A recent opinion article on FoxNews.com by Sandra Lee Dixon bemoans the violence against children depicted in the series, and this book in particular, sharing her opinion:
Supporters say the themes that arise are important for the national conversation: the world is not always nice, children need to learn about war and destruction, and artists can help us experience such things vicariously and discuss them. My take: there is more admirable literature that already addresses these themes.
We don’t need the overt violence and the panicked faces of the characters for a coming of age story to teach us to say no to excesses of wealth and power.
Sandra entirely misses the point of the story. It is not to promote a national dialog on violence or the evils of concentrated wealth, or even their destructive influences on society’s children.
Indeed, societies and nations where widespread violence exists are horrible places for all humanity, and especially heinous for children. The nationalization of violence is especially prominent where totalitarian governments control–exactly as depicted in The Hunger Games.
In this story, the democratic republic of the United States of America has been usurped by a totalitarian regime–one which controls every aspect of American’s lives: the economy, health care, food distribution, labor, production, etc. Does any of this sound familiar? At some point in the story’s past, the government took over total control, dictating where citizens could live, what they could produce, what they could eat, and what activities they could engage in. Anything familiar yet? There is no way to fight against the government, because all weapons have been taken from the citizens, and only the government can have them. Anything? How about this–friends of the regime share its power and control of the masses, and have access to the wealth created by the citizens through over-taxation and confiscation of their property.
The bottom line is that the Hunger Games is an accurate portrayal of a controlling totalitarian government and its elite ruling class in our own future if we continue on the path we were currently pursuing. The only question is this: will we rise up and overthrow tyrants as they are in the process of usurping our constitutional form of government, or will we wait until it is too late and the struggle is nearly impossible–as it is in The Hunger Games?