rue’s death. we see katniss there are her rawest, at her most vulnerable there. in the hardest of times, people do what they have to to dispose of their dead. but katniss sings to rue, and as rue dies, katniss, knowing she should go, chooses instead to stay, to memorialize rue by making her a floral shroud and honor her by making the signature gesture of her district, the three-fingered salute that means love and admiration.
i mean, she basically straight-up shoots an arrow at the gamemakers, for goodness’s sake.
i think the careers accept peeta at first because it’s one less person to worry about attacking them during the outset. peeta doesn’t strike me as a particularly threatening person; it’s not like thresh, who you would inch warily past and never trust not to harm you in your sleep. they probably regard peeta as someone who’s looking to them for protection, as someone they need not fear – after all, he is from district 12.
i was silly enough to believe them.
i think they did it to amp up the star-crossed lovers story, to keep the games interesting.
like they announce once katniss and peeta are the only two alive, they weren’t going to let two people win. the capitol runs the hunger games, not the other way around.
we look at all the pampering that goes on before the games and we think, “what’s it for? they’re going to die.”
and i look at our society now and the some of the ways we primp ourselves and i think, “what’s it for? we’re going to die.” what matters is eternity. what matters is the living well in the time we have.
i see that in peeta a lot, which is why i like him so much. he loves fearlessly. he knows the hunger games will likely be the death of him, katniss, or both, but he loves her fearlessly anyway. he dies to his instincts, dies to saving himself, because he wants to save katniss, wants to see her live even if it means he doesn’t, and in so doing, he finds life. he thinks, throughout the games, that katniss has fallen in love with him, and he lives that, fully.
& i think that, right there, is why the capitol will never own peeta, because his heart is fully katniss’s, because everything he does is motivated by what best protects her. if you’ve read the next two books you know the capitol attempts to exploit this, and it works, to an extent, but not fully.
the world attempts to own us the way the capitol attempts to own the people in panem. but if our hearts are set on Jesus, the world can do what it may, but it will never control us.
we just have to love, and in the loving die, and strangely, strangely, in the dying, live.
there’s also the american ideology called rugged individualism, which “romanticizes the individual who strikes out alone in pursuit of a goal not easily achieved, a goal that often involves risk and one that most people would not readily undertake.”* basically, you aim for the unattainable, grapple with the overwhelmingly impossible odds, and come home with unimaginable glory. but instead of fighting odds, we now fight people for these fleeting moments of glory. and because there are now so many competitive reality shows, it’s not like anyone remembers who the winners are anyway. the hunger games are different – they’re built on the basis of heaping praise and honor and glory to the person who wins, and the sites are memorialized and turned into tour sites, and money is made on the backs of children who fought like roman gladiators.
you know what i think suzanne collins has done, whether she means it or not?
she wrote a dystopia, but maybe she wrote america’s story, right now, too. the satirists of a few hundred years ago always embedded their messages in their texts subliminally, and i think that’s what collins does, informs us without actually telling us that the lifestyles and successes of the people running the show are built on the katnisses and peetas and gales in this country, in the katnisses and peetas and gales around the world.
in the katnisses and peetas and gales slaving under a hot sun to pick as many coffee berries as they can, so we can buy our favorite drink at starbucks tomorrow morning.
in the katnisses and peetas and gales growing coca instead of corn because the former sells better.
in the katnisses and peetas and gales selling their daughters as slaves because they don’t see any other method of survival for their families.
*definition from Lois Tyson’s Critical Theory Today. i don’t know the page number.
i’ve heard divergent is, and i like dystopias, so i’m hoping to get it from the library soon!
matched, while not like the hunger games, is another dystopia, so if that genre intrigues you as much as it does me, i would recommend you look it up.
what are your opinions on these questions? post about it, link up with ashley, and leave me your link or talk to me in the comments!