Tuesday, December 3, 2013
The Hunger Games / Suzanne Collins
It's not hard to see the two recent "Hunger Games" movies (starring the riveting and now extremely popular Jennifer Lawrence) as a dystopian sci-fi allegory for growing up in modern-day America. The 12-plus-1 districts of the oligarchy of Panem might echo the 12-plus-1 grades of American compulsory education. The crowded poverty of the districts and cruelty of the Games themselves might represent the experience of the American school-prisoner. Lawrence's stunningly-portrayed heroine Katniss Everdeen must contend with much: one absent parent, one useless parent, hostile authorities, rampant societal hypocrisy, economic uncertainty, a world of shifting alliances in which friends and foes are unclear, youthfully raging emotions, and the obligatory lessons of learning to relate to others. In other words, the tale could easily be a more lethal version of the quintessential experience of growing up in modern America.
It is even easier (and more appropriate for this blog) to take "The Hunger Games" at face value and see it as the tale of a totalitarian State and its inevitable collapse. From this view, we find the story much more sharply observed and true-to-life than the superficially-similar Marxist fantasy of Neill Blomkamp's Elysium. Author Suzanne Collins' fictional nation of "Panem", unlike "Elysium", is more-or-less technically feasible and may well be based on real-life Communist societies. Panem's system is one of total government control over the economy of the labor force, with the elite government class enjoying a wildly disproportionate share of the wealth that they alone have the power to distribute. Central economic control is the linchpin of all Communist/Socialist systems (and partially of Fascist systems) and inevitably results in obscene wealth disparity generally absent in truly capitalist societies. Where "Elysium" erroneously blames society's ills on "rich people", "The Hunger Games" places the source of society's malaise solely where it occurs in the real world: with the guns of the State.
"The Hunger Games" also echoes other real-world phenomena where "Elysium" proves itself to be pure fantasy. Panem's elite/government class exists in a state of severe moral/ethical decay (watching children kill each other for sport) evoking ancient Rome, modern America, or the inner circles of many a Communist ruling party; in "Elysium" we see none of the psychological roots of the divide and must simply accept that "rich" equals "bad". Panem's totalitarian state brings about its own unraveling through its own obvious cruelty and corruption: as in so many cases in real history, the people come to a boiling point and cannot help but rebel, assisted by conscientious insiders (Katniss is only an unwitting symbol of this rebellion). In "Elysium", a Neptunian savior miraculously and single-handedly arises and dissolves the entire system in the space of an hour.
I can only find two relatively minor problems with "Hunger Games"'s depiction of tyranny. One is that Donald Sutherland's evil "President Snow" is the sole arbiter of woe: real tyrannies are generally based on consortia of power-hungry parties who unite against the populace but vie against each other for the helm. The other is the age of the regime: 74-75 years. True totalitarian regimes either loosen their grasp (China, to some degree) or fall to either economic forces (the Soviet Union) or popular revolt/movement (Somalia) within four decades (half of a Uranus cycle).
Based on "The Hunger Games", we know author Suzanne Collins is not only a skilled creator of fiction but also a person who can view political and social dynamics quite accurately. In other words, we would expect a personality that astrology would show to be significantly libertarian (whether or not she consciously identifies as such).
This is not a "perfect" libertarian chart: Pallas is somewhat widely square Jupiter, somewhat widely trine the South Node, and is ruled by Mercury which is widely conjunct Pluto and widely opposite Jupiter. The tighter aspects answer our questions: Pallas is sextile the Sun and quintile Mercury, and the North Node is conjunct the Sun for good measure. Again, not perfect, but the chart gives us more "libertarian" than not, and explains Collins' accurate insights into politics.
Without a time of birth, we can't be sure, but aside from the libertarian/peacenik tendencies we might expect her to lean to the Left. She has the South Node trine Venus (Leftward economics) and probably parallel the Moon (probably culturally liberal, even with the probable North Node trine). We will generally see Venus with the South Node and/or Neptune in the charts of creative artists (no surprise, which is why most of them lean to the Left).
Leo focus (Sun, Mercury, North Node): helps to explain Collins' livelihood as a creator of stories (Leo as self-expression) that speak to the experience of young people (Leo again).
Jupiter-Neptune-Pluto triangle: capturing the public (Jupiter) imagination (Neptune) with stories (Neptune again) about power and oppression (Pluto). That Chiron (wounding/healing) is conjunct Jupiter here reflects the fact that "The Hunger Games" does not give us easy answers to the problems it poses but portrays a believable process of Katniss' ongoing struggle to adjust and heal from her circumstances.
Mercury-Uranus-Pluto triple conjunction: writing (Mercury) about political/popular (Uranus) upheaval (Pluto).
(Probable) Moon-Pluto-Chiron/Jupiter T-Square: public media (Jupiter) exploring deep emotional issues (Moon) regarding death (Pluto) requiring healing (Chiron). The Moon is also generally considered to be central to the charts of writers.
I, for one, will be awaiting the third and presumably final "Hunger Games" movie. I might even read the books while I'm waiting.
P.S.: Jennifer Lawrence was born under a Pallas-Venus conjunction, which she shares with fellow Hollywood hyper-beauties Natalie Portman, Lindsay Lohan, Anne Hathaway, Keira Knightley, Rebecca Romijn, Dakota Fanning, Barbara Stanwyck, Lauren Cohan, Brittany Murphy, and Miley Cyrus. I do not consider this to be coincidence. Lawrence also unsurprisingly shares a (Left)-libertarian chart pattern with "Hunger Games" writer Suzanne Collins.
January 8, 2014 at 10:02 AM http://www.lewrockwell.com/2013/12/ellen-finnigan/what-catholics-got-wrong-about-the-hunger-games/ This is a worthwhile article which points out things that didn't occur to me -- for hardcore libertarians, however, government and war are essentially the same thing.
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