During my sons’ literature class this semester, the kids were allowed to pick the last book they would read. The teacher wanted them to read a current book, which they felt, would become a modern classic. Now, this naturally created a controversy. I’m sure if you have read a newspaper lately this will not surprise you, but 90% of the kids picked the Hunger Games. A couple of parents were deeply upset. It wouldn’t bother me so much if the parents had read the book and…drum roll please…the kids weren’t in a high school honor’s class!
My boys asked me about it and I told them I was fine with them reading it..blink…blink…after all my 14 year old DD had already read it. She even tried to convince me I was missing out by not reading it. I had to break it to her in an easy way no way was that going to happen. I like Polly Anna stories. Now that they are 15 and 17, I think its time to trust the teacher. When I was this age, nothing made me happier than debating these deep dark topics.
Alas, the controversy is not ending. Everyone wants to label a book as a classic. They don’t seem to remember the classics of today, were simply a story begging to be told when it was written. I think if you set out to make a classic, you will probably fail.
The latest point brought up was the blog article “Why Hunger Games is a Flawed to the Core. Remember…I have not read the book…BUT….a statement in the article bothered me. The premise of Hunger Games is during the teen years, kids are forced to fight to the death. If your name is pulled, you must participate or have a sub. Katniss’s sister’s name is picked, and Katniss chooses to replace her.
In this blog article the author writes “If Collins wanted her protagonist to be the kind of rebel who would start a revolution (and she does want that), she should have had Katniss cutting her locator out of her arm on night one instead of participating in and perpetuating the evil.” I think this point is flawed. If you have a society so corrupt wouldn’t they be watching Katniss’s family? If Katniss didn’t perform or if they lost the ability to track her, wouldn’t they just go get the sister? If I was a diabolical crazy ruler, that’s what I would do. I would so make an example out of the family so that no one ever considered this in the future.
If they think this book is convoluted than they need to think about the “Man in the Iron Mask.” Again, would the crazy power crazed ruler really put his identical twin brother, who could be king, in a mask at the Bastille? I don’t think so. Some one with a skewed moral compass would eliminate the threat.
I think people just need to remember sometimes the story is just a story. We read way too much into this stuff.