I love The Hunger Games. I’ve read all the books and have seen all the movies. Tonight I watched Divergent even though I have not read the book. These books are a specific genre called dystopia. I think what is amazing to me is the appeal these books have. So I decided to look up the definition of dystopia which is
: an imaginary place where people are unhappy and usually afraid because they are not treated fairly
What strikes me about this definition is that although these worlds are imaginary, they are not all that different than reality. This thought hit me this evening as I watched Divergent. In both of the imaginary places in The Hunger Games and the Divergent series, I can unfortunately see our current reality in them. And for movies or books that are to transport us to other worlds, reality weaves its way into all stories.
As I look at the second half of the definition, I think about our current state of affairs. I believe lots of people fall under this description. Usually the people rally around those who buck system (in the case of these books and movies) to gather the courage to fight for what is important. But it always involves sacrifice on the part of the hero(es) who suffers a loss of significant magnitude and struggles with the role they have to play.
Outside of the fact that these books are well-written, in both storylines fear is a dominant factor to keep people in their place. Fear holds people in imaginary chains. To play on people’s fears is as old as time itself. It is what makes politicians effective, keeps abusers in a position of power, and unfortunately keeps good people from being courageous.
So what does all this mean, I guess for me I realized dystopia isn’t that far off from reality. I just hope more people can be brave, kind, and loving to overcome the fear that dominates.