My wife and daughter have devoured Suzanne Collins’s trilogy of dystopian novels, The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay, and they let me accompany them to this weekend’s blockbuster movie of the first in the series.
In the depicted dystopia, a dozen outlying districts have been conquered by the capital. Once a year, for the diversion of sport and, moreover, to assert their life-and-death control over the districts, folks in the capital choose one male and one female teenager from each district — as “tribute” — to go to the capital to fight to the death. The last of the 24 left alive is the “winner.”
The story’s protagonist is Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year old girl whose prowess with bow and arrow helps (illegally) feed her family. When her 12-year old sister gets selected to meet a certain death in the games, Katniss “volunteers” to take her place.
Expressing an independent spirit, Peeta, her district’s male contestant, tells Katniss: “I just keep wishing I could find a way to show them they don’t own me. If I’m going to die, I want to still be me.”
In The Hunger Games, the capital thrives, while folks out in the districts struggle to find enough to eat. In our own country, today, seven of the 25 wealthiest counties are in the Washington, D.C. area. While much of the nation suffers a depressed housing market and high unemployment, that’s not the case in our nation’s capital region.
I liked the movie so much, I’m now reading the book.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.