I made a point of not including spoilers in this post.  I hate it when I’m told what’s going to happen so I’m not going to tell you what happens.  Have no fear, read on.  If you want to.

I (started and) finished Mockingjay yesterday.  I thought it was pretty good.  I know at least one person who was hoping that it would make a bigger final political statement, but I thought it was just about right. I had other problems with it, with the whole series.

I get the political aspect of the statement, I get that we need to be free.  That aspect of the books is not lost on me (how could it be, the books practically beat you over the head with it).

But I have some questions about the social atmosphere.  I have some questions about a society that watches teens killing one another as their (societies, not the teens) entertainment, but I also have questions about a society that watches “adults” hit one another with chairs a la Jerry Springer, or pull out one another’s hair a la the Real Housewives of wherever. Is violence as entertainment universal?  Prevalent, absolutely, and disturbing as a concept, but I’m just as guilty as the average person of watching the house explode on the movie, TV show, what have you and thinking it’s cool or awesome or whatever.

There’s also a lot of discussion of the outrageous hairstyles, body makeovers etc. as an indictment of the people in the capital.  How different that is than what we see today (I don’t know who would do it but it’s my understanding that there are a lot of people out there who are dying their hair un-natural colors)  most of us are not as extreme as they are in the books but I’m not sure that my time spent with the girl who waxes me is really all that different than Effie Trinket’s.  Are we only worthy if we look just the way we did at birth?

Is the difference that I worked for it?  That can’t be all of it, the people in the capital worked, it just wasn’t very difficult or dangerous work but I’m sure that the fluffy, stylist team thought that they were working hard.  Is it only work if it gets you dirty?  If you break a sweat?

Is it ok to work as little as possible as long as you don’t glut yourself on someone else’s harsh or unfair work?  That sounds good, but I shop at Walmart.  It’s my understanding that at least some of those great deals are a result of poor labor policies in other countries.  I don’t have details but I doubt that my ignorance exonerates me.

What’s my point?  I’m not sure that I have one.  Maybe I just need to stay away from books with a message, maybe I should stick with Janet Evanovich and let the rest of you figure out the bigger social and moral issues.  Because me, I’ve got nothing.

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. bythelbs
    Aug 26, 2010 @ 10:03:49

    I finished it yesterday, too. I’m not sure I loved it, but I didn’t hate it.

    As for all that other stuff, I’m too tired to think about it right now. Or maybe ever.

  2. Melanie J
    Aug 26, 2010 @ 11:26:40

    Yeah, I just finished it about twenty minutes ago and I’m kind of wiped. It was intense. And it’s the same intensity you have to live with in order to answer the rest of the questions you posed in your own life on a daily basis. Which I do NOT have the energy for. So I have no answers, either.

  3. Chas
    Aug 26, 2010 @ 11:53:08

    I’ll have to read that, you made some great points. I like how you said, “Are we only worthy if we look just the way we did at birth?”

    I wish that could be broadcast loudly to the world!


  4. cheryl
    Aug 26, 2010 @ 19:23:59

    Ummm… The Church Is True!

    That’s always my answer. That, and a nap.

  5. Annette
    Aug 27, 2010 @ 10:13:03

    Whether or not a person like the series (or how it ended), there’s no denying that it does bring up a lot of disturbing ideas. Granted, we don’t have actual Hunger Games, but what other kinds of social crap do we allow and take as just the way it is? What other ways are we throwing our kids into the arena? And like you said, where do we draw the line with entertainment?

    I don’t have answers either. But dang, she’s managed to disturb me. I figure that means she did something right.

  6. Janelle
    Aug 27, 2010 @ 15:34:18

    I like social commentary books, so I liked that the series raised all of these questions. Makes for a heated book group discussion, and I always enjoy watching women getting into a tiff at book group.

    I am sick of trilogies, sagas and series though. Just write a book that is stand alone and not drag the story out for marketing purposes.

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