The Hunger Games TrilogyEric Teetsel, who runs the Values & Capitalism project over at AEI, invited me (among others) to pen some alternative endings to the Hunger Games trilogy. Eric is concerned that at the ending of the series, “Collins’s characters deteriorate into self-interested, cynical, vengeful creatures. The parallels of their behavior post-victory with the actions of their former dictators are made clear. Katniss even votes in support of another Hunger Games, this time featuring the children of the elites who have been overcome. It’s a Blue State ending to a Red State story.”

Although I don’t really write creative fiction (as you’ll quickly find out when you read my alternate ending), I’m not convinced that the general thrust of the books’ conclusion is quite so clearly at odds with the rest of the trilogy. What you’ll see is that I didn’t much like the kind of “happily ever after” ending that Katniss and Peeta experience.

But I did find that Collins’ basic point had to do with the corrupting power of politics, and in this vein I resonate much more with John Tanny’s recent piece for Forbes, “Suzanne Collins’ ‘The Hunger Games’ Illustrates the Horrors of Big Government,” than with the piece that helped inspire the V&C alternate endings project, “‘The Hunger Games is a blue-state ‘Harry Potter’” by Rebecca Cusey.

In an alternative ending sure to please neither Team Peeta nor Team Gale, my alternate ending picks up after Katniss has killed the head of the new Panem administration, Alma Coin. I tried to keep in mind a couple of things. First was Lord Acton’s dictum and the theme here at the Acton Institute PowerBlog: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Second was Augustine’s query, “Justice being taken away, then, what are kingdoms but great robberies?”

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  • RogerMcKinney

    And what does it do to the majority when it hold the majority holds absolute power?

    • http://www.jordanballor.com/ Jordan Ballor

      Lord Acton: “It is bad to be oppressed by a minority, but it is worse to be oppressed by a majority. For there is a reserve of latent power in the masses which, if it is called into play, the minority can seldom resist.”

      • RogerMcKinney

         Nice! Thanks! Acton may have also had in mind the fact that the majority always thinks it is morally superior to the minority simply because it is the majority.

  • Leroylamar

    (Spoiler Warning) While Katniss does vote for another Hunger Games, I did not read this as what she actually wanted, but used it as an opportunity to kill the new President. Once she realized that the new leader had the same principles as the old leader, she had to find a way to destroy him too. This was the only way to ensure that they Hunger Games who be permenately elminiated. She wasn’t for another Hunger Games.

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