The Hunger Games, which transformed Jennifer Lawrence into a superstar, is relevant again, thanks to the U.S. presidential election. In The Hunger Games: The Mockingjay Part 2, Katniss Everdeen, played by Lawrence, has to choose between a male and a female president, played by Donald Sutherland and Julianne Moore, respectively.
However, both President Snow and President Coin turn out to be ruthless, which throws “The Girl On Fire” into a dilemma. Which one does she choose? This point in the books and subsequently the movies is a stroke of genius. It shows us that life isn’t as simple as black and white. It’s so easy to vote against a despotic ruler, but what if the other one is equally despotic, except that she knows how to hide it well?
The Hunger Games and The Mockingjay novels were written by American writer Suzanne Collins and published between 2008-2010. The books are written from the point of view of the 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in District 12 of Panem, the North America of the future. Taken together, the novels paint a dystopian picture of a continent where each of the twelve districts must sacrifice a total of 24 young boys and girls annually in a battle to the death.
In the novels, as well as in the Hollywood movies that followed, the world is dark, ravaged by war and crippled by poverty as the Capitol, the continent’s supreme capital is awash in cash, sophistication, haute couture, and lavish dinners. The darkness of The Hunger Games story mirrors the Batman movies, as well as the later editions of Harry Potter and Star Trek.
During the Republican National Convention (RNC), Donald Trump also painted a picture of America in the dark ages in his acceptance speech as the official candidate of the party, according to NBC News. And the light at the end of the tunnel is Trump, who is the self-proclaimed savior of the American people. So dark and brooding was the speech that it drew comparisons with the presidency of Richard Nixon.
The Harry Potter writer, JK Rowling, can’t help but throw jabs at the presidential candidate by calling him “worse than Voldemort,” according to The Telegraph. Meanwhile, the Dark Prince of the modern times continues in his continuing dark diatribe as he aims for the highest office in the land.
Many call him a demagogue, a character who, like The Pied Piper of Hamelin, leads the village people to their ultimate destruction. The good thing about Donald Trump, however, is that he is an open book. Like President Snow in The Hunger Games, his actions are predictable.
[Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t watched The Hunger Games movies, stop right here…]
President Alma Coin, however, is something else, as she aspires for the Panem Iron Throne. She appears self-righteous, and at times, even self-effacing. And yet, during the climactic part of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay movie, she apparently sacrifices the lives of innocent children in order to win the war against President Snow.
During the Democratic National Convention (DNC) hailing Hillary Clinton, Talking Points Memo (TPM) writes about a jovial, even festive national convention. Happy days are here again. You can almost hear Barbra Streisand singing the song. Behind the scenes, however, Bernie Sanders supporters are being purged, according to the How Hillary Clinton Stole The Nomination Facebook page. In the source’s own words is the following.
“I was covering this all week and the DNC are BEYOND slime. They were strongly abusive to Bernie delegates, banned our reps (839) who traveled the country on their own money from convention, took signs, would allow no Sanders supporters to speak, trained Snipers on delegates when they left the convention hall in protest.”
And so on November 8, the American Capitol awaits the verdict of the American people. Will they choose wisely, or will they let their country down? Like the Mockingjay in The Hunger Games, they too, get to shoot an arrow in the air except that it’s called voting in present times. Who will they chose, only time will tell?
Like Katniss, will America shut down both candidates and vote for the Green Party instead because neither President Snow or President Coin represents the people’s best interest? Some voters may abstain from the vote on that fateful day.
So thank you, Suzanne Collins, for The Hunger Games and The Mockingjay books. Fictional books and movies are not only great for their entertainment value. Sometimes, they also afford readers and viewers alike with the opportunity to imagine a scenario that has never happened but can happen in the future.
Another example is the novel, The Martian by Andy Weir. It helps us imagine living on the Red Planet before we get there in the year 2026 based on SpaceX projections, as reported in Extreme Tech. For the time being, however, the toast is to The Hunger Games and The Mockingjay. By giving the American people a kind of dress rehearsal way before the actual Voting Games, they may be in the best position to choose a president who truly deserves their votes.
[Photos by Ilya S. Savenok and Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images]