Disclaimer: Spoiler Alert for this book review.
I am not going to blame you if you will utter a sudden urge of protest if I will say that the Hunger Games fictitiously created by Suzanne Collins is real. I will consider this as a reality show which exists somewhere. Think of Big Brother, The Survivors, The Amazing Race and Fear Factor. All these reality shows, if you are going to sum it up, it will result to Hunger Games minus the killings of course. The arena where they stayed has 24/7 camera monitoring every action of each tribute, and I will credit this idea to Big Brother. In the game, there are allies and there are betrayals, it’s a survival of the fittest, something that resembles the reality show called Survivor. And hey, in order to win the game, you must have the guts and the wits to climb trees, to run into the woods, to compete with others in getting weapons and foods, and what not. This is something very similar to The Amazing Race. In order to stay alive, you must eat anything you think is edible, just be careful to check it so you will not be poisoned, you must face your fear or else you will end up dead, just like the Fear Factor reality show. You see, Hunger Games is one big reality show. Think of a reality show (including singing reality show), list them all and mutate them and you can equate it all to Hunger Games. I will not credit the killing of the opponent concept to any Reality show because it is already beyond reality.
While reading the book, it dawned on me that we could not only resemble Hunger Games to reality shows. What is more terrifying is the fact that our very own Life is the biggest Hunger Games arena. The moment we were conceived into our mother’s womb, that’s the moment we wished that the odds will ever be in our favour. It’s a reaping day, and you are bound to play the game in the arena very soon. Out of those millions of sperm cells, you were destined to represent your district, you are a tribute. Unless somebody volunteered to take your place, just like what Katniss did to save her sister Prim from being a tribute, then you will be scraped out of the game by means of abortion or maybe premature delivery or some sort. (Yes, I know this is some kind of weird analogy. LOL)
The school is our training center. This is the place where we prepare ourselves. The school will help us to become mentally prepared, emotionally stable and physically fit to face the real world, the arena of the game. You must make an impression, improve your skills and make yourself unforgettable to everybody. This will help you pick up your self esteem and boost your self confidence. These are very important element if you want to win the game called life.
The Cornucopia is our very own home. This is our safe haven, but sometimes, too much safety is deadly. You must take whatever you can take from the Cornucopia. In real life, our home can mold us and can teach us to become better individual. And the values, beliefs and faith are the things we need to take with us to the battle. Time will come that you will be required to get out of your home and fight your own battle. You can’t stay home forever just like the Tributes could not stay at the Cornucopia forever, or else, you will become an easy prey to your contenders. You must go out of the woods and save your life and Stay Alive!!! A mentor of mine once said, if you really want to live your life to the ultimate level, go out of your comfort zone and take risk. This in effect is very Hunger Games itself. You can’t stay being pampered forever, you can’t just sit in your safe haven and relax. Go, run, fight and survive. That’s the essence of the game. In life, those who took the risk are often the most successful ones.
Just like the Hunger Games, we can’t face all the challenges without coaches. In life, we need mentors, somebody who can advice us what to do. The tributes have mentors too, somebody is assigned for their costumes, for their manners and for their strategies. They represent teachers, priests, church leaders and even our parents and families. It’s not bad to take advices, but always remember, you are the King and Queen of your own life. You can consider advices, but you always listen to your heart.
The woods, the streams, the forest and the caves, these represents the world. This is where battle takes place. We are all fighting for survival. We are all working our heart out just to feed our hungry stomach. At some point, Like Katniss and Gale, we also need to feed our family, not just ourselves. Well, it depends on what district you belong. You maybe lucky enough if your family is in District 1 or 2 or 3 because you can just work for your own survival. But for somebody like me and Katniss and Gale and Peeta who need to hunt not only for our own stomach but for the members of the family as well, survival is not an easy task. However, there’s an advantage for this, like Katniss and Rue, we can survive the game amidst the starvation. I mean, we can work even with growling stomach, not something from a wealthy family can replicate.
In the game of life, don’t you ever underestimate somebody. Just because he or she is weak or has a low personality doesn’t mean they’re useless. There are a lot of instances in the book where you can realize this. Take for example Katniss taking over her sister’s place of being a tribute. The main reason why she volunteered to play the Hunger Games instead of her sister is because she knows her sister is vulnerable. Prim is weak and too young to fight. But, there was this instance during the game when Katniss helped Peeta recover from a very serious injury. Katniss is strong, brave and outgoing, completely opposite of Prim, but she can’t stand looking at an injured person. So healing an injured person is not her cup of tea, something her sister Prim is good at. That moment when she is nursing Peeta she realized that her sister Prim is not a weakling at all because she can stand nursing a wounded person, something she can’t afford to do. Another one is Rue, one of the tributes. She underestimated Rue because she’s considerably small and she even compared her with Prim. But later on, she found Rue useful and they agreed to fight as one which is very clever anyway. Katniss also underestimated Peeta because the guy only knows how to bake and decorate cake, something not useful in the arena, but Peeta can camouflage himself in the mud because of this skill. We could also include Foxface. Everybody think she’s not a threat, so nobody dares to kill her. She stayed up to the top 4, better place than the Career tributes. And most of all, Katniss underestimated herself. During the training, she thought she would get a low score, but to her surprise, the Gamemakers gave her a very high score and the whole Panem admires her for that.
Our life is the biggest Hunger Games. Fight, Survive and Win. And just like what Haymitch adviced to Katniss and Peeta, the only way to win the game is to Stay Alive. Just play you game and believe you will not only survive, but also win.
May the odds be ever in your favor.