The Hunger Games are all about hope. At least that’s what archvillain President Snow thinks: “Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear.” As long as it doesn’t get out of control, hope can motivate Snow’s oppressed masses into their forced labor that keeps Panem going. It all depends on that glimmering spark of hope kindled by the Hunger Games.
Well, I gotta agree with Snow on this one. And the books give me good reason. Scene after scene Katniss finds a way through hopelessness. What happens when the reaping condemns Primrose to certain death? Katniss volunteers. When Peeta’s about to die of blood poisoning? The Gamemakers offer medicine. When the Gamemakers demand that Peeta and Katniss fight it out to the death? Katniss whips out the berries.
I’m not saying the books are a joyride. Peeta and Katniss suffer greatly. Peeta, once sustained by his love of Katniss, is tortured by the capital until he wants to kill her. And what could be worse than Katniss causing the death of the very person she volunteered to protect? Their lives are broken beyond repair. They seem rightly hopeless.
Yet, hope wins again. After all of this Peeta says to Katniss, “You love me. Real or not real?” and Katniss whispers back, “Real.” Love trumps brokenness.
It’s a grace for me to finish these books in the Easter season. On Good Friday, Jesus suffers about as badly as one can imagine. Things look hopeless. Then, Easter morning the tomb’s empty. Death no longer has the last word. After all Christ’s suffering and hopelessness, love wins.
Snow’s worst fear comes true. Hope gets out of control. A spark in the darkness kindles a fire that changes the world. I wonder if Snow–in his fear of hope run amok– ever thought of Easter.