I haven’t long finished reading The Hunger Games trilogy, which some people have loved and some people have not enjoyed at all. I rather liked it though, it has a gripping story and some great characters that you connect with.
The themes of the story are quite typical ones of power, hope, love and sacrifice. But the setting is rather gruesome with children having to fight to the death in an arena for the pleasure of the rich and wealthy.
There are also so many resemblances between the capital and the west and between the districts and the third world countries. There are questions about identity and what makes us who we are.
“I think she [Collins] accurately captures the uncertainty and lack of conviction that people really have (particularly in our teens!) and takes the reader on a journey with Katniss as she struggles to reconcile the warring convictions she has- giving all she has to look after her little sister, the desire to live, her inclination to both trust and doubt others around her, choosing to let someone live or to let them die…”
Emily is right, with Katniss we are taken on a journey as she tries to figure out who she is, where her identity lies and how she is going to survive. Where as Peeta knows who he is and knows that he doesn’t want the capitol to change him. I think Peeta is the true hero of this story, he is the rock – sturdy for Katniss and never forgetting who he is even when the Capitol distorts his memories he still fights to cling to his identity.
You might think at first the saviour of this story is Katniss as she sacrifices herself for her sister, yet as she goes into the arena she quickly reverts to saving herself and loses herself in the trauma of the events. But Peeta is the one that remains pure, he never kills intentionally in the first book and his objective is to save Katniss, he never forgets his identity. In the second book you realise that everyone else in the area thinks the same thing as they acknowledge that Peeta isn’t one of them and that really he shouldn’t even be there. He seems an unlikely saviour figure, but as I mentioned above he is the rock for Katniss that keeps her going until the end. Its his deep love for her that enables him to forget himself and save her on multiple occasions.
Like most human saviours he makes mistakes, he gets distorted and doesn’t live up to the saviour title all the time. But as my friend Emily ends her blog post she reminds us that there is a better saviour:
“there’s only one person who ever lived who can give us a true definition of a self-sacrificing hero; one who sees the world as it truly is and offers answers to the questions that we barely even manage to ask… A hero who is like a devoted friend who lays down his life for others, or a good shepherd who lays down his life for sheep who are oblivious to their peril. Many of us never recognise him for who he is. If you’re curious, why not find out more about him here.”