The Hunger Games ≠ Twilight

You are all gathered here today to please me with your ear-full indulgence as I smack your brains with a big-stick-like rant that’s been a long time coming. No, I won’t smack everyone. This rant is meant for those few who revel in the defamation of the beautiful. Those impious few who compare The Hunger Games and Twilight. Those who infuriatingly say “The Hunger Games is basically the Twilight love story, yuh know? Ya-uhh” (read with a prissy, preppy male/female voice). I’ll warn you now: if you like Twilight, you might want to stop reading here. I don’t want to offend anyone with any of this, just slap them for offending me. See? So let’s now just agree to all be happy! After I slap you in the face. *Ahem* Let us start our completely dispassionate discourse at the base of this totem pole of rotten logic.

The Hunger Games and Twilight. The first mistake here is placing them on common ground as written works. Right off the bat every silly comparison FAILS. This is the primary heresy upon which every other bad argument here is based. To use the accusers’ own second-grade logic: The Hunger Games is good writing, Twilight is not. There is no fair connection between these two works of fiction. The Hunger Games is deeply thought through and written from a realistic emotional standpoint. It’s not written in a simple, limited style. There’s not a simple description of events coupled with outbursts of emotion. You only know Katniss and what matters to her at that moment. That fact may annoy some readers, but it’s a rather ingenious way to tell the story. In fact, the story really couldn’t sensibly work any other way! No over-arching descriptions of the world or events. Just the basic emotional connection to the moment. And, ultimately, it’s what matters to her that drives Panem forward.

If there were some egregiously demented alternate-reality wherein Twilight and The Hunger Games could be homologized, the emotional disparity would be laughable. Twilight is not a valid source of emotional understanding. It unwittingly succeeds at portraying the full emotional depth of a turdy potato. And not a funny, GLaDOS-infused potato. Just a normal, dirty, brown one. Really, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Twilight is a simple story about simple characters in a simple world simply fighting for no reason other than to fuel a simple love story. And some people like that! I have to respect Stephanie Meyer. I may not like her story, characters, writing, or published ideas about how to deal with anything in real life, but she knows her demographic! Twilight‘s a nice, quick, simple read. Nothing inherently wrong with that. It’s for the “dreamy-eyed girl” or for “those who adore innocence” or “abstinence” (please notice the quotes there). But we’re not talking Mrs. Meyer’s demographic. We’re talking about an alternate-reality’s moronic comparison to The Hunger Games. When you do that, suddenly Twilight isn’t “for the dreamy-eyed”. No. It doesn’t display innocence. Just ignorance. Ignorance to how the real world works and how real emotions affect people. Some people might say “Oh, lighten up! It’s just for a very young crowd, let the tweeny girls keep it.” Fine! Keep it far away from my Hunger Games.

Bella can’t be considered a realistic human. Her decisions are too unreasonably asinine to be contemplated by even the most desperate of our race, much less a love-struck high school nobody. Everyone in Forks deserves to be sent to a mental institution for not sending her to one immediately after her arrival. If you think too hard at all about it, you realize it’s one giant “who cares?” scenario after the next, none necessarily leading from the last. Bella moves to Forks even though her mom says she doesn’t have to and she hates it there. Why? No reason. She meets multiple guys who like her emotional instability. Why? No reason. Next book we find some stupid vampire girl chasing after Bella because Bella was there when her boyfriend died? Uh… who cares? Pointless. She’s a little teenage girl, for crying out loud. You’re a vampire! You’ll live. Forever, actually. Go to Australia or some place nobody hunts you and find a new bf. Why doesn’t she? No reason. Eventually Bella’s necrophiliac tendencies get the best of her and she carries vampire-Edward’s baby. Except he can’t get an erection. So why’d that even happen? No reason. Yikes, this is starting to sound like Rubber…

The whole thing is mush. There is no emotional accountability. Bella’s incessant gloomy-gussliness is impossible to grasp and doesn’t drive anything but the most rudimentary of “story arcs” to completion. The love triangle of Twilight is based upon Bella’s bewildering illogicality. She experiences emotional swings back and forth from Edward to Jacob based upon her puberty/male-awareness sparked addiction to attention. Either that or some inherent will to act slutty. Can’t tell sometimes. The love triangle is pointless. It has no effect on the greater world, mythology, or story base. She’s Bella. She’s always going to be the definitive emo-chick… until the end when Bummer-Bella Swan becomes happy. Because of course she does. As if the “Twilight Saga” had been a fairy tale all along.

Katniss isn’t a star-struck tween who just can’t make up her mind over which guy is hotter. She’s been through hell. Twice. She’s been forced to leave her family behind. To murder friends. To watch pre-teen children helplessly be slaughtered. To endure people drowning, blown up, ripped apart, dragged away, and eaten slowly by mutant animals. All this after a childhood of poverty. Life’s not been kind, and she wears down. Loses some sanity. And because of the emotional writing style, we’re taken right along with her. She really doesn’t want Gale as an interest but finds herself forced into the position after he’s taken and gives her a punching bag (metaphorically). She drowns the fact Peeta’s been brutally tortured and ruined by her in her best friend. She becomes to Peeta what Annie is to Finnick. A liability. She wants Peeta, but doesn’t understand his dedication. She wants to, though. So while the reader may like Peeta more and just “want Katniss to choose already” there really never was a choice. Of course her emotional well-being needs Peeta. But does she ever get what she needs? The love triangle here isn’t based on a girl’s whims or what “Katniss wants” in any way. There’s something bigger at play here. The love triangle here has a firm base and is a driving force with real purpose through the series.

The Hunger Games‘ love triangle has no more similarities with Twilight‘s love triangle than it does with LOST’s or Harry Potter’s various entanglements (to choose a few popular series of late). So let’s do the only logical thing and RATE ‘EM!/@!

5.

Twilight.

We’ve already reviewed Twilight‘s love triangle. I think we can safely place it at the bottom of the list.

4.

Avatar: The Last Airbender.

HAH! Just needed a buffer between Twilight and LOST so I didn’t have to see them next to each other. Guess we can use Jet and Katara as an example. Semi-pointless romance there! It came back later and lent to some good comedy, though. Plus she was just taken with his “madd-skillz” and changed within an episode. Therefore better than Twilight.

3.

LOST.

LOST’s love triangle between Sawyer, Kate, and Jack was a “big deal” up until Season Five. It was a choice of two different lifestyles for Kate: Jack’s perfectionist life or Sawyer’s freedom. It established an emotional plausibility for Jack and Kate, and gave the audience something to root for. Beyond that it didn’t have a point. This can be third on the list.

2.

Harry Potter.

Then comes Harry Potter’s various romantic musings. I suppose in this case we can choose Hermione and Krum from Goblet of Fire. This relationship was more believable because Ron was being a jerk. So, Hermione accepted Krum’s request to go to the dance. They were both pretty, were both happy, and Hermione was as giddy as the school girl she was about being the most popular girl at the dance. Like anyone would be! Doesn’t win the first prize because it didn’t have much story drive beyond that section of the fourth book. However, it shouldn’t have anyway. Thus, it did its job and earned its place here.

1.

The Hunger Games.

Please see above post for tons of reasoning!

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Countless stories exist with “love triangles”. Just because a story includes one doesn’t mean it deserves ANY comparison to Twilight. Both Twilight and The Hunger Games occur in North America and include a love triangle. That’s the only comparison. They don’t occur in similar situations. They don’t occur within the same thousand years of eachother. Not even the same genre of reading material! Comparing any of the items listed above to one another in this light is just plain silly! The Hunger Games deals with a reaction to the world of Panem from Katniss’s emotive center. Is President Snow really always sending her specific signals to break her? Of course not! Granted, he is a smart, ruthless, cunning killer (that bloody mouth, anybody?) and some remarks in her direction are clearly meant to dig into her psyche. But not all. That’s how the book is written. It’s her emotional state. The reason we hear at all about the television broadcasts where Snow is “staring her down” is because that’s how she makes sense of it emotionally. It’s all applied to her, like a realistic human being. The Hunger Games is based on violence. It’s how Panem is controlled, it’s how the Games are played, it’s how the rebellion tries to overthrow the Capitol. The Hunger Games doesn’t have a happy ending. Turns out it’s not a fairy tale after all.

Happy Trails,
Sam.

4 Responses to “The Hunger Games ≠ Twilight”

  1. Will says:

    Great article! Specifically the bits regarding the pointlessness of the relationships in Twilight. You mention that the Twilight series is written in ‘simple third-person limited style’. Simple, limited and awkward as Stephanie Meyer’s writing may be, it is written in first person. The true difference between these two series is the fact that The Hunger Games is really rather riveting. It moves at break-neck speed, and never lets up. I would argue though that this is only true when Collins lets the reader breath, and gets out of Katniss’ stuffy, indecisive thought patterns. It is in the games that the series thrives, and when people compare the series with Twilight they are missing the fact that The Hunger Games’ story could still be told quite well without Peeta or Gale even in the book. They both make it all more interesting, but this is not the core of the story. THis is not true for Twilight, which is first and foremost about teenagers getting it on, and fighting about sloppy seconds. It also happens to feature the supernatural, but it’s really not important to the story. I would love to see a version of Twilight where there are no vampires or werewolves, as i’m sure it would be almost exactly the same. in fact I think you and I should write that, Sam.
    Anyways, Great thoughts! Very very funny! Also, Hermione went to the Yule Ball with Victor Krum and had a great time! This is what I said!

    • I see how you got confused. I wasn’t saying Twilight was thing-person limited, I was trying to make the point that The Hunger Games goes above-and-beyond what its or other perspectives are generally defined as or would try to accomplish. I wasn’t trying to make a contrast to Twilight there. Dumbdumb phrasing there. Mistake fixed! :-)
      As for the Yule Ball — you’re totally absolutely 100% right. You know I only pay attention to Emma Watson in those films! Must’ve just been caught up with how Robert Pattinson’s part in BOTH series sucks hahah
      Completely agree with the breakneck pace of The Hunger Games compared to the “Dull Life of Poor Bella Nobody”. Even leaving out the action comparison, the two books are no match. Thankfully we don’t live in that moronic alternate-universe I mentioned.

      Thankss for the comment. You should start writing on your blog more! Everyone would read it and you would be a famous McGee.

  2. [...] First up, Vanity Fair recently did a photo shoot with the cast of The Hunger Games film. You can see the main image of the entire cast below. You can check out the rest of the photos over at Vanity Fair. The photos are very well done, even if they’re the same scenery as most Vanity fair photo shoots I’ve seen… though I must admit I don’t know what on earth they have to do with The Hunger Games at all. I realize these are just promo photos of the cast in general, not necessarily related to the film. However, these types of shoots always seem pretty pointless. Honestly I’d like some more pictures of the cast looking grimy and bloody and in the environment the characters will actually be in. The photos remind me of Twilight for some reason, and everyone knows how I feel about that series. [...]

  3. Excellent blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my web site loaded up as fast as yours lol.

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