Cultural Arts Review

Posted on March 11, 2013 by


The Hunger Games is a popular New York Times best seller and had recently been made into a movie with ratings through the roof.  The story of this book involves a 16 year old girl who lives in the future US, which takes place after a nuclear war where a group of people took the remaining population of the US under their control. And after a rebellion from one of the districts, these rulers decided that to keep all the other districts in check they needed to do something. They created the Hunger Games, an annual event that would take a boy and girl tribute from each district between the ages of 12 and 18 and put them in an arena to fight to the death.  They call it a sacrifice to the country.  None of these children or districts wants to participate in them but they are forced to. 

In relating to this to something religious: I wouldn’t say that this story line resembles any traditions or similarities with Hinduism from what we have learned, but it does remind me of a religion and way of life in Mexico.  The Aztecs would take thousands of their war prisoners and sacrifice them to the sun god in a mass ceremony in which they would cut out the hearts of the sacrifices.  They would do this when they felt the powerful energy of the sun god was slipping away.  Like the Hunger Games, these prisoners did not want to be the sacrifices for this group of people, just like the tributes did not want to fight till the death for the Capitol.  The differences in this sacrifice though is that the sacrifices for the Aztecs is for strictly religious purposes while the sacrifice for the Hunger Games is to continue to show dominance and power over the rest of the country.  There isn’t any talk of a religion in the book or movie for the hunger games people, but I can see that they might not believe in a god or any gods for their living conditions and life situations may not suggest to them that they have a higher power that is watching over them.

I believe that if I were involved in the Hunger Games and there was a practiced religion, I suppose that the religion would be understood and brainwashed into our heads that this is supposed to be how life is and that if I went into the arena that I would accept it, I wouldn’t like it but I would accept it because I would agree to my religion. 

I think that it is hard to compare this film and book to religion when it is not discussed in the story line itself.  I feel as though if I had more knowledge on other religions that it would be easier to make a connection.  I think that there could be other traces of religion in this story that I have not picked up on and I invite anyone to further analyze this topic.


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