i finished reading the ‘The Hunger Games’ trilogy over the weekend in anticipation of the upcoming movie. When I finally finished the final chapter, I experienced a feeling of loss. The feeling is not a new one – it comes upon me anytime I finish a captivating, engrossing literary series such as Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, or sometimes even after finishing a “Korean drama.” I think it’s because the characters become real to me – they cease to be fictional and become a part of my world, or maybe I get swept up into their world – a world that is just beyond the realm of my imagination.
So upon finishing ‘Mockingjay’, I was quite sad and lonely and restless and began to analyze the characters, the plots, the development of the story, the society, the relational interactions. And I wondered again, what it is that makes me feel so discontent and restless.
Which made me pick up another book, a very different sort of book, but one of my favorites, titled: ‘Telling the Truth: the Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale.’ I flipped through the pages to the final section, where Fredrick Beuchner likens the story of Christ and the cross to a wonderful fairy tale… and I was reminded… that’s why. ‘The Hunger Games’ is simply another example of that deepest place in our human hearts crying out, longing for, that which we surely know to be on the other side. And the Gospel is the ultimate truth and our deepest longings realized.
I am still mourning the grief and loss of finishing ‘The Hunger Games.’ But now I know it is simply an echo of a fairy tale that has already happened, utterly and truly, and will be realized when I pass to the other side. I feel the same way about Narnia, although Panem is a very different sort of place from Narnia. Then again, maybe not. Narnia was under thousands of years of oppression under the White Witch, just as Panem is under oppression by the Capital and President Snow. Both stories are stories of unlikely heroes… children, really… who are passionate for a cause.
But I shall save these analyses for another time and entry.
I’m excited to watch the movie this weekend. And I realize that if I continue to miss the books, I can simply pick them up over again. But I hope I never lose that longing, that hunger, for the way things should be in a fairy tale… because ultimately what I believe in is the Truth, perhaps the greatest fairy tale ever told.