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.”
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.
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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