Political Hacks Want to Play 'Hunger Games' to Win Elections

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Because apparently we must politicize all the things, the the Hunger Games franchise has sparked a political debate between the right and left over what’s really going on in Panem.

It seems as though both liberals and conservatives want to claim the story as their own, each side arguing that their side is clearly represented. The lefties say that it’s a “call for the downtrodden to rise up against the rich,” while the right says it’s an “Orwellian take on the dangers of big government.”

Sheesh.

You know what this debate says to me? That’s it’s an awesome story.

Truly great storytellers are able to weave a tale in which observers from all different backgrounds will be able to see themselves, and connect to the characters in some way. If you’re not rooting for or scorning characters in a story, then why bother paying attention?

I won’t lie … when I read the Hunger Games trilogy when it exploded onto the scene; I definitely saw it from a conservative viewpoint. I was actually sort of shocked that my leftist friends liked it. Don’t you see that you’re on my side?? I wanted to yell at them in caps on Twitter.

More from The Stir: 'Hunger Games: Catching Fire': The Good, the Bad & the Downright Ugly

But what I’ve truly come to appreciate is that everyone has different opinions about what’s wrong and right in our world, and how it should be fixed.

And one of the things that unites us is entertainment -- especially good entertainment.

The Hunger Games may or may not have been written with a political agenda, but that’s irrelevant. It’s a fantastic story of overcoming oppression, finding love, and most importantly finding what we are each truly capable of -- for better or for worse.

Those are the concepts that should transcend political lines. When we try to make it into a battle over which side of the aisle the story represents, we miss the point.

It’s a story of virtue and honor and betrayal and self-discovery. That’s something that speaks to all people -- not just Democrats or Republicans.

Do you think Hunger Games is a commentary on current U.S. politics, or just a good story?


Image via Kendra Miller/Flickr

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Lokis... LokisMama

I don't think it was originally written as a commentary on current US politics, but it definitly can be applied as one.

work4... work4mickey

Well, I don't think it was written with political intent. Liberals tend to focus on who has the money. Conservatives focus on who has control. Once corrupted whoever has control will inevitably give favors to themselves.

Freela Freela

It's interesting that you could definitely make a good argument for both the 'liberal' and 'conservative' viewpoints.  It may just depend where you come from in the first place and what views you bring to the table when you read.  I actually think that the subtext that struck me the most was neither of those, it was how fake and manufactured media/entertainment is and how spin can make propaganda out of anything, regardless of the intent of the person being used.   

the4m... the4mutts

Seeing as how, in the 3rd book, they call for a republic, and smaller government officials to represent each district, I definitely feel a conservative vibe.

Especially when Katniss "points out" that even the leaders of district 13 resemble those in the capital, by being controlling, and allocating goods, under the guise of "its for your own good", which reeks of leftist propaganda to me.

wamom223 wamom223

Wow 4mutts you took the words out of my mouth.  I thought the trilogy was great and a very original story.  But while I agree there was definitely a conservative vibe with the republic I thought what the author was trying to get across is that things can be corrupt on all sides.  There are certain things that seem to make some humans high off power (coming in various forms)and corrupt their souls, at times even with people or ideas that started off with the best intentions.  I also agree with Jenny that both sides trying to claim it is evidence of what a great story it is.  

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