motion picture industry has played a pivotal role in the lives of many Americans. Films have captivated audiences around the world with their information, cinematic, acting, and story. Many films illuminate a particular aspect of society that needs to be altered for the better, while others simply entertain with an intense story. Feature films, especially those marred with fantasy, suspense and intrigue are very popular among the viewing population due primarily to their emotional appeal. Below is chart of the top 10 grossing films of 2012 (Roback, 2010).
The Hunger Games
Dr. Seuss' The Lorax
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
Wrath of the Titans
Act of Valor
Notice that The Hunger Games is ranked near the top. This statistic is important because it indicates the relevance of the topic to the individual consumer. Movies are unique as they often depict real world circumstances in an entertaining manner. Although the entertainment component is often very flamboyant and excessive, there are underlying concepts that are applicable to human behavior. Both The Hunger Games and The Lottery are perfect examples of this, albeit in different mediums. This is why they are both successful as indicated by the above chart. The Lottery is a short story while The Hunger Games is both a movie and a book. They both were very successful in regards to their reviews, and entertainment value. However, through this entertainment viewers often forget the underlying components of these entertaining stories. It is these similarities to human behavior that has generated their huge appeal. As such, I will detail these similarities and differences throughout the duration of this document.
I believe the first major difference between these two stories is the issue of social inequality and its prevalence in society. Both stories, particularly, The Hunger Games have a very prominent social component to them. The community is often impoverished and must engage in inhumane activities simply to survive. The individuals in the story must fight to the death simply to eat. This poverty or lack of prosperity is not a direct result of society's behavior, but rather a result of greed from the wealthy. In fact it is because of society that these wealthy individuals achieved that status in the first place throughout the book and the movie. Unlike The Lottery a select few individuals control a disproportionate amount of the wealth in the particular region. As a result, these few wealthy individuals can influence behaviors and actions of the majority of society. These actions are ultimately to the detriment of the majority while benefiting the very few wealthy individuals. This is eerily similar to our current circumstances in America. Currently, a very contentious issue is that of income inequality within America. Much like The Hunger Games, and to a lesser extent, The Lottery, too few individuals within America control too much of the nations wealth. As such, these individuals have significant influence over the policy decisions in America. Below is chart depicting wealth inequality in America?
In The Hunger Games, separate districts were required to wage war and fight simply to survive. These districts, much like the examples above, were controlled by the extremely wealthy in society. These games, as depicted in both the film and the literature, were seen as entertainment and a way of maintaining supremecy to the wealthy. In fact, throughout the film, the wealthy even changed the rules to help adjust favor for a select group of individuals. This is in stark contrast to The Lottery which is centered in a mundane and ordinary town (Osbourne, 2011). All the individuals seem to be of similar social-economic status. In fact, Mr. Summers, the facilitator of the event owns a coal business. All of the town citizens seem to be of equal status with none disproportionately above another. Furthermore, in regards to The Hunger Games, the war itself was unnecessary in regards to the benefit of society. It is the establishment of the Hunger Games created by the Capital in order to keep control of the districts after the first rebellion. Each of the procedures involved in the games from the Reaping to the fight itself, to the mandatory viewing are meant to assert control over the districts and remind them that the Capital will have no mercy for those who misbehave. Also, the presence of Peacekeepers in each of the districts is a constant reminder of government intervention. The community at large could have developed a more feasible and efficient solution to solve the communities hunger problems. Instead they relied on tradition and simply continued the inhumane games.
Another major difference between the two pieces of literature is the control of ones destiny. In The Lottery, the individuals have no choice but to be stoned to death. It was simply by pure chance that the individual was selected to be stoned to death. The Hunger Games is similar in this regard as well; however, the individual could control his destiny after the selection process had concluded. In The Lottery, Mrs. Hutchinson, was simply required to accept her punishment irrespective of how unfair the punishment was (Dominus, 2011). Throughout the short story, Mrs. Hutchinson constantly remarks, "Its not fair…its not fair." She simply was chosen and was forced to accept her meaningless and unfair punishment. However, in The Hunger Games, and individual has the opportunity to survive or control their destiny. The individual could, at the very least, kill or eliminate his competitors. This requires both skill and cunning in order to achieve success. Mrs. Hutchinson, even if she possessed both in great quantities, could do nothing to help her own cause.
A very prominent similarity between both stories is the notion of human hypocrisy in regards to behavior. Both stories have abundant amounts of hypocrisy embedding in both the narrative and the individual character behavior. For example, Mrs. Hutchinson knew the lottery was wrong, but she never did anything about it. Through the entire story she consistently opposes the ritual in very subtle mannerisms. For example, she came to the event late, and provides a weak excuse of forgetting what day it was. Throughout the story she pretends to enjoy it the event in its entirety, when in reality, she truly hated it all along. What I thought was very interesting throughout the entire story was that the more artificial Mrs. Hutchinson became the more of a target she was. Ultimately, Mrs. Hutchinson was clearly the target of her fears. The town itself was very artificial with its behaviors as well. Throughout the entire story, citizens seemed happy, and jovial. The story remarks on numerous occasions how citizens joked and laughed about an event in which they knew was not rational. Comments such as "Don't be nervous Jack" and Mrs. Delacroix's holding of her breath as her husband went forward indicate that the people where in actuality, not entirely comfortable with the event. The Hunger Games is exactly the same in this regard (Eisenberg 2012). This story too involves much hypocrisy as the government attempts to instill order and stability while initiating an inhumane activity. I believe ethics is a major component of this hypocrisy as well. Is it ethical to engage in such activity that takes human life for the sake of tradition, and proposed order? These ethical considerations are also very apparent in the real world as many individuals are both hypocritics and unethical at the same time. You find this primarily in the financial crises of 2008, which resembles the Hunger Games in some respects. The financial crisis resulted from a mixture of both bad judgment and unethical decision making similar in concept to the creation of The Hunger Games event. Frank Vogel, cofounder of Transparency International, a nonprofit organization charged with ranking nations by degree of corruption remarked, "so many people engaged in so many aspects of finance have lost their ethical compass and put short-term personal gains above other considerations" (Francis, 2008). This again is similar in concept to The Hunger Games, as short-term stability is used in order to sacrifice long-term stability of the districts that are participating in the games. Logically, the more we value something the more risk we are willing to take to attain them, and unfortunately ethical decision making falls to the wayside. The government of The Hunger Games values security, power, and wealth. Unfortunately for those in the story, they are willing to do whatever is necessary to obtain it
Continuing, although the crisis itself is rather complex, the ethical factors surrounding the crisis are far easier to understand. David DeRosa, a Finance Professor at Yale University eloquently stated the…