On the Hunger Games trilogy

The Politics of Mockingjay

By Sarah Darer Littman

Maybe it’s because of my political background, but when I read Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games series the focus was never about Team Gale or Team Peeta the way it was for so many readers; the romance was a subplot. I majored in political science in college, and when I’m not writing books for teens, I’m a columnist for Hearst newspapers and a writer and blogger for various political websites, including CT News Junkie and My Left Nutmeg. To my mind, the Hunger Games trilogy was always more about “The System”–a political system that would not just allow but require children to fight to the death in televised games.

According to an interview in the School Library Journal, Collins said she drew her inspiration for the Hunger Games from imagining a cross between the war in Iraq and reality TV, after flipping through the channels one night and seeing the juxtaposition between the coverage of the war and reality TV programming. While I’ve never had the privilege of meeting Suzanne Collins and have no idea as to her political views, I don’t think that the uncanny similarity between the themes she took on in Mockingjay and the issues that we as a nation struggled with during the Bush administration’s War on Terror is an accident.

Reading Mockingjay, I relived through Katniss some of the helplessness, frustration, anger, and confusion that I felt during the eight years of the Bush administration–the same sense of looking at my country Through the Looking Glass that I continue to feel when I see certain religions and ethnic groups being demonized by politicians and  …

More from Sarah Darer Littman

Stay Updated

on our daily essay, giveaways, and other special deals

Our Books

Subscribe via RSS