05 May 2011

Post 379: The Girl Who Was on Fire

The Girl Who Was on Fire edited by Leah Wilson. ISBN: 9781935618041.

I don't see the point in rehashing topics I've already covered from the series. And I can't very well just pick one essay, it wouldn't be fair to the others. So I will say this: I like analyses of pop culture. In some ways I think I should have gotten a pop culture degree instead of a BA in history. Strangely, they are not completely unrelated, it's just that the pop culture has to be a little more durable to make it into the realms of history.

Why am I so interested in the analyses of pop culture? I think it says a lot about the general feeling of the time, the collective psyche even. It's been shown that people are more inclined towards escapist entertainment when things are going poorly in the nation. And while that seems to be true, with movies getting bigger and celebrities getting crazier (whether on purpose or not), this does not explain the popularity of the Hunger Games series, which is anything but escapist except in the sense that Katniss' world is much worse than ours and she manages to change it for the better (eventually).

I believe that eventually this kind of book becomes popular because we can only escape from our situation for so long. At some point we do have to face it, figure out what to do with it, fix it, and then move on to the next problem. The fact that there is so much wrong in Panem and that Katniss is able to instigate so much change within a short period of time is very appealing to those of us who feel we've been living in a fucked up world for long enough already. If only the person who could change everything would just step forward and volunteer. But even if they did, I think our problems might be so complicated that we wouldn't be able to recognize that person. We are so busy being distracted by the antics of people who are causing problems that we don't even stop to think that maybe something can be done.

Maybe readers like this will inspire the next generation. Maybe revolutionary literature that sparks deeper thought and conversation will train our teenagers (who are hopefully not as discouraged or jaded as I know I feel) to see apply that kind of thought and discussion into applicable problem solving.

My review can be found on Goodreads.
LibsNote: Free review copy provided by publisher.

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