Catching Fire 4, the end

by Andrea Elizabeth

I wasn’t sure I’d read the second book after the first, cliffhanger though it was, but after a few days I figured I’d better finish what I start. It took less time to read the imaginative second. In my last page-turner experience, I kept wondering how Rowling could keep a story going just as suspensefully as from the start, same with Collins. Rowling broke ground with the death of sympathetic characters, and did it hesitantly. Even then, though, it was in such a fantastical world of magic that death by wand was almost cartoony, as realistic and well written as the characters were. The deaths in The Hunger games are much more stark. Yet I probably can compare them to the graphic deaths in the Iliad. You can see how Collins pushes the limits with the Young Adult genre. She keeps some things sacred, like virginity, but this is even compromised with the nudity. Apparently the movie cuts that part out. I don’t like the idea of young people, albeit older teens (I wont let my 11yo read it), having the graphic images in their heads, but in the first two books they are dealt with in a somewhat veiled, not dallied over way, though bluntly. Still it leaves me feeling a little violated, but so do a lot of other things, like women in pants. It’s impossible to not be compromised in our society.

I think violence and situational, briefly described nudity in books do not elicit the same passions as they do in pictures, moving or not. This is one reason I don’t want to see the movie. The lectionary Bible reading for today was pretty concisely graphic too. But the written word can carry quite a relational, emotional impact. I don’t know if this is from being brought up Sola Scriptura and thus taught to rely on the written word for all relationship, in other words an acquired mode, or if it is part of human nature from the beginning. Apparently the ancients got quite into Homer.

As to Katniss’ fickleness in relationship, I suppose it is blamed on her losing her father and the desperate circumstances in which she comes to rely on whoever is available. She loves the one she’s with. Sad, really. Or does it show the capacity of a large heart? To care deeply about numerous people sounds good, but not when it becomes romantic. That sounds unfaithful.

Nevertheless, Hunger Games #3, Mockingjay, here I come.