Monday, April 2, 2012

The Hunger Games - Book Review

One of the newest media trends right now is the Hunger Games. You've probably heard of it. If not, it's a series of book following a girl named Katniss. It's set in a time period of the future, after the fall of North America. Every year 2 teens, a boy and girl, from every region must fight to the death for the entertainment of the oppressive and blood thirsty government. The rest of the books tells of how Katniss and her allies defy the evil government and help ignite a long awaited revolution. While this is all going on, Katniss must decide who she loves, and who the real enemy is.

Story wise, the books are immensely entertaining, full of good vs. evil, action, gripping emotion and a bit of romance. Katniss is a self-sufficient survivor and has a deep sense of self-sacrificing loyalty to her family. Theologically, on the other hand, the books experience some problems. Throughout the stories Katniss is exposed to the depravity of mankind. The book clearly states that all men are wicked, even the "good" guys can fall prey to power mongering and greed. The books recognize the problem, but sadly, have no solution. The redemption of God's love and mercy are the perfect cure for the pain the characters suffer. They search, but they never find it. At the very end of the books, after Katniss comes back from the brink of insanity because of all the horrors of war and the loss she suffers, she finds comfort and hope in the next generation, where they won't have to face an evil government. She plays a game with herself, counting all the good things people do on a daily basis, and tries to remove her focus from the horror, and move it to the beautiful.

In the end, good prevails over evil, but the cost is high, sickeningly high.

So the ultimate question. Should we be reading these books and watching the upcoming movies? I think different Christians will have different answers. Here are some of my suggestions, if, in this point in your walk, you are vulnerable to attack in the purity department, the veiled romance in the books might cause you to stumble, so use discernment. If you're having tendencies to feel depressed, again, it might not be wise. But if you are perhaps wanting a sobering account of humanity and the cost of war, no matter how righteous, then I think the books are useful and even captivating.

Here are a couple verses from Scripture for you to make your own decision, and this by all means, not an end all list, just the ones that came to mind for me.

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. 1 Corinthians 10:23

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8

No comments: