I spent the last two days reading the Hunger Games — here are some initial thoughts on the book (with an attempt to avoid spoilers).
On the dystopian element… This book had a lot of elements that reminded me of Margaret Atwood’s classic dystopia The Handmaid’s Tale:
- The first person narration;
- The role of obvious biblical symbolism (more on that in a moment);
- The tension between the main character and a person she is not sure she can trust (which happens to also be a romantic interest);
- The presence of another Romantic character outside the Dystopic environment (but who has also been subjected to the dystopia in a different way);
- The separation of the main character from both the life and environment she is accustomed to; etc…
I am curious to see if the author continues these elements in the second and third book (to be read this week).
On the Biblical Symbolism… The book is filled with biblical symbolism:
- The twelve districts — the twelve tribes of Israel — The twelve disciples.
- Formerly thirteen districts, until one betrayed the Capital — thirteen total disciples in the Bible, including Judas Iscariat, until Judas hangs himself after betraying Jesus;
- Soooooo many references to fishes and bread as sustenance (the Country is Panem — the Latin word for bread) — Jesus’ greatest miracle the feeding of the 5000 with fishes and loaves of bread;
- The Character Peeta — sure sounds like Peter;
- The Character Cato — a perhaps a reference to the statesman and General Cato the Elder serving under the reign of Nero, a notoriously anti-christian Roman emperor. These are the obvious ones… (P.S. I am resistant to find the overall theme “Christian” in nature. Perhaps, I am more likely to find the Biblical story to be dystopic — perhaps I will post on this sometime). Nevertheless, there is an interesting write up on the Christian themes present here .
On Rhu… In my opinion, the best character in the book. She is mysterious, thoughtful, and trusting.
That’s all for now.