I am glad this is a teen phenomena. Seems to me to be a modern-day parable about liberation of consciousness in much the same way The Matrix was. The way it struck me was a story about people born/forced into the illusion of competitive society. Us. We are all sold this story from a very young age. That there is not enough. That we need to fight our way to be at the top of our society - that we live in a “kill or be killed” world. Even in the arts, where presumably sensitive people seek refuge from the brutally mechanized capitalist culture, our works are rated and placed in competition against each other. For sales, for awards and for “relevance”. We are all told we have no choice but to play “the hunger game” in our society, but this is not our only choice. Ultimately, if we buy into this scarcity consciousness, our integrity is corrupted and we become part of the machine, we relive the wounds of our parents and grandparents, an endless cycle of trans-generational suffering. However, if we make new choices and try to live abundantly, making decisions out of love and dignity, we become a threat to the system itself, revealing the weak nature of the concept we are being sold.
Going to jump around here…but i am reminded of two things.
The first being this definition of a “spoil-sport”: ‘by withdrawing from the game he exposes the fragility of the game itself’. I guess this is what is being intimated at the end as the couple prepares to choose suicide over fighting each other. The system relies on the competitors fighting to the death, and the refusal to do so is an act of unequaled subversion.
The second is a taoist story of prisoners who planned a successful escape. Instead of the 4 prisoners that would normally be found in each cell, the gaurds found a solitary prisoner alone in one of the cells one morning. They realize he had had the chance to escape to freedom with his cellmates during the night and had chosen not to. They beat him to death. Why? Because the fact that he didnt run showed that the only prison is the one in our mind. Their walls meant nothing to him. This is the truth that a violent regime (or idealogical construct) cannot afford us to realize. That we have nothing to fear except the limitations of our own imaginations.
Anyway, i know im late to the game with discussing this book/film franchise, but I just wanted to throw in my two cents in terms of how the ideas relate to consciousness and our quest for liberation.