The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
The Hunger Games 2
by Suzanne Collins (Author)
Catching Fire is the second in the Hunger Games trilogy. Although I hadn’t read the first part, I found it easy to grasp the main concepts of the trilogy, which is set in a cruel and decadent futuristic society where young people are forced to fight to the death in a televised arena. The narrative structure of Catching Fire is very much of two halves, with the heroine Katniss coming to terms with the pressures of celebrity and politics in the first half and returning to the arena in the second.
I did find it slightly disconcerting that the heroine is essentially a passive figure, caught between an oppressive political regime and a revolution of which she is an unwitting symbol, and between two potential love affairs. Most of the figuring out and fighting inside the arena is done by male characters, so that despite this novel’s treatment of themes of violence, oppression and revolution, it is at heart offering a very traditional role to its female readership.
Catching Fire has not sent me back to read the first Hunger Games book, but it has reminded me of other narratives about young people, politics, mass media and violence, such as the visceral Battle Royale films, or Conor Kostick’s Epic. Fans of the Suzanne Collins trilogy will undoubtedly enjoy devouring Catching Fire.