(2) “I’m going to Hogwarts to prepare myself for the Hunger Games”-How fictional stories influence our lives

Hunger Games

by Jessica Reinhardt (1995) HPS Buxtehude Germany.

 

What would life be without good stories? What would we do without the magic worlds of our phantasy? Is it possible to live without imagination? I’ve thought about this question for some time. Why do we need these fictional stories like Harry Potter or the Lord of the Rings? What does it provoke in us?

In my case, fictional worlds are like “holidays from real life”. It does not mean that I’m alone; having no friends so that now I have to create some by myself. It’s more like a possibility to get away from the stress of my daily life. When I open up a good book, I escape from the real life and enter into a new one, but not forever, just for a little time. I like to identify myself with the characters of the book, analyze their behavior and asking myself, what I would do if I were in this situation. After some time, I leave my phantasy world to continue with the real things.

Since I can remember, fictional stories have been part of my life. I still see my mother reading Harry Potter to me when I was a child. I loved this magic world and hoped when I became 10, that my letter from Hogwarts would arrive soon.

But the story which changed me the most, was the story of “The Hunger Games”-trilogy written by Suzanne Collins. I have to confess that I hadn’t heard of it until one of my friends invited me to the cinema to watch the first movie, which was released in March 2012. During this time, I was really stressed and had been bored for a long time. My life seemed to be a long labyrinth without an end. But then I entered into the story of Katniss, a young girl who saved her sister from the death by risking her own life in a contest where young people fight until their death. I identify myself so exactly with Katniss, that I thought, I might be really experience the whole story by myself. Right after watching the film, I bought the books and read all the three books in two weeks, because I couldn’t stop reading. I read at home. I read in school. My mother said, that I would even read this book during the showers, if I could. My friends were annoyed about me, because every time something reminded me of the Hunger Games, I started talking about it for hours. It has become a kind of obsession. I’ve become obsessed with the characters in the book, I even cried when someone died. I’ve become obsessed with the actors playing the characters, with other fans who wrote own stories based on the novels. In fact, I’ve become obsessed with everything that relates in some parts to the Hunger Games

Since I can remember, a book like this has never touched my heart in that way. I often thought about the question why I am especially attracted to this story, what was so new about it?

In my opinion, it was the fact that the story, the novel is based on, could really happen in our future if our society does not change something in its thoughts and behavior. Have you ever thought about our future? There could be a rich Capitol that suppresses the rest of the still existing world, which let the nation suffer by doing so-called “Hunger Games” where children have to fight until their death in a big TV show. Suzanne Collins created a world, which could be ours in the future, if we still just think about ourselves. She did not write a phantasy story, where humans fall in love with vampires or wolves, or where good wizards have to fight against bad wizards. In fact, she wrote about a fictional world that could really come true and that is why I think this novel is so impressing to many young people.

We often ask ourselves: What will happen in the future? Will everything be alright? Will there be war? Will there be still a world which is worth to live in?

I think young people need books like “The Hunger Games” to get an answer to their questions of what-could-be. Ok, I do not want to say that everything that is happening in the novel will become real and we all have to fight until our death! But it might help us to discover what we should not do in our future and how we can prevent that our world turns into a place as described in the novel. Also the identification with a strong character from a book can help us to get a new perspective on our daily life.

All in all, I think that fictional stories are important for the development of everybody’s life. They do not just can change our perspective; they can also change our attitude.

 

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2 Responses to “(2) “I’m going to Hogwarts to prepare myself for the Hunger Games”-How fictional stories influence our lives”

  1. I just read your article and I really agree with you! I think I know quite well what you mean by being “obsessed” with the book “The Hunger Games” because I felt nearly the same. It was like you described in your article – I could not put it away and for a while I could not even stop thinking about the incidents which happened in the book. In my opinion, I was so fascinated about this story because it seems – like you already mentioned – quite realistic and at the same time it confronts the reader with problems that you could find in our real world too. In our English class we are about to discuss “The Hunger Games” and you can find – for example – the issue of the media, their shows and their influence in the book. Moreover, the fact that there are people living in full luxury when at the same time there are people dying from hunger and poverty, the exploitation in the world – all this seems so familiar.
    “The Hunger Games” made me think about a lot of things and problems that we find in our world. Plus, I learned more about myself and how I would react in such situations.
    Well, and I also nearly cried when some characters died and I don’t think we are the only ones, Jessica ;)

  2. Such a great article! The books you’ve mentioned are my favourite too and it’s nice to know that there’re lots of other people, who were affected by them so deeply. Personally, Harry Potter will always be my top series of books (it is childhood indeed), but The Hunger Games influenced me the most, too. I suppose there should be more books with characters who have a strong mindset and personality as well, because it’s only natural to admire them and wish for the strength they own, or is it just me? That would keep us going the right path, I guess.