Can “Hunger Games” Change the World?

Some novels have the power to spark the collective imagination, resulting in sweeping societal changes, for example, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” “The Jungle,” “1984” and …”The Hunger Games”?

Maybe. Besides setting off a trend of girls getting into archery (perhaps along with “Brave’s” Princess Merida), the “3-finger salute” has been popping up a lot lately. The Harry Potter Alliance (itself an example of literature sparking social activism) is running a “Hunger Games”-themed campaign called “Odds In Our Favor” to raise awareness about economic inequality.

According to HPA’s Facebook page, “fantasy is not an escape from our world but an invitation to go deeper into it. We are going to go deeper into it and we are going to fight for 99% of this country in our Districts to be granted equality.” Indeed, a HuffPo article by YingYing Shang asserts that the dystopian Panem is not so different from our current U.S. of A. “The Hunger Games are real,” she writes. “The Hunger Games are here. And what the Hunger Games mean is the death of the American Dream.”

All I can say is, “may the odds be ever in our favor.”

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