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Fr. Robert Barron on The Hunger Games

December 8, 2012

In classic Fr. Barron style, he reviews the plot of The Hunger Games by first going back in history successively outlining various similar plots, historical and otherwise. These four plots fit The Hunger Games perfectly. ATTENTION – Spoiler Alert!

The first example he recalls a book he read in high school called The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, in which a festive gathering ends with one girl “winning” the lottery to her horror and death.

Then he goes on to review pre-Columbian Aztec history which had a lot of human sacrifice, specifically the practice of capturing young men from other tribes, treating them like celebrities for a year, and then sacrificing them to their gods.

Next he talks about the Gladiator games in ancient Rome, which appealed to the hungry mobs and were used by the political elite to manipulate those same mobs.

The last plot line is about Theseus and the Minotaur from Greek mythology which also involves human sacrifice using another lottery where one king had to send seven young men and seven young women to another king as tribute.

Human sacrifice is very real in human history, but many a conscientious parent still took their child to see The Hunger Games because it’s just a fantasy, while at the same time were squeamish about letting that same child go see October Baby, because it is “too real.”

But this human sacrifice theme is very common and very real throughout our history and has the potential to reappear in our future. It appeals to our need for a scape goat, a way to discharge our anxieties on to another and give us a sense of peace.

And the final “but”, but Christianity keeps human sacrifice at bay because that is where real peace comes from. The big question is, do we want to keep Christianity?

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