Sunday, November 17, 2013
The Hunger Games: Last Words
So, readers beware: This is an open discussion about the saga, characters, and important plot points. All is fair here; we can talk spoilers all day long and enjoy getting out of our systems the nitty-gritty stuff about Katniss, Peeta, Collins, and The Hunger Games. If you are looking for a review of the saga without spoilers, click here, here, and here.
Now, let the Hunger Games discussion begin!
Out of the three books, the one I least enjoyed was the third. Not only we have Katniss hiding in closets for one third of the story (at least), but then Collins deals a terrible twist to Peeta that just ruins him. Prim dies--WTF! So all this for nothing!--and then there's the final chapter... But let's start slow.
How about your favorite character? From previous comments on my other posts, I gather Peeta is a fan favorite. He is the most likable of the whole, and the true hero of the story. Such a sweet boy that pays a high price for his closeness to Katniss. I could not stand to see him turned into a mutt. I confess I did not see that twist coming, him turned into a weapon against Katniss, and it broke my heart because I knew he could never recover from something like that. They damaged him for good and there's no turning back from it.
Prim's death is another horrible blow and makes the story go from sad to depressing. However, I got it. I may not have liked where the story was going, but I understood what Collins was doing. She was following the turn of events to their worst possible conclusion. She was also making a brave statement about war and violence without being preachy and I admired her for that. And then came the last chapter.
For me, that denouement was Collins attempt at bringing a peaceful and somewhat happy conclusion to the story. Through her treatment of the characters, it is clear that she feels bad for the damaged youths, but it is truly in that trying to fix things that she betrays the spirit of her own books. Like so many before her, Collins was unable to kill her darlings. She chose to write about an ugly reality without making it pretty, just to try and do just that with the ending. I mean, Katniss recovering from her crazy period to go on and have a family of her own. After killing the true head of the revolution. Really? In what messed up reality would such an act be pardoned 'due to reason of insanity'? Does Collins know the Che Guevara story?
Anyway, in my opinion the author was very conflicted about the kind of story she wanted and the story it turned out to be. But my biggest disagreement would be with all the fans out there who don't get tired of saying that Katniss is a strong leading role. Are you kidding me? She's manipulated throughout the whole story by anyone who knows a bit more than her. From Haymitch to Snow, passing through every other character in the books, even Peeta at some point. Everyone knows what they're doing and how to accomplish it except her. Sure, she knows how to shoot an arrow, but she lacks the confidence to take control of her life. And let's not even talk about how she does nothing but be the vulnerable, broken youngster incapable of taking care of herself for most of the third book. So annoying!
The quality of the books is not an issue at all. Collins is a good writer and the story--however annoying or incongruent--never fails to be interesting. She also managed to surprised me at least once per book, and I have to tell you: It doesn't happen that often. So, in case anyone reading this feels affronted by my comments, understand that this is simply my opinion. I'm not judging the writer herself, or her ability to write. I'm simply stating the plot points I feel missed the mark and let me down. We are all entitled to our own opinions and I'll be happy to receive all your comment as long as you are polite.
Now go ahead and shoot.