“Gossip Girl” celebrity Penn Badgley sees parallels between the Hunger Games and the Occupy Wall Street Movement according to the Huffington Post. The movie (alas, I have not read the books) definitely explores the many of the dichotomies that OWS challenges: rich v. poor, the in-power v. the relatively powerless, the normalcy v. extravagance. Are the books and movies really an allegory for the OWS movement?
Yes and no. The class struggle is obvious. The disparity between the affluent and flamboyant capital and the impoverished District 11 are undeniable. The website Film School Rejects discusses the possibility of a parallel but decides that overall, the film does not support a particular movement. Rather, it channels the age-old theme in literature of the underdog standing up against opposition.
Film School Rejects states that “The signs [of anti-government and anti-centralization] are all there, easily perceived on the surface, but what’s interesting is that those messages seem to be malleable depending on what your viewpoint already tends to be. From Occupy to the Tea Party to plain old classic revolution, there’s something for everyone.”
In fact, the movie is more reminiscent of two short stories, The Most Dangerous Game and “The Lottery” than the OWS movement. Again Film School Rejects comes through, mentioning a Salon article that relates “What came before ‘The Hunger Games'”. This article by Andrew O’Hehir mentions the Most Dangerous Game among other literature as precursors to the popular book and movie series. The humans-hunting-humans for some sick enjoyment being present in Most Dangerous Game and The Hunger Games. I also liken the movie to “The Lottery,” the short story by Shirley Jackson in which the winner of the lottery (whoever picks the paper with the black dot) is stoned to death by their neighbors and family. Sounds pretty similar to the system that decides the tributes for the hunger games. “The Most Dangerous Game” was published in 1924 and “The Lottery” in 1848. In other words, these ideas have been around in literature for a long time.
So, The Hunger Games may not be a direct allegory to the OWS movement; But, it does engender some of the themes that OWS supports, including equity, civic justice, and standing up against the government; just as much literature has done before it. In fact, the first book upon which the movie is based was published in 2007, three years before the beginning of the OWS movement. It just so happens that the movie premiered after OWS began.
Fight the man
Evelyn the Grey