Recently, rumors have begun to swirl as to when the first trailer for the final installment of the movie franchise The Hunger Games will finally be released. With the incarnation of these trailer-related rumors comes the reincarnation of a discussion about the underlying psyche of the "Hunger Games" itself.
Before getting into a conversation about the underlying psyche of this hugely successful movie franchise, perhaps a recap on what exactly The Hunger Games are all about is in order. In case you are one of the few individuals who has regular access to the internet but has yet to hear anything about The Hunger Games, please allow the following summary to suffice in bringing you up to speed.
The Hunger Games movie franchise (and the book series the movie franchise is based on) is set in a post-war dystopian future ruled by a brutal and monolithic central government. In this nightmarish and futuristic setting, most people are forced to scrap and claw every day just to survive. The most notable element of the bleak future portrayed in The Hunger Games is the annual "Hunger Games" themselves. In The Hunger Games, these annual games force young people from around the various governmental territories to battle it out in a beefed-up, Russel Crowe-esque style of gladiatorial bouts. The end result of the games is the winner walking away with fame and fortune and the losers remaining on the field of battle -- dead.
For many moviegoers, the idea of such a savage future may be absurd. For many other moviegoers, however, the dismal future portrayed in The Hunger Games appears to be striking a chord. The books that make up The Hunger Games series are marketed as Young Adult, or YA, literature. Such marketing means that The Hunger Games book series was written and published primarily for young adults (teenagers to twenty-somethings). According to Forbes, books and movies such as The Hunger Games have been gaining in popularity with the targeted young adults.
The question is, however, why are movies and book series like The Hunger Games gaining such popularity with the young adult crowd? In response to just such an inquiry, Young Adult author Todd Mitchell had the following to say on his website.
"...we know on some deeply unconscious (or maybe even conscious) level that we're screwing things up...I think teens are particularly aware of this, perhaps because they're not so invested in the status quo. Or perhaps because this is the world they're inheriting, and they're p*ssed that we're trashing it."
So, is this sense of anger toward the way in which society is moving based off of a concreted reality? Or could such anger and frustration be chalked up to nothing more that simple youthful rebellion?
While it would likely be impossible to provide an all-encompassing answer to this question, it is worth noting that in the twenty-something years the oldest of the Young Adult crowd have been alive, the world community has played witness to such tragedies as the Rwandan Genocide, the attack on the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen, the Oklahoma City bombing, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the 2004 Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, and most recently, the rise of ISIS. To add to the overall gloom of this already depressing list, The Polynational War Memorial, an organization devoted to commemorating those who have fallen in armed conflicts around the world, compiled a list stating that since 1990 alone, there have been 40 armed conflicts globally, many of which are presently ongoing.
So with this bleak perspective in mind, the final question must be raised. Do you think that the grey-scale future painted by such movies as The Hunger Games is a real possibility?