Is the Hunger Games a Conscience Killer?

World MagazineEmily Whitten

Decades into America's dystopian future, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence of Winter's Bone) stands in her mother's worn, blue dress—waiting. Along with the other young adults ages 12-18 in her district (much like a state), she and her little sister wait to hear who will represent their home in the far-away capital for The Hunger Games. Every year, the government chooses a girl and boy tribute from each district for something akin to American Idol meets Lord of the Flies. With obvious allusions to the games of the Roman Coliseum—horse-drawn chariots, golden laurel wreaths for the victors, and a game show host named Caesar—these games are what you might expect in a similarly banal but technologically advanced culture: It's a fight to the death for the entertainment of the masses. Small wonder then that it's rated PG-13 for "violent thematic material and disturbing images."

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