I realize I’m a few months late on the craze but I can’t seem to get The Hunger Games out of my mind. I watched the movie about two months after the initial release, in order to allow the hype to die down. Though in this case the hype still existed in all its glory, but I couldn’t resist, I had to watch it…2 and a half hours later, I knew why.
It’s this amazing story, with these complex and broken characters. Although Tolkien penned the term eucatastrophe very recently. It has been a common trend in literature for an extremely long time. With Suzanne Collins’ work, yes there is a final resolution, there is a fix, but there is still absolutely no sense of eucatastrophe. Maybe I missed it at some point. But I find that even though the star crossed lovers do come back home, they are safe, well, and may never have their families face the same tragic games. There still is no happy ending.
Then I read the book, I had a feeling that maybe the movie missed something. There is a lot of refining that goes in to making films, so much needs to be chopped off to fit a story into two hours. And so, a large chunk of what defines the characters is completely lost, but this was not the case. The Hunger Games was done brilliantly both in the movie and the book. Yet I still felt at the end of the first book that I had to know more, there needed to be more. (At the time I didn’t know that catching fire and MockingJay existed).
When I found out I was so pumped I went down to the bookstore and started reading. 47 hours later, still no happy ending. The characters have been broken, stripped and cut to pieces, every part of them displayed as though on a butcher’s block. The story evolving to a point where I find myself unable to think of Panem as a fictional place and the games a fictional concept. Katniss and Peetah go back to district 12, they raise a family, sweet poor Finnik and Prim are killed off. Everything seems to be an endless barrage of pain. Yet, it seems fitting. Somehow all the acts that have left them damaged, are also the acts that make you love them more.
I feel I need more, maybe this is just brilliant writing on Suzanne’s part, or maybe it’s my need for a eucatastrophe that has been created from years of reading the same. But I need more. It has been almost 2 years since I first read The Hunger Games, but I still think about it all the time. The idea in itself is brilliant. The brutality of watching your child fight for survival, and at the same time hoping that another child dies so your own can live is a gruesome thought in itself. I love the way these books have produced these ideas. I think that might be one of the reasons why I have not been able to get it off my mind. It is something that already exists in our society today, it might be in different forms but it exists nonetheless.
We look to entertainment for the happy endings. We raise little boys and girls on fairytales. We train ourselves to believe that in the end, there is a resolution, all loose ends will be tied, moreover in a neat little bow.
But Suzanne has created something that defies Tolkien’s eucatastrophe, and identifies with reality.