Well I had written an essay a while ago on why young adults should be able to read/see The Hunger Games. At the time I wrote it there had been some large controversy over allowing teens/young adults to read and or see The Hunger Games. Now, that is not such a huge deal...and this post is probably really late, but some of you might be interested to read it anyway?
It is quite flawed...now that I read it again. But the quotes are where it's at...reasons why Suzanne wrote such a strong piece that is so important. If anything just read the quotes. (please note that it is in the form of a persuasive essay...it has flaws in the grammar and things like that. It doesn't always flow. And it is my PERSONAL opinion and may not match your own, and that's ok. Because it's an opinion.)
"What Suzanne [Collins] has done brilliantly is create a series that is a critique of violence using violence to get that across," says David Levithan, one of her editors at Scholastic Press, "and that's a fine line."
I believe that ‘young adults’ should be able see and read The Hunger Games. The characters are good; they are the Hero and Heroine. The main characters are not the source of violence. And Suzanne Collins, the author, wrote the script.
First, the characters are good (in the passionate meaning of the word) ; they are the Hero and Heroine. It’s not all about the violence. Gary Ross defines it so clearly here in an interview about The Hunger Games movie, “The story never lets up. I think that’s how I felt when I read the book. I couldn’t turn the page fast enough. I was fascinated, stunned, shocked, and emotionally engaged. I cared about this girl immediately and I was so in her shoes and it was so real to me that there were very few stories that grabbed me by the throat and yanked me through the narrative. I put the book and down and I was just shocked. I think we’ve done that in the film. I think it’s just the urgent, compelling, relentless narrative of somebody who is thrust into these circumstances that are so overwhelming. It navigates them, changes, grows, defines them, and ultimately triumphs them. It’s a wonderful complete story in which the character grows in a rich, amazing way. You don’t find this very often.” As Peeta says in both the book and the movie, “I don't want them to change me in there. If I'm going to die I want to still be me. Only I keep wishing I could think of a way to show the Capitol they don't own me.” Josh Hutcherson, the actor of Peeta sums up Peeta’s thoughts into a simple line, “No matter what kind of situation you’re in, you can’t change who you are as a person.” "It's a call for holding on to humanity despite the most trying circumstances….” says Emily Listfield. This is basically all that Katniss and Peeta are in the book and the storyline that you really should take away from the book. As some people like to think, it is not all about children killing each other for public entertainment. It has deeper roots than that, going into a bad position and coming out of it, people overlook that. As Liam Hemsworth, the actor of Gale, states it “It’s about people overcoming evil.” Jennifer Lawrence, the actor of Katniss, claims “Katniss has a strength and loyalty to her family, and her people.” Lawrence also explains the chain reaction Katniss starts, “She was one of the first people to stand up to the capitol, and people see that strength. It’s a messed up world, it’s about time somebody did it but she’s a young girl and she didn’t play their games she didn’t make anyone her enemy, really…She started a revolution and that’s scary.” Katniss stays true to herself….she’s a real heroine who rises up and without really meaning to becomes a symbol of rebellion. And it’s a teenager who can finally take this government down. Gale ponders this, “What if one year everyone just stopped watching? Then they wouldn’t have the games.” What if they did? Gale thinks about these things because he wants the capitol to go down. The series tackles issues such as loyalty, war, and poverty, as well as questioning reality.
Second, Katniss and Peeta are not the source of violence in the Games. They don’t want to participate. Katniss is only there because of her sister. Some people are worried about the statement of violence: children killing each other throughout the whole book. It is kind of doused out for Katniss as she removes herself somewhat from the rest of the tributes who are out to kill her and focus’s her time on Peeta who is seriously injured because she is now armed with the knowledge they both can live. During this they think back and reflect of happy memories of home and falling deeply in love with each other, creating a diversion from this disturbing chaos taking place outside their snug cave. Gale, Katniss’ best friend from District 12 has some thoughts on the Games. He says in the movie, “You root for your favorites, cry when they get killed, it’s sick!” Gale is right. The Capitol citizens all delight in watching the games each year and it’s disgusting, Gale is referring to this display of excitement that makes him so sick. Most adults remember from their school years having to read stories similar to The Hunger Games such as The Running Man, Gladiator, Lord of the Fly’s, and the Lottery. In all basically 24 teens enter an arena and fight to the death, only one leaves. The movie never leaves Katniss’ shoes which is key to keeping the violence toned down. If they ever went to a point of view of another character, either in the movie or in the book, that might have changed. We are all so repulsed by being in the games we would dread it ourselves, and we can look at the Capitol and their excitement for it and be disgusted by that too. So why do people worry about us wanting to proceed in that direction, about kids wanting to be engrossed in it? Kids’ attention is to the characters that they have come to love because they recognize the human in them that everyone else in their world has seemed to have lost. Kids of course only know this if they are mature and to see the movie they should be of a mature age and it’s that parents decision on whether they want their child to see it. So it shouldn’t be ‘kids’ viewing this idea but ‘young adults’ because it is a real thing and it is gross. I see elementary students going in to see the movie and elementary schools hosting the movie as their discounted ticket movie of the week and that’s where it becomes inappropriate. The kids have to be mature and that’s the bottom line. Elementary is way too young, it’s rated PG-13 for a reason.
Lastly, The Hunger Games movie is exact and true to what Suzanne Collins depicted in her trilogy because she wrote the script. "What Suzanne [Collins] has done brilliantly is create a series that is a critique of violence using violence to get that across, and that's a fine line." says David Levithan. On Suzanne’s biography it mentions the previous TV script work she has done in the past, “Since 1991, Suzanne Collins has been busy writing for children’s television. She has worked on the staffs of several Nickelodeon shows, including the Emmy-nominated hit Clarissa Explains it All and The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. For preschool viewers, she penned multiple stories for the Emmy-nominated Little Bear and Oswald. She also co-wrote the critically acclaimed Rankin/Bass Christmas special, Santa, Baby! Most recently she was the Head Writer for Scholastic Entertainment’s Clifford’s Puppy Days, and a freelancer on Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!” Interviews with Gary Ross, the director of The Hunger Games, loved working with Suzanne. He was surprised at how well they worked together and just collaborated the “difference in the cinematic versus the literary treatment of the material.”
In conclusion, I believe young adults should be able to see and read The Hunger Games because the characters are good people, the main characters are not the source of violence, and Suzanne Collins wrote the script so the movie sticks very closely to the book. So go and buy the book or tickets to go see the movie today!