and wrong in a situation. I want him to be able to see through the status quo of what everyone is doing and stand up for what is right. If he's never learned, studied, discussed, and practiced how to act he may miss the chance. Practicing those skills with a fictional novel with fictional characters and settings is great way to begin.

 

Just my .02, worth what you paid. :D

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I have not read the books yet, but we will. Here's my opinion. We discuss these issues at age appropriate levels, with my son that has been earlier than later.

 

These are not one time discussions, these are years long discussions. My son is 14 1/2, it seems yesterday he turned 10. In four years he'll be eligible for military service. He used to be interested in joining. At 18 if he joined the military he could have the possibility of going to war. So when do you have these discussions? Wait until their 16? The week before he's deciding on joining the military?

 

I've allowed my ds to watch violence and gut wrenching movies, and he plays video games like Call of Duty. He's the most compassionate gentle kid you'd want to meet. I think part of it is he understands human nature, he understands history and what man has done to other man in the name of religion, country, or security. We don't shy away from these topics. If I wanted until now to start discussing it would get lost in the shuffle of other daunting tasks for teens. Puberty, math, peer pressure, learning to drive, dealing with feelings for the opposite sex, all those things could crowd the modeling and discussions we've had for years.

 

We try not to dwell on news, but you can't read headlines or study current events without encountering violence. We watched Hotel Rwanda a few years ago. We stopped the movie many times to discuss the events. What irritated me is that what I remember of this genocide was a few blurbs in the paper. It's easy to dismiss violence that happens a world away. Those real events are hard to discuss. I've had to explain my tears many mornings as I read about violence in the news.

 

IMO it's easier to discuss these issues through a novel, a work of fiction. You can pick it apart, discuss the issues and themes and help your children see what kind of adults they want to be. Then you set the book aside because it's not real. It doesn't tear at your heart like some of the real stories do.

 

I hope to raise a son with a strong moral code. That doesn't mean we simply avoid violence, we talk through it, we play the what ifs.

 

I used to work in an animal hospital. One of the most heartbreaking things was when an owner would bring in an animal in distress for whatever reason. They didn't know what to do. I was trained to know what to do in an instant. I knew what would happen if I didn't react right then and there. It wasn't always pretty and I still have dreams about dealing with hurting animals. I want my ds to have that snap judgment about right and wrong in a situation. I want him to be able to see through the status quo of what everyone is doing and stand up for what is right. If he's never learned, studied, discussed, and practiced how to act he may miss the chance. Practicing those skills with a fictional novel with fictional characters and settings is great way to begin.

 

Just my .02, worth what you paid. :D

 

Thank you very much; I appreciate your honest and thoughtful response.

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We are just back from having seen the film. I have read all the books and my daughter is reading the last one (she's almost done with it).

 

In no way, shape, manner or form is the killing in this book glorified - not even the killing of animals for food.

 

Yes, these are Young adult books and if there were ever a genera to be very diligent about this would be it. You need to know your child and the books well before mixing the two. This will mean reading them before hand.

 

Yes, my dd is "only" eleven and a half, but she gets things some adults don't get. For example, she read over my shoulder the OP. She said in a rather bewildered tone "The books don't glorify murder - they glorify freedom!". To me that is proof positive it was the right idea to let my dd read the books and see the movie.

 

What is right for my child is not right for *all* children. I was horrified to see seven year old children at the theater. Not a decision I would make just based on the rating!

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But what I'm struggling to understand is why the rush to introduce this to 9-14 year olds (which seems to be the average age of the readers)? If it's a great and worthy read, excellent. But why are so many people allowing their younger children/tweens to read it and watch the movie? What's the harm in waiting a few years? It just seems that everyone is agreeing that it's violent but that it's all okay because of these discussion points, lessons, etc. Is there a reason why these topics need to be discussed at these young ages versus waiting til they're a little bit older?

 

My ten year old has not read them. My two teen girls have. They have also read books on ancient Rome, slavery, books on the Holocaust and othe books dealing with violent episodes in history.

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Slightly OT and please be gentle with me as I'm struggling with this topic at the moment.

 

A friend of DD-just turned 12-lent her The Hunger Games this past weekend. She read about 3 chapters before I was aware of this. Having heard from several sources of the violent nature, I did some googling, came here on these boards, and have ultimately decided to read it before she continues. I wanted to see for myself if I thought it was appropriate. Honestly, I have no desire to read this myself...it's just not the kind of book I would pick up and read. However, I spent a great deal of time here today, reading all about the book and movie, and I am still left with one question. It seems that the overwhelming opinion is that the book is meaty and full of discussion points, there are lessons to be learned, etc. etc. But what I'm struggling to understand is why the rush to introduce this to 9-14 year olds (which seems to be the average age of the readers)? If it's a great and worthy read, excellent. But why are so many people allowing their younger children/tweens to read it and watch the movie? What's the harm in waiting a few years? It just seems that everyone is agreeing that it's violent but that it's all okay because of these discussion points, lessons, etc. Is there a reason why these topics need to be discussed at these young ages versus waiting til they're a little bit older?

 

And as background information, we're not real strict here on what dd reads...I'd just seen things here and there about Hunger Games that made me want to check this out further before dd continued reading.

 

I think they are written for a junior high level. I don't find them that violent, personally. They are not full of gore or bloody, descriptive deaths. I have a hard time thinking that a junior high age kid isn't ready for some discussion on the distribution of wealth, the effect government has on its citizens, obligation to take care of family, etc. I think it's fine for families to choose to wait, but I don't think it is an inappropriate amount of violence for a junior high age kid.

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How much bloodshed do our kids need to see with their own eyes before they can grasp all these deep meanings?

 

Thank goodness Hollywood is there to keep reinforcing all these lofty themes. More red, more green. I think I get it.

 

Actually, there really wasn't much red in the movie. It was done very well; no gore, and if you can call death tasteful, they accomplished this. I would have no problem w/ a 10 year old seeing this movie.

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But what I'm struggling to understand is why the rush to introduce this to 9-14 year olds (which seems to be the average age of the readers)? If it's a great and worthy read, excellent. But why are so many people allowing their younger children/tweens to read it and watch the movie? What's the harm in waiting a few years? It just seems that everyone is agreeing that it's violent but that it's all okay because of these discussion points, lessons, etc. Is there a reason why these topics need to be discussed at these young ages versus waiting til they're a little bit older?

 

I can't answer for others obviously.

 

My children are both academically very advanced so it is near impossible to find suitable literature geared towards children that they will enjoy. They understand mature themes in literature without a problem. They are also mature for their ages (not saying they don't have their moments) so they can handle themes that younger kids can't. They find things geared towards their age group to be boring and childish.

 

DH, DD12, DS10, and I have read all three books. The kids and I are going back through them with a fine-tooth comb and discussing them from a literary standpoint. DH and DD are seeing the movie tomorrow morning. DS and I are going tomorrow evening. Can't wait.

Edited by joannqn
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