Recently my two daughters and I went to see the movie The Hunger Games. I had not read the book so I had no idea what to expect from the movie.
The premise is a futuristic civilization that has been forced by their government (as penance for an uprising in the past) to submit "tributes" to a yearly contest - a battle to the death. The tributes are "children" ages 12-18 years of age. It IS a disturbing idea ...but one idea I've come away with from seeing the movie is that a free people can never give their government the responsibility of taking care of them. I am betting the author is a conservative.
The story is a post-apocalyptic world in the country of Panem where the countries of North Amercia once existed. There are many parts where you feel like you're watching scenes from a Communist society or a concentration camp, the way the people are filed around like property. There are two more books after this one, but I think the Hunger Games contest is sort of the tip of the iceberg of the story - showing you how much power the government has...
I've heard that in some theaters movie-goers have cheered during one scene where one of the game participants is killed by another, which I find very disturbing. That feels a little like Romans feeding the Christians to the lions...
I asked a friend, Dorah Rice, to add her input since her educational background is in the classics:
"There's a lot of postmodern statements about pleasure and the cost of leisure (building a society of frivolousness on the backs of others) that speaks to today as well, although perhaps others didn't catch that. The new country is called Panem (as in the Latin phrase "Panem et Circenses" coined by Juvenal describing the political strategy of the Roman Emipre--keep people in bread and circuses/entertainment, and they will be too lazy to be politically involved). So there is a direct corrollary to the gladiators of that time period, and a Sparticus-type feel to the main girl's plight. I personally found it fascinating that the society also has a Panopticon feel to it within the Games...it seems a logical given our technology today."
My daughter recommends reading the books in order to understand the story better. I recommend reading the books in order to get an idea of what may be happening to our future as a nation.
“Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have. The course of history shows us that as a government grows, liberty decreases.”
― Thomas Jefferson