Well Banned Books Week is over. But that doesn’t mean you can’t continue reading banned books for the rest of the year. Or all year long.
For example, and if you haven’t read it yet, then try reading The Hunger Games. As you know, The Hunger Games have been frequently banned/challenged for being anti-ethnic and anti-family. As well as insensitivity, having offensive language, occult/satanic and violent.
In that case, as a rebuttal, here are six reasons why you should read The Hunger Games:
- The Hunger Games features people of color. For being anti-ethnic, how is it possible to have characters of different ethnicity? Although race is not delved deeply, Katniss herself is of mixed race. And the tributes from District 11, Rue and Thresh, are of African-American descent. Also, the characters aren’t portrayed as harmful stereotypes of the African-American race.
- The Hunger Games is pro-family. It’s a sad truth, but in reality not all families are close, love and are loyal to each other. But in the novel, Katniss volunteers to save her little sister Prim from participating. To keep the family fed, clothed and warm, she hunted in the forest, traded in the Hob and around town. All this done to take care of her family. It’s not always a given, that family member would do whatever it takes to take care of each other. But with Katniss it’s a definite given.
- The Hunger Games portrays people who’ve suffered traumatic experiences. The Hunger Games’ banned for insensitivity and in Katniss Everdeen’s case she is. But the root cause of that insensitivity is because of the trauma from losing her father. And then her mother immediately after. The death of her father left her with an emotional void. The depression her mother went into nearly starved Katniss and Prim to death. From suffering both emotional and physical trauma, Katniss built walls around herself. Walls to never let anyone in, in fear of the hurt that comes when they’d leave. Walls to survive. So, if you were in her shoes, would you still see the world through rose-colored glasses?
- The Hunger Games have characters who act and speak like real people. So, The Hunger Games has offensive language. I don’t know about you, but I tend to curse and say impolite things. I’m only human. And although the characters in the novel are fictional, they’re only human too.
- The Hunger Games has the theme hope. I didn’t read anything occult/satanic so I had to look up the definitions to better search for it in the novel. But then it came to me, it’s the ritual of the games. How the districts must send one boy and girl, to fight to the death, as punishment. Yet despite the gruesomeness the novel carries the theme of hope. In particular with Peeta Mellark. He brings hope to Katniss again, during a time when she needed it most. He also discusses his hopes for the games not to change him. Then there’s Katniss not giving up hope in surviving the games. Even playing the star-crossed lovers in the hopes that they’ll both Peeta and her will win and go home.
- The Hunger Games does not wax poetic about the horrors of battle/war. Yeah, The Hunger Games is violent. But a fight to the death is no different from battle/war. And what war does not have casualties? Does not have bloodshed? Or gruesome deaths? Also, there is violence every day and it’s seen on social media. Broadcasted on the radio and on the news. On TV programming and cable. If the Hunger Games’ banned for being violent, then social media, the news, etc must be banned as well.
So there you have it. Six reasons why you should read The Hunger Games. All which refutes the claims to why the novel’s banned. Now would you believe those claims or exercise your right to read The Hunger Games? And see what it’s really all about? But if you need a little more persuasion, Ursula K. Le Guin once said, “A dangerous book will always be in danger from those it threatens with the demand that they question their assumptions. They’d rather hang on to the assumptions and ban the book.”
What are your thoughts about The Hunger Games? Do you agree with the reasons the trilogy’s banned? Read any books that were banned/challenged for what you feel are ridiculous reasons?