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bread and circuses: musings on the hunger games

At the recommendation of a number of people I recently took up reading the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Not that it was hard to convince me, I found the Hollywood film version of the first instalment enthralling.

Now that I have finished the series I am suffering from some form of undiagnosed psychological trauma (those who have read the books will understand). Besides that, I greatly enjoyed them (though I must admit, somewhat blasphemously, that I basically never read fiction, so what would I know?).

Many opinions that I read about the books and the film criticised its depiction, and even glorification, of violence. Indeed, the books depict an annual event called the Hunger Games in which children are set against each other in a literal arena of death, forced to gorily fight for their lives until the survivors are crowned victors; terrifying mutant creatures sting and maul and torture and decapitate people; crowds of children and whole villages are firebombed by the Capitol, that is, the ruling regime and its metropolitan capital city.

But to claim that such things glorify violence is, in my view, to miss the point. Read the rest of this entry

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