I don't know how many of you actually have read "The Hunger Games", the young adult novel by Suzanne Collins. I'm also not sure how many of you have had a chance yet to see the film version, just released- quite a movie, superb performances by Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrelson, and Lenny Kravitz, along with the young female lead, Jennifer Lawrence. The film version is very faithful to the book, only a couple of tweaks. If you want to compare The Hunger Games to the Twilight series, books or films, well, no contest. Strong independent young female protagonist deals with life and death decisions, compared to passive young female character is desired by two males for no apparent reason and depends on them both for everything beyond getting dressed in the morning. Sorry if that hurts your feelings, Twilight fans.
Anyway, the thing that I saw as odd at first was the fact that this enormously sophisticated futuristic society still sent poor miners underground for coal. I thought, surely that's wrong, surely that would change, right? But then I realized that the society of Panem was all about exploitation. If the miners will mine because there are no other jobs, and if the government of Panem uses it as a way to both punish the District 12 residents and make money on the cheapness of the extraction of the natural resource, why not? Why force people to dig for coal when there is something better? Because you can, that's why.
In the same vein, why are we not replacing coal with renewable energy? There are reasons, and the reasons involve money, who is making the money, and power. We are, in some cases by some public utilities, replacing coal with natural gas to fire turbines and generate electrical power. This is of course an expensive detour on the journey to renewable energy. Yes, it emits less carbon dioxide into the sky. But does it emit zero carbon dioxide? No. And to get to zero, you have to stop using all those expensive new Natural Gas turbine systems you just spent billions building.
Any good futuristic novel actually comments on today. Most of the messages of "The Hunger Games" have to do with the ability of video media to degrade culture into sex, violence, and inanity, but there is plenty of other stuff going on too.
What political or social messages did you find in "The Hunger Games?"