CMS English I Students Review The Hunger Games

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By CMS Freshman Caitlyn Atkinson
    The Hunger Games is a novel about a girl named Katniss, who takes her sister’s place to fight in the Hunger Games. Twenty-four tributes from twelve districts in a future, dystopian America will enter this “game” and fight to the death. One survives. Katniss will do anything to return to her family, even if the odds are never in her favor.  This book and the movie adapted from it have become an international sensation.  Central High School’s English I classes were ahead of the curve on this phenomenon as they read the book as a class assignment. The students also went to see the movie as a reward for their grades on the The Hunger Games unit test.   The students agree that the writers did a wonderful job of sticking close to the original plot of the book. Jared Leger, an English I student, said, "They made the districts just how I imagined them. The characters had the same personality and appearance I expected they would.”   Raygan Owens, another freshman, noted that “even with the miniscule differences, the movie was still incredibly detailed and just what I pictured while reading the book.”  The powerful themes were still conveyed in the movie with the same, if not more, power.  The movie “also put more emotion into the book,” said Katrina Bottomlee.  Reading the book before seeing the movie also gave the students a more clear vision.  Ceci Gernant commented that, “just reading the book and not going to see the movie, I never would have been able to visualize it as well.”   
    Love and hope lie at the story’s core, and you walk away with the message that nothing and no one determines your life if you fight with all you have for what you believe in.  Both the book and movie conveyed this message beautifully, and though the movie left out scenes, the ones included were packed with emotion and detail, often moving the viewer to tears.  You saw each thought and emotion play across the characters’ faces and all the intensity of every fight.  The movie enhanced the students’ understanding of the book they’d already read and gave them the visual they needed to fully respect the story.  Some even said it made them feel extremely blessed to have the life and freedom they have. The film was fabulous, beautifully executed, and moving, as the book was also. 

1 Comment

  1. Nancy Blount

    April 26, 2012 at 11:38 am

    While the young lady who wrote this article is a VERY talented writer, I disagree with the basic premise of this article. I think that this story DOES NOT resonate with hope and love. In the end of this series, Prim is killed during the revolt, Rue is ruthlessly murdered, Gale is gone out of her life in a way that just leaves the reader hanging, and also many, many people are killed in the final revolt. Basically, I feel that this book series is more one of long-term hopelessness. Sure you have a girl who is willing to trade places with her beloved little sister(Prim) to not have to be hunted down and killed like a wild animal in a coliseum type natural setting after her name is drawn in the lottery. Many, many other good books and real life actions (think of the many cases you hear about total strangers, who are NOT fireman, policemen etc. who have risked their own lives trying to save a drowning person, someone from a burning building, help get someone out from a mangled car crash that is about to blow up,etc.)also hold up this ideal of self-sacrifice, without needing a book series such as this with all its negative attributes. Basically, as far as hope goes in this series, I think the series does just the opposite. It presents a mental image to young people that no adults can’t be trusted at all in allowing it to happen and even making these kids fight to the death,while all the while it is being celebrated as a most entertaining time and actually being televised for all the public to watch the heinous murdering that goes on with children as young as 12 being forced to participate in this savage fight to the death like gladiators in Rome. Now, keep in mind the massive difference in the grown, hardened men who fought and died brutal deaths as gladiators, compared to innocent,young 12 and 13 year olds in this series. The series ends on a very depressing note. The book and movie could serve to provoke feelings of anxiety, depression, apathy, a disturbing sense of doom, extreme irritability from dealing with and pondering these very heavy, dark themes, and a sub-conscious wariness and despair concerning the world. Yes, I know the book is just pretend, but it can serve to act as a vehicle for submersing into the consciousness of young people. Yes, unfortunately, because of the society we live in with some of the books, video games, movies, etc. that are already out there, quite a few young minds and older minds also have already been desensitized to the point that reading about and watching violence of this nature does not even seem to effect them, thus they don’t see a problem with a book series and movie like this. I find the big money hype in big media out there for this book/series quite IRONIC seeming as that is supposedly what is claimed in the purpose of the book to start with, a statement against desensitization and thrill- seeking with violence, etc. as a back drop for entertainment. To therefore encourage this particular book and movie series is doing exactly that: causing desensitization. How ironic that that is what this book/movie in large part does! To go so far as to ENCOURAGE young people to read this book/ watch this movie is not healthy in my opinion.
    I care too much about young people to sit by silently when I see something like this occurring. While I applaud the young writer of this newspaper article on her ability with writing, I feel compelled to speak up for so many other children and young people out there who could most certainly be affected emotionally in a very negative way, by the wholesale endorsement of and encouragement to read this book series and watch this movie. Yes, I know we can’t “shelter” our children and teenagers from the hard realities of life. Goodness, they see enough of the actual hard realities in real life itself in this day and age! I also am aware that some other really good literature out there can create a confusing, emotional strain on children and young people. However, I strongly feel that this particular book series and movie cross the line with the type of violence and hopelessness that is being pushed on young people through this book /movie that was marketed to young people with LITERALLY YEARS long hype produced by the book publisher and movie producer pushing this to young people. In my opinion, this book has no real redeeming quality that can’t already be found in other books out there that don’t carry all the negative, horrifically, brutal, heinous violent baggage of this book/movie.
    I would like to add a further thought here in relation to this book/movie:It really makes you wonder WHERE all the Daddies and Men are in that one particular book and movie scenario especially….the Moms, also for that matter, but then again you can understand that the Moms are fulfilling a powerful role of protecting, nurturing and providing for their young children very directly meeting physical as well as emotional needs for their young children in a very close, very valueable way….But the men, especially…where were they….sure, some of the Dads were deceased, but I cannot imagine any of the men who I am personally close to who would just sit back for 75 years allowing the evil sacrifice of their communities’ children and the ever-possible chance of their very own child being sacrificed to pure evil, without joining together and rising up to fight against this rather than waiting for a 16 or 17 year old girl to spark this….sorry, I’m just not buying this…yeh, you always have some men who are cowardly or selfish or jerks to that degree, but come on…ALL the men for 75 YEARS including all the big brothers, cousins, etc. who no longer had to worry about being sacrificed to evil once they hit 18….you think they would ALL just sit back and not try to prevent this sacrifice of children to evil, even though the odds were against them, just as this 16 year old girl faced…NO, I’m not buying it…I know WAY too many GOOD MEN who would NEVER just accept such an abhorent evil done to children even if they felt they were in the minority and up against incredible odds!!! So, No, I think that this is a TOTALLY unrealistic, depraved, BRUTALLY violent story that is being consumed for reading / movie-going romance and action “entertainment.” Again, the IRONY of this book and movie perpetuating exactly what it is supposedly trying to point out…you got to be kidding me… Unbelievable that that is exactly what certain MONEY HUNGRY book publishers and Hollywood are doing by the years long hype that they have purposely flooded the market with to convince teenagers and young adults that they have to read/see it….yeh, they just LOVE getting all that money…and meanwhile they could care less about the de-sensitization that they leave in their wake….
    Once again, to the young lady who wrote this article for this local newspaper, you seem to be a VERY talented young lady with a true gift for writing. I would encourage you to continue your writing. As I just mentioned you seem to have a gift for writing and that is a God- given ability that should continue to be developed to its fullest potential. I am sorry that my opposite feelings on this book/movie are in connection with your article. You definitely have a way with words. However, at the same time I feel led to share my sentiments regarding this book/movie. Please understand that I have always felt led, because of a love and passion for children, teenagers, and young adults, to speak up when I feel something serves as more detriment than harm. This is one of those times. I can’t just sit by silently when this book/ movie is being lauded and recommended to young people. There are other literature options out there. I know there are people who disagree with my feelings about this book/movie being marketed to young people in particular. I am also aware that people may come on this comment section defending this book/movie being marketed to young people. However, I will continue to stand by my sentiments on this. I have spent much time reflecting on and praying about this matter. Again, I am sorry that my feelings about this book/movie are having to be brought up in reference to your article, but Dave chose to include this topic in this venue, so I am responding in this same public manner as what he brought about with the positive coverage of this book/movie.
    Once again, I am sorry my feelings on this are in connection with your article, but I felt led out of love and concern for young people to share a different perspective about this book/movie. God Bless You, young lady! Ask the Lord to help you to continue to develop your apparent gift for writing to its fullest potential.
    Love in Christ, Nancy Blount

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