Happy Hunger Games Week

I have to be careful on here because I've read all three books, I don't want to start giving things away. I just want to discuss for a minute the immense popularity of this series. It is starting to overcome Twilight (thank God) and it's bordering on Harry Potter proportions. But why has this trilogy gained such a massive following?

Part of it has to do with the enormous hype for the movie that comes out Friday. Seriously though. They have gone ALL OUT for this. China Glaze has a nail polish series representing the different Districts of Panem for one.

That made no sense for people that are unfamiliar with the plot line... OK, I'm going to summarize quickly while trying to not give anything away. Fair warning. Panem is what North America is called in the future. Instead of state, the country is divided into 12 districts that are just referred to by numbers. Each of those districts has their own special part to play for the country. One produces lumber, one grain, another livestock, etc, until we get to District 12 which produces coal. This is the district Katniss Everdeen, the heroine of the story comes from. So the Capitol (technically District 1, they're the ones that run EVERYTHING) has these games called the Hunger Games that has every district contribute a male and female between the ages of 12 and 18 to compete in a fight to the death. Basically. I guess I'll stop there. See, I didn't give anything away.

So, the nail polish colors represent every district of Panem. I personally own three of them (Harvest Moon-9, Stone Cold-2 and Riveting-5.) It's genius marketing. It plays to the die hard fans that have read the books and to those that are just pumped from the insanely intense previews. Observe:

Do you get chills? I get chills. Jennifer Lawrence is Katniss and she was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in Winter's Bone. And although this seems like just another series let's think about the concept for a second. Everyone wants to go to Hogwarts. Even when Voldemort and the Deatheaters are going Nazi on the whole wizarding world, I'd still totally want to go there. I'm sure tons of girls out there want an Edward Cullen to come along and be old-timey and chivalrous (I read the books, I know, I know, and now I see the error of my ways. There's so much wrong with Twilight I could make another post, but I'm not going to give it the satisfaction.) But would you really want to live in Panem knowing that between the ages of 12 and 18 you might be chosen to be killed in front of the entire country? Their technology is incredibly advanced, and they are able to treat so many ailments and injuries. They even have the ability to custom make animals and to mutate them. But all of this is really only available to the Capitol, everyone else is super poor. It seems like the other districts have actually gone back in time almost.

What does this say about this futuristic look at our country? Or even the world in general? It's grim for a young adult book. There's a lot of carnage and bloodshed, political themes and a struggle between what is right and survival. Read the other three, it doesn't get easier throughout them. So, if we don't want to be in that world or that situation, why do we love it so much? It's possibly because we'd want to be strong enough to potentially die for our sister in the same situation. We want to love someone so much we would do anything to keep them alive. Or because it's a cynical look at the world. The heroes are trying to overcome what was thrown at them. They are stuck in a no-win situation, and they have flaws. It makes things more interesting and relatable.

There's a Tumblr completely dedicated to the fashion of the Capitol. Because they control everything they are the only ones that have really nice things and they live in excess. While other districts are suffering and dieing they are having strange beautification procedures done on themselves. And when I say strange, I mean strange. Sometimes they have their skin died a different color. The Capitol Couture, as it's called, is dead serious too. They have contests to get fans excited, they have advice on Capitol couture, what to wear and such based off of the characters. And it really does almost make you want to live there, as disgusting as that is, and when you read or see it, you will know exactly how terrible that is.

But there are Facebook groups representing every district. You can go on Thecapitol.pn and get registered as a citizen of Panem. Have you noticed how the website and Tumblr both have .pn in their web addresses? Get it? PaNem? I think that's neat. See, they made it really realistic.

Do you know why the country is called Panem? It's from the latin phrase "panem et circensis" which means "bread and circuses." The world Panem is all about giving those living in the Captiol everything they want, and then a show (circus.) It's like in ancient Rome. To keep the people from revolting all you needed to give them was food and a good gladiatorial match to the death. In this same way the Capitol is trying to keep the people from revolting. Although, the Hunger Games are really to show the Capitol's dominance over the other districts.

Anyway, may the odds be ever in your favor.

I'll be back with more Hunger Games blogs this week.

1 comment:

  1. So excited to read about it! I finished the first book last week, and I'm about halfway through the second one now. Obsessed would be an understatement.


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