The Hunger Games review which I posted a few weeks ago was just a quickie; a brief note to let you know where I was in the trilogy.
Now that I have finished, I am delighted to say that I am really and truly satisfied with the story and how the author choose to end it. She added a dimension of reality that we don’t always see in fiction; especially, children’s or young adult books. Did I want a different ending ? Maybe, but the ending that Collins gave to the series made sense and didn’t betray any of the careful constructed characters or the world developed over the course of books.
As a teacher, I really appreciated the fact that the end of the series wasn’t tied neatly and cleanly up in a crimson bow. The heroine is troubled and suffers from self-doubt like many of the young women that read the novels. She is terrifically flawed. Unlike the Twilight series in which the heroine is immobilized by her emotions, Katniss pushes through them and takes action.
One thing that I always tell my students is that we learn more from out mistakes than we do from getting things right the first time. The world Katniss lives in is extremely unforgiving and in her quest for survival becomes a pawn in a larger game. Failure to learn from her mistakes had the potential to be fatal. There is no escaping the consequences of her actions or the actions of those around her.
The rebellion she and Peeta inadvertently become symbols for uses them. Politics and the propaganda machines of the Capital and District 13 can’t control her because they fail to understand her. Imagery and how things appear versus how they really are is an extremely important theme in the novel. The Games are the way that the Capital keeps its people entertained and the residences of the districts under control. Not really unlike our media, where perception is more relevant then truth.
Some readers were disappointed or as they told me frustrated by the ending which I can see. At one moment you think you are headed to a tradition heroes ending and the next you are plunged into another one. Many years ago, I read the books by Bill McCay that inspired the movie, Stargate, and later the television series; they were fascinating to me because they seemed to place real people and politicians in this fantastic world. It answered the question what would happen if our leaders were responsible for handing something as amazing a gateway to another world. The Hunger Games Trilogy answers the question of what our leaders would do in a post-apoplectic world. Nothing good, but for there is hope for individuals with courage.