As much I relish the Hunger Games series being brought to the big screen, there is one aspect of the story that continues to hamper my true enjoyment the progression of the series: the bleak monotony of despair.
Throughout the books, and in the film, all the main characters live in the clutches of fear. Fear of starvation, punishment, pain, and death all permeate the plot and are the motivators for the characters.
Something is needed to relieve the continual roller-coaster of despair and it isn’t going to come sailing down in a little tinkling parachute.
Prim hits on what’s needed at one point in the plot when she answers Katniss’s inquiry of what’s different now (Catching Fire) than before (Hunger Games): “Hope.”
And this is true–without hope there is despair.
Suzanne Collins creates an atmosphere of despair by utilizing Roman rule elements when she created the setting of the Hunger Games. It’s the plebeians versus the patricians complete with coliseum games as an opiate for the masses. One aspect which is not included in the Hunger Games is that many of the coliseum participants were Christians imprisoned by Roman rule. The emperors were threatened by this new religion because a new King threatened their rule: Jesus of Nazareth. He gave the people hope, something Roman rulers could not.
While hope is offered in the latest installment of the Hunger Games trilogy, there is a missing component which is so vital to completing hope’s salve to the wounds of despair: faith.
There is no religion, no deity, no promise of afterlife in the series, which is why despair and oppression permeate the mood of the story.
If possible, I would send Katniss a balm of hope in order to instill the need of faith that there is a better Way. Psalm 27 seems to be one parachute I could send.
Anyone out there have their own balm of hope they might send?