Tag Archives: Hunger Games

The Hunger Games meets Screwtape

Gratitude looks to the Past and love to the Present; fear… looks ahead.”  Screwtape

The Hunger Games and Screwtape

Max McLean as C.S. Lewis' "Screwtape"

Recently I saw an amazing performance of the classic C.S. Lewis novel, The Screwtape Letters. The play, brilliantly performed by award winning actor Max McLean, follows the schemes and thinking of a demon named Screwtape. The story is based on a view of spiritual warfare from a Hell’s point of view as told to a Junior Devil.

So, a few days later as I sat in the movie theater watching The Hunger Games, I was thinking of the psychology of evil. More particularly, the lies and temptations wrought by the Evil One.  I couldn’t help but view President Snow as the Devil himself, a schemer.

The strategy of Screwtape and the artfully manipulative plans of President Snow seemed eerily similar. Much as Screwtape offered careful advice to his protégé, Wormwood, so too we see President Snow mentoring his henchman, Seneca. In a scene that was particularly “Screwtape-ish” we hear the genius of evil:

“…why do we have a winner?” President Snow asks Seneca.  Then Snow answers his own question, “Hope.”

Hope?” Seneca replies slightly bewildered.

Hope, it is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is effective, a lot of hope is dangerous,” Snow declares.

Spark is fine, as long as it’s contained. So, contain it,” Snow warns.

I wanted to stand up during the movie and yell, “Did you hear that!”

I wanted to stop the movie and talk about hope and fear. Moreover, I wanted to yell at the Devil and say, “You can’t contain it!  You tried. You scattered the followers of Jesus Christ and watched them hide in fear on that dark Friday. You laughed when they brutally executed Him and put Him in a tomb. Ha! You thought you had contained Hope. You lose!” Continue reading The Hunger Games meets Screwtape

I Love The Story — Hunger Games

I love the Gospel story. It is the story of a broken world, a place where darkness, suffering, pain, and fear wreaks havoc on the human race. The people cry out, “Why God, why must we suffer?!!!” The people wonder if God knows about the situation down here. Oh, He knows about it alright. We have a Christmas story to tell because not only is God aware, He has come into the mire. The Son came to earth because we need a Hero, we need a Savior.


Andy's redemption, Shawshank Redemption

Can we even begin to count the number of stories there are about suffering and struggle and protagonist who overcomes? I love stories like Shawshank Redemption, The Wizard of Oz, and Saving Private Ryan. I love stories that involve sacrifice and redemption. So did J.R.R. Tolkien, author of Lord of the Rings who said, “There cannot be any ‘story’ without a fall – all stories are ultimately about the fall – at least not for human minds as we know them and have them.”

It was Tolkien’s friendship with an atheist friend and a shared passion for story that was instrumental in turning that friend to the Gospel story. C.S. Lewis, the friend, came to believe that all great stories have elements traced back to The Story.

J.R.R. Tolkien

In 2011 I decided I should pick a book I had oft seen around the campus where I work. I settled down on a windy afternoon in the early fall and opened to page one of The Hunger Games. Within a few days I had read all three books in The Hunger Games series and MAN! I loved the story!!!

C.S. Lewis said, “Christianity is the story of how a rightful King has landed and is calling us to His great campaign of sabotage.” The Hunger Games trilogy is definitely a story of sabotage, and gives us a character that refuses to be a pawn in someone else’s story.

I’ll stop there. Stop reading this article and start reading The Hunger Games. You will love this story and perhaps reflect soulfully about The Greatest Story Ever Told. And if you’ve already run the gaunlet with Katniss, I would be very interested to hear your insight or Gospel revelation in the story.