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Mirkat Always Reading

I'm always reading something, usually multiple books at a time.

Currently reading

One Hundred Years of Solitude (Audio)
Gabriel García Márquez, John Lee

Kids Kill Each Other on TV

The Hunger Games - Carolyn McCormick, Suzanne  Collins

I've already expressed my vegan objections here, and they didn't go away, but I won't dwell.  I will probably come back to this when I review Catching Fire (which I started yesterday).


One of the primary questions that comes up when I read a dystopian like this one is whether its premise is plausible.  Would any society allow a system where every year, each district is forced to allow two of its children to be designated as "tributes," forced to fight to the death in the Hunger Games, televised for all to watch, in order to remember how uppity that society got many years ago when it tried to rebel?  I can't help joining Team "This Would Never Happen," but I have enough interest in the premise that I tucked my not-quite-suspended disbelief up on a shelf and went along for the ride.


One of the most interesting things Collins did with her narrative was to tease out some ideas about performance.  While doing everything to survive during the Games, Katniss never loses her awareness of being televised and having to play to an audience.  Along with her cunning, she knows that her survival might also depend upon currying favor with viewers who, if they find her sympathetic, might donate funds to "sponsor" her and allow her mentor to send her supplies that she needs.  Giving viewers a budding romance to watch--between her and Peeta--becomes part of that package.  But she can never be quite certain just how much Peeta is or isn't acting his role.


The implication of the HG as reality TV, especially for citizens of the Capitol, who are exempt from sending their children as tributes, comes out in a striking way when Katniss is subjected to a discussion with members of her "prep" team, chattering about things going on in their own lives as they watch the games.  For them, it really is just entertainment, while Katniss cannot remove herself from the real deaths that happen.