Hunger Games

“How many of you have read The Hunger Games?” About 20% of over 100 middle school students in our ministry raise their hand. Ron questions further, “How many of you have seen the movie?” Ninety percent or more of the students raise their hand.

At this point I am so glad that I purchased the book at Wal-Mart. What movement or story could engross a generation like the Hunger Games appears to?

A very well written story packed with action, romance, and a girl on fire. That is the story that has captured the attention of our young people and adults both men and women alike.

Once I read chapter five in the first book in the Hunger Games series I was hooked. I completed all three books in roughly six days and have contemplated the story line for a few weeks more.

image via Google images

Written by Suzanne Collins and targeted for young adults ages 12 and up, the topics covered in the books range from youth murder in a survival of the fittest scenario, politics/government rule, death, suicide, reality television, and the list goes on.

I originally read the first book, Hunger Games, to be culturally relevant.  However, the second and third books: Catching Fire and Mockingjay were read due to absolute takeover of my psyche. I was both unable and unwilling to put these books down. When I did return to everyday tasks, my thoughts continued to return to the country and events of Panema.

Here is a link to a video interview conducted after the release of the first book, The Hunger Games, by Scholastic Books. Especially intriguing was the origination of the idea for the plot of the book. Scholastic Books 2008 interview with Suzanne Collins bestselling author of the Hunger Games Triliogy

Additionally, in the case that you are the parent of a middle school student or a young adult reader yourself, I am listing 8 discussion questions that I hope you will utilize to critically digest this well written series through the lens of a Christian worldview. A special thanks to Ron for his co-collaboration on these questions.

Oh, by the way, go team Peeta!

1. Why are we attracted to the make-believe?

2. What’s our fascination with watching people die through the centuries? (E.g. Gladiators in the Roman Empire.)

3. Is entertainment one of the things that blind us from our life’s purposes? Further, is entertainment one of Satan’s most effective tools to distract us? Is the most effective tool Satan has in his arsenal against Christians today – a distraction?

4. In the book and movie, Peeta says, “I don’t want them to change me in there. Turn me into something that I’m not. I’m sure I’ll kill just like everyone else…only I keep wishing I could think of a way to…to show the Capitol they don’t own me, that I’m more than just a piece in their Games. If I’m going to die, I want to still be me.” Are we guilty of allowing our culture to change us? If so, in what ways has it changed you? For good or for ill?

5. What happens when the law of the land contradicts the Bible? See Romans 13:1-7, Luke 20:25, and Acts 5:27-29.

6. No religion or belief in any higher being is mentioned in either the books or movie. Why do you think this is? Which worldview says that man is the ultimate being?

7.  Choose one or two characters and list character strengths and weaknesses. What would you like to emulate in your own life that lines up with Biblical practices? What characteristics of even your favorite characters were flawed?

8. Throughout each book, Katniss is treated by a prep team which makes her look her best. In the first book Katniss is to the point where she does not mind her stylist seeing her naked body. Conversely, she does not feel comfortable seeing Peeta’s body when she is treating his wounds during the games. What is your modesty level? How has the media and what you set before your eyes on a television screen and in places you visit affected the way you approach varying levels of modesty or the lack thereof? What does the Bible have to say about purity and the clothes we wear?

If you have read or seen the Hunger Games, what was your take away and overall impression?

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