One paragraph from The Hunger Games –another trilogy I blew through in under a week– jumped out at me; “Frankly, our ancestors don’t seem much to brag about. I mean, look at the state they left us in, with the wars, the broken planet. Clearly, they didn’t care about what would happen to the people who came after them.” She’s talking about us!
The Hunger Games is supposed to take place in what’s currently North America, and strangely, what’s happening in the rest of the world is never mentioned (despite the existence of nuclear weapons that, if used, would surely affect the entire planet). Could this represent how present-day developing nations view Western countries– like the hideous Capitol residents who dye their skin green for fashion, ignore the hardships in the districts, and think it’s entertaining to watch children kill each other?
Throughout the book I kept wondering why the Capitol residents don’t do something to help the people in the districts. How could they allow the Hunger Games at all? (what parent would watch kids fight to the death and not be appalled?) But how do we ignore the suffering of millions of people around the world– ones without enough food, clean water or health care?
Sure, we don’t collect youngsters to kill each other in an arena for our entertainment, but we know children are recruited by armies in the Middle East and Africa, and killed in combat. We even watch it — on the news.
We may send in soldiers (“peacekeepers”), but we continue to buy their oil and consumer goods; otherwise turning a blind eye. Maybe we don’t know the extent of the suffering, or how to help, or it’s just so detached from the life we live that we can’t fathom it, but does that mean we aren’t any better than the loathed Capitol?