There are definitely different ways of viewing the movie. However:
In Forbes, John Tamny calls the novel “a boisterous comment about the certain horrors of big government.” And though Panem is an overblown caricature, the theme resonates. The government dictates the work citizens are allowed to do, the places they’re allowed to go, and the tribute they must pay to the Capitol. There is little hope because there is no prospect of freedom. There is no opportunity for individual achievement or innovation, and many turn to the black market—the closest thing they have to a free market—just to obtain food.
It’s clear — especially by book three — that the citizens of this world are willing to to die to clinch freedom for future generations.
The Hunger Games taps into the timeless truth that freedom is worth fighting for. This book represents the people fighting for freedom from an oppressive government. Agreed?
Before I saw the Hunger Games, I wondered why The Heritage Foundation had put up this post. After all, The Heritage Foundation’s Tumblr is mostly about putting implausible but politically convenient spins on things. So after reading The Heritage Foundation’s post, I was awfully curious what The Hunger Games was really about if The Heritage Foundation wanted me to believe it’s central theme was people fighting for freedom.
Granted, I haven’t read the books. I will. Give me a few days.
But from the movie, I’m seeing a story about rebellion against the commodification of everything from food to life itself by the wealthy and the privileged. A central empire extracts the wealth of its colonies—but worries about how to placate the very people it economically exploits. I see the beginning of a proletarian uprising as the workers realize that their hopes have been exploited. And I see a villain who shares the name of a prominent conservative think tank.
I’ll hold off on passing judgment for a bit … but I think a Marxist reading fits the movie a lot more snugly than The Heritage Foundation’s.
I’ll read the books—because I can’t argue cogently about the subtext of a text I haven’t read. (At least, I’ll promise to give the books a shot.) Clearly the fight for freedom from oppression is a timeless theme that many writers (including Marx) have tapped into.
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