Some readers of "The Hunger Games" might find an eerie resemblance between the book's fictional televised teen death matches and the way we consume reality TV today.
Except, we're not sitting around watching reality competitions where contestants are expected to fight to the death, which is the premise of author Suzanne Collins' dystopian books.
First look: Go inside the 'Hunger Games' arena
But for the star of this month's movie adaptation, Jennifer Lawrence, "The Hunger Games" called to mind a ubiquitous reality TV name: Kardashian.
“I was watching the Kardashian girl getting divorced, and that’s a tragedy for anyone," Lawrence tells Parade magazine. "But they’re using it for entertainment, and we’re watching it. The books hold up a terrible kind of mirror: This is what our society could be like if we became desensitized to trauma and to each other’s pain.”
Lawrence stars in the film as Katniss Everdeen, the teen heroine who volunteers to enter the deathly "Games" in order to save her younger sister's life. Along the way, she finds herself forced to fight against love interest Peeta Mellark, played by Josh Hutcherson.
See Jennifer as Katniss, Josh as Peeta, Liam as Gale, and More Character Photos
“Peeta is all about staying true to yourself. He goes into the Games and does everything he can to maintain what he believes in and not become just another pawn," Hutcherson tells Parade. "Growing up in the acting world, you have a lot of opportunities to change who you are and what you believe in based on how people treat you. I never wanted to do that. And that’s what Peeta’s driving toward through the series.”
Both Hutcherson and Lawrence are bracing themselves for the intense fandom that'll come along with their roles, with Lawrence telling Parade that she's "never played a part this famous." But Katniss has become a character close to her heart.
“I love Katniss. She doesn’t have a lot, but she’s happy, and she faces death out of love for her family," Lawrence says. "She doesn’t want to be a hero, but she becomes the symbol for a revolution, a kind of futuristic Joan of Arc.”
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*Sigh!* Another bleeding-heart liberal. yuk.
We have seen right-wing radio encourage and cheer the murder of abortion doctors. We have seen children bullying other children to the point of suicide. We have a political party that blames the poor for being poor. We have a police force that is beating and arresting peaceful demonstrators. We have candidates trying to take away women's rights. We send our teenage sons and daughters to fight in wars to make the rich richer. We have more empty homes than homeless people. We have reality TV shows that push people further and further into dangerous stunts. Let's not pat ourselves on the back too much. We may not be there but we're not that far away.
Well, it's not like we have a shortage of people on the earth. Might hep with population control and pollution.
I suppose the idea of a Hunger Games is an idea to ponder upon, however much of the scenario is a tad radical. Perhaps in the event it were to be in a virtual reality set and use the idea of fasting? It would eliminate bloodshed and also introduce rewards to lucky participants.
W T F? Shut it, nerd!
The most brutal dictators of the 20th century, who killed millions of people between them were all atheists- Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Pol Pot, etc. The anti-Christian folks love to point to the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition but those tragedies happened centuries ago, before or during the Reformation and Counter-Reformation era.
JenniferESL on March 24, 2010 @paurocksterHave you watched Part 1? I try to offer a good comainbtion of examples, rules, and practice. People learn different ways: some by studying the rules, and others by hearing real examples or making their own. Look at the additional material I created on EnglishCafe. I give a text summary and more practice. Feel free to post questions on my main channel page. Good luck.
yes, society already has a show like this- it's on Hulu, and it's called "Solitary". ridiculous. Look it up, but don't give it the time of day- the last thing it needs is more attention. of course, that makes what i'm saying now completely hypocritical...
We're almost there. Think about how many teens watch fighting videos on YouTube, attend MMA and WWE shows, and watch boxing on TV. We enjoy seeing others engage in physical brutality for our entertainment. Are these fights to the death? Not yet, but we're not far off.
Now I really miss American Gladiators- why did you remind me?? That show is one of the best memories from my youth!
I know for a fact that members of the Obama administration are working on just this type of thing.
Shut your trap rat.
Why are you such a moron? If anybody is going to stick it to the middle class & the poor, it's the Republicans. Try pulling your azz out of your butt before the next time you post. Do us all a favor!
I meant, pull your head out of your azz. I guess even you couldn't do that one!
Hello?! Has anyone realized that we are very similar to the Roman Empire? They had this kind of stuff. If things become so desperate where the rich become so filthy rich, and the poor become so very desperate, then why the hell not? Dance for me puppet! I have money and you don't. Dance until I feel like giving you money... (secretly I'm not, but he doesn't know that. Isn't this fun!?)
So it's not just me who feels that way then. Recently I've realized that the West has become arrogant, thinking that we're more advanced and civilized than our ancestors. While we have made developments in science and technology, I don;t think that human nature has changed at all. One may say that we as a society are more generous and charitable, but is that true? Has our giving been greater only because news travels faster so we know of more global devestations? Western society could change dramatically in the next 100 years. The Western Roman Empire fell in less than 75 years. The Russian monarchy under Tsar Nicolas II fell in 25 years, and became Communist less than 5 years after the Tsar's reign. There are significant issues facing the West ignored by the media that could turn society on its head if not addressed.
Corruption in high offices (both parties).
The American people's tendency to live beyond their means, sinking into debt.
Politicians squandering taxes and raising them on those barely surviving (both parties).
The exporting of manufacturing jobs overseas, eliminating medium skilled jobs.
Our reliance on the media to tell us what to think.
We must address these issues, or our descendants will be reading about the United States of America in a history book in a section along with the Roman Empire.
Now, to answer the question posed by the article. Can I see a Hunger Games in my lifetime? Probably not. Will there be one 100 years in the future? I wouldn't bet against it.
Reality television is already psychologically cruel (Bachelor, anyone? The way Simon Cowell was on American Idol?) and some like Suvivor and the Amazing Race can be physically cruel at times. It will be but a short step to televised violence like the throwing of Christians to the lions in ancient Rome. Or hunger games.
Arnold Schwartzenegger and Richard Dawson do not approve...
We already have the 'crying games', in N Korea. If you don't cry enough, your family may not eat. Or just may vanish...
The movie and written story for running man are vastly different, so hopefully hunger games won't be the same. One of the points of Battle Royale was that society could no longer handle the violent youth that it was sending to kill itself.
I want to smell that chicks underpants
Damn... thought Hunger Games was an eating contest at the Golden Corral, Bubba!
This is what it's like in all those countries with greedy, all-powerful despots. And George and Angelina can rage against the wind all they want and it ain't gonna solve the problem
It would be great to put our legislators into this environment every 6 years and cull the population down by 50%.
God CNN is stupid.
Yes Jason, CNN is.
No, they're not. Oh wait, yeah they are.
Normally I'd be waving my troll flag at you, but I can't argue with a bonified fact.
@God- That was funny!
@Hippster- That's pretty rich coming from someone who completely messed up "bona fide"
The base myth for this is Theseus and the Minotaur; King Minos made his subject lords send him a group of young men and women to be eaten by the Minotaur in its maze. Theseus volunteered into the group, and walked the maze while unwinding a thread behind him. He killed the beast and retraced his steps, ending its reign of terror.
I like the idea of a Running Man type thing better.
Wow this movie looks lame. Not an original idea and completely overblown dystopian vision. I guarantee ridiculous action sequences, one-liners, and cheezy dialogue.
Actually, The Hunger Games more closely parallels Battle Royale by Koushun Takami in 1999. Go look it up. Plus, at least in my opinion, Battle Royale is a much better read (and seems more plausible than The Hunger Games.)
Worst Video in the HISTORY of our sport!
Big Money! Big Prizes! I LOVE it!
This movie has gotten so much publicity it just has to be a stinker.
If you are old enough to remember the Viet Nam War you will also remember the draft was run on a lottery/bingo type basis. I realize students can't get that information from the 2 paragraphs dedicated to the Viet Nam War in my son's contemporary high school history texts.
My mom said the Viet Nam War lottery, the birthdays of very young men were drawn like bingo.Everybody was glued to their television sets praying that their numbers didn't come up,no we couldn't get to The Hunger Games.
Actually, that's true. It IS possible for that to happen, but without the deaths. As a reality TV writer, if Suzan Collins would give the "yes", this could actually become a reality show.
Hunger Games without the deaths? Wouldn't that be kind of like American Gladiators? As I recall they shot at, smacked, and clobbered each other with non-lethal weapons for our entertainment.
A basis for the Hunger Games, the minotaur story, has never had a decent real life analog. Tributes in the form of slaves from societies were one time or short term punishments (money, resource or soldier auxillary tributes could be long term). In the book, I understand they were going on for 3/4ths of a century. There is no historical basis for that.
What cruelties of history can be compared to the Hunger Games? Even blood sports in history rarely resulted in death (e.g., gladiators rarely died). Stories of the year-kings, slave tributes killed annually, were always stories of the distant past where they supposedly happened on a regular basis. This is fiction and nothing more.
I think it's already happening.
But in a different way than the post and comments are tracking. Here's my thoughts: "Peeta's Bread: The Hunger Games, Colonialism, Poverty and Uganda" http://bit.ly/xXzM8T
I will stick with the classic "Running Man" thank you. Arnold can certainly act a heck of a lot better than any kids could.
This book is just a ripoff of The Running Man.
Or a hybrid of Logan's Run, The Running Man, and Battle Royale.
This sounds like a great resruoce! I've downloaded the Raising Entrepreneurs' file, subscribed to the HSE digital magazine, shared this post on facebook and I already like' your page on facebook.
I love the hushed reverent tones these daily Hunger Games articles have, like it's anticipated on the scale of a Harry Potter or Twilight. Yet every article receives less than 20 comments.
In contrast the Harry potter and twilight articles receive thousands of comments.
I think this movie is going to flop commercially and critically.
To be honest, the writing is appallingly bad. Plot 'twists' are telegraphed to such a degree that the biggest surprises are big yawns. That said, the concept is compelling and the characters well drawn. Those are the reasons I finished book one and went on to the rest in the series. Hopefully the screenwriting improves upon the book.
As much as I love these books and am looking forward to the films, I have to agree, these daily HG "updates" are a bit ridiculous. You missed the point with your comment about comments though. Twilight articles get more comments because Twilight fans leave more comments. That doesn't add up to the HG movies being less popular and eventually flopping. These movies are going to be huge whethere you like it or not. We don't need a new article about it every day to remind us though.
Game show to the death...everyone would watch. I'm sure these books are different but didnt Stephen King already do this in the Running Man?
I could see this happening easily. I think our general desensitization started in the 1990s when trash talk shows became big and entertainment became watching people feed their lives into the public meat grinder.
I can truly see a time in the not so distant future when we can sit down to watch "ABC's Monday Night Stonings" or the like. And we can blame th eliberals for it. So typical of the party of hate.
Sorry to disappoint u azz hole, the party of hate is the republicans.
Let's blame TV! Because lynch mobs and public hangings never happened in the past.
It's obvious that video games caused public stonings in Iraq five thousand years ago.
Wow, how deluded are you?
Extremist teapublitards have far more in common with the taliban than any so-labeled liberal.
After all, who condones torture, wants states to force doctors to rape their patients with ultrasound probes, obviously hates poor people and wants them to suffer for not 'succeeding', and gets all riled up over mostly-naked men beating each other up for money?
The morally bankrupt, ethically ignorant, logically flawed religious regressive righties. Look in the mirror you fascists! (First you'll have to learn to read and figure out the actual definition of fascism, of course. Hint for obama-haters: it is impossible to be both a communist and a fascist.)
((gee, wasn't that a civilized and constructive way to approach disagreement? How do you like the taste of your own nasty putrid medicine? /sarc ))
Yup, we ARE the haters. Let's see, a few of the things we hate:
Shortsightedness. Narrowmindedness. Bigotry. Religious extremists. Real life violence. Greed. Tyranny. Censorship. Seeking power for its own sake. Hypocrisy. Judgemental d-bags.
Yup, we be hatin'. What's that proverb? Oh yeah, Luke 6:42:
How can you say, 'Brother, let me take that splinter out of your eye,' when all the while you yourself do not see the beam in your own?
Lurn you some Bible, son.
Not Running Man. Try R-E-A-D-I-N-G before making lame a55 comments.
Of course they arent the same, but there are many similarities and for you to act so childish about it would be evidence you have never read the book "The Running Man".
lol...IF you have EVER read a book...other than twilight and hunger games.
Yeah The Hunger Games isn't a new idea to talk about. Like earlier, there was Running Man. And the video game Smash T.V. And probably several others..
Poor people competing in dangerous and deadly reality TV shows is exactly what Running Man (Richard Bachman short story, who is in fact, Stephen King) is about. There are a lot of details that are different, but the themes and morals are stricklingly similar.
Correct me if I am wrong, but the underlying theme in The Running Man was escapism from a society you wholeheartedly disagreed with. For me, The Hunger Games represents the struggle between hating a society for what it stands for yet grudgingly doing what they command you to do to protect you friends and family.
I can't wait for the movie. Just finished the book and I couldn't put it down. Fantastic novel!
Hunger Games and Running Man are very similar in ways. Hunger Games is also similar to other sci-fi stories. It is not an original idea by any means. That doesn't mean it's not entertaining.
You haven't understood the meaning of The Hunger Games or The Running Man if you can't see the connection between them.
Sounds like Running Man for teenagers.
When Stephen King reviewed the novel he did point out the similarity to the novella The Long Walk and maybe also the Running Man.
I had the very same thought when I saw the trailers and learned what the books were about. I love both of those Bachman stories. I will still read these books, I hear they're excellent.
They are really good books, especially the first one. I say this as a huge fan of King's "The Long Walk" and Takami's "Battle Royale" which it much more closely resembles.
Yes, these books (and movies) are very similar to The Running Man (novel and movie), The Long Walk, and Battle Royale, but not similar enough that they deserve to be criticized for it. I've seen all the movies and read all the books and they are all unique and original stories that take place in unique settings. IMO the original Running Man novel is the best book and so far Battle Royale is the best film, but I am very excited to see how these newest books will translate to the big screen.
Society has become desensitized to human suffering. People don't love and care like they once did. Things that were once sacred and honored (like marriage and family) have become disposable. I find this quite sad. People change partners like changing socks and don't care who they hurt to have what they want.
Indeed, Humans have never been so cruel as they are now.
All those stories about the Roman Colosseum and burning witches are just fair tales some dude wrote down in a book.
Until just about the late 19th C. marriage largely functioned as a financial or diplomatic merger. Love didn't enter the picture until right around then for the majority of unions. That's why there's been such a huge increase in divorce in the last century; when people do their own choosing in marriage, when there is a greater expectation of fidelity, and when cultural custom is more accepting of divorce, you will have more divorce. Look at divorce rates in India: they're much lower than America, but there's also a higher incidence of arranged marriage. I think it's a bit presumptious to say that things used to be better. There may have been less divorce, but perhaps there were fewer happy marriages. There may have been less violence that people were aware of, but when you have such mass media covering it, and less people hiding it, of course you will be more aware of it. It simply doesn't mean there is more violence now than there was in the past.
Sacred and honored like maybe slavery?grow up.
"People don't love and care like they once did."
Me Cave Man. Marry Cave Girl. Then me meet Other Cave Girl. Me divorce Cave Girl, marry Other Cave Girl. Tell Cave Girl, Cave Boy not mine, kick both out. Is Human Nature, it not change in hundred thousand years.
What a ridiculously generic statement - one that does NOT apply to most people. But I see you had the need to express your "deep thoughts" about society. Unfortunately, your "deep thoughts" are about as deep as an ant's.
Oh, thanks for letting me know! I've been married for 19 years, so I guess, according to you, I need to end that lickety-split, right?
I agree. Such things such as honor especially. Once honor was as strong as a stone wall but now it is merely a word in a dictionary. This is terrible, instead of cheering on for others we jeer at their success and welcome bloodshed, just because it makes them hurt.
That man is short. I bet his thang is short like richard f's.
Ever hear of heels, d o r k?
Ooooooo, I struck a nerve @ nbafan. A 'little'man syndrom going on there? Bwhahahahahahaha!
Lol you're probably right,but his real name is Dicky 4'.
Do a barrel roll!
use the boost to get through.
14.5% (2010 census) of Americans live in poverty and are food insecure. 69% of Americans play video games. So yeah, technically we are already living the Hunger Games.
that was funny!
I could very easily see our society, at some point, fall into a "Hunger Games" type of event, particularly if there were big prizes for the victors. Sad.
Only if the religious fanatics take over
Yah, cause it's not like religion has been a huge part of this country for centuries.
Really? You can "easily" see our society staging a contest where people have to kill one another? As I tell my son all the time, there is no shortage of stupid people in the world. Thanks for adding to the supply.
I could easily some sort of arena death matching..with possibly lions and such...
Yeah, I could easily see that if the atheists take over. Out with morality and loving one another and give me the ultimate in reality TV!! Science cures all! All hail science! Oh mighty science, please help us! They'll demand the ultimate in 3D HD so they can watch in great detail.
You do realize that it was the Romans that held "Hunger Games" and that the early Christians that martyred themselves at the hands of the oppressive Romans is pretty much what ended such barbarism in the ancient world.
Yup, Tom, indeed. We all know that the Atheists go out and warmonger over their non-religious 'crusades', to borrow a phrase. Indeed, Atheists are also know for their 'fatwas', their violence (no 'flower-love children' need apply), and since they are often lumpe in with liberals, that 'bleeding heart' stuff is all about them stabbing people in their hearts so they bleed, right? Your logic is fawlless.[sic]
No, the Roman's weren't oppresssive. That's just a historical myth christians tell themselves to feed their persecution complex. The reality is all christians had to do was acknowlege the existance of the ruling gods and they would have been fine. You know like how christians demand their god be held head and shoulders above all other gods and you're oppressing them if you don't?
Was that a serious statement? Did you really just say christians weren't opressed by the romans? So what's your definition of persecution? It clearly doesn't include being fed to lions in the arena for believing in a different god. So christians are just supposed to submit to whatever religious views have been established by the government they live under? Wow.
"You know like how christians demand their god be held head and shoulders above all other gods and you're oppressing them if you don't?" You clearly live your life with your fingers in your ears. For one thing, no christian will accuse you of opressing him if you don't hold his god head and shoulders above all other gods. The bible says "you shall have no other gods before me" and "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me." So clearly He does require supremacy in the lives of those who follow Him. But that's an individual choice. If you choose not to follow, you're not opressing me...
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