It is time!! Time for our Hunger Games Pow Wow! Are you ready? I can’t emphasize enough how excited I’ve been to hear what you all thought of the books and what they made you think about. Any reactions, impressions, kvetches, complaints, and celebrations welcome!
Last week, I posted a series of questions that I had in my mind as I was reading the books. Feel free to respond to them if you like, or pose questions of your own. And do check back for responses, as I’ll be conversing with everyone in the comments section as well.
Here are the questions I posed last week, for convenient reference:
* All right, up front: Team Peeta or Team Gale?
* How did you read the very end of the book, as depicted in the Epilogue? Hopeful? Bleak? Dubious?
* Do you think it matters that the main character is a girl? How do you think the books might have been different if told from a male perspective (i.e. Peeta’s or Gale’s – or even Haymitch)?
* I’ve seen that these books have been added to Christian high school and bible study reading lists, citing sacrifice as a major theme. Do you see Katniss as a Christ figure? Do you think the books are Christian in nature?
* How do you read her “yes” vote at the end? What do you think was her motivation?
* Did you find the violence of the Games or the violence of the war harder to read? Why?
* Who were your favorite characters and why? Are there any characters you wish had been more fully fleshed out?
* For me, the evolution (or devolution) of character from victim to perpetrator and blurring of lines between the two categories is a really interesting theme in the books. Others have talked about the issues raised regarding classicism and feminism. Were these important themes to you? Did anything else stand out?
* There is a scene about 40% of the way through the third book, where Katniss is playing with the cat, Buttercup, making him chase a flashlight and she has a realization about Snow. Here is the excerpt:
You simply wiggle a flashlight beam around on the floor, and Buttercup tries to catch it. I’m petty enough to enjoy it because I think it makes him look stupid. Inexplicably, everyone here thinks he’s clever and delightful…It’s on the third night, during our game, that I answer the question eating away at me. Crazy Cat becomes a metaphor for my situation. I am Buttercup. Peeta, the thing I want so badly to secure, is the light. As long as Buttercup feels he has the chance of catching the elusive light under his paws, he’s bristling with aggression…When the light goes out completely, Buttercup’s temporarily distraught and confused, but he recovers and moves on to other things. (That’s what would happen if Peeta died.) But the one thing that sends Buttercup into a tailspin is when I leave the light on but put it hopelessly out of his reach, high on the wall, beyond even his jumping skills. He paces below the wall, wails, and can’t be comforted or distracted. He’s useless until I shut the light off. (That’s what Snow is trying to do to me now, only I don’t know what form his game takes.)
Katniss believes this is what Snow is doing to her: dangling bait in a way precisely calculated to drive her crazy and get what he wants. But is Snow the only one to do this? Are there ways in which Katniss does it too?
* And finally, what do you think of Katniss’ decision to assassinate Coin? Was it expedient? Do the “ends justify the means”? What do you think it suggests about her views on power and the role of government? Do you think she believes in democracy, or is she essentially an anarchist?
So tell me: what did you get from the books?