'Hunger Games' author Suzanne Collins, in rare interview, muses on war and the cycle of violence(Read article summary)
Suzanne Collins says she 'sort of completed' a goal of hers this fall by releasing her children's book 'Year of the Jungle,' which examines war from a child's point of view. Collins wants to write a book about war for every child age group, she says.
In an interview with Time Magazine, â€śHunger Gamesâ€ť author Suzanne Collins discussed the upcoming film adaptation of the second book in her series, her favorite characters, and her childrenâ€™s book â€śYear of the Jungle.â€ť
â€śCatching Fire,â€ť the second book of the â€śHunger Gamesâ€ť series, focuses on protagonist Katniss and her friend and fellow Games victor Peeta as they deal with the aftermath of their win and are forced to go back into the arena as unrest in the country grows.
â€śTheyâ€™re sort of onion characters,â€ť Collins said of the two. â€śAnd as you peel back the layers you find more and more about what theyâ€™ve experienced.â€ť
She also commented on the seeming difference between her writing â€śHunger Gamesâ€ť and penning scripts for the comforting childrenâ€™s TV series â€śLittle Bear.â€ť
â€śAll the writing elements are the same,â€ť Collins said of writing the two. â€śYou need to tell a good storyâ€¦. Youâ€™ve got good charactersâ€¦. People think thereâ€™s some a dramatic difference between writing Little Bear and the Hunger Games, and as a writer, for me, there isnâ€™t.â€ťÂ
The author said she recently "sort of completed" a personal goal by writing her childrenâ€™s book â€śYear of the Jungle,â€ť which was released this fall and focuses on a young girl whose father is fighting in Vietnam. Collins says she was looking to write a story about war for every child age group. Her 2003 book â€śThe Underland Chronicles: Gregor the Overlanderâ€ť is her war story for middle-grade children, she said. Collinsâ€™ father was in the military and â€śhe, I think, felt it was his responsibility to make sure that all his children had an understanding about war, about its cost, its consequences,â€ť she said.Â
â€śIf I took the 40 years of my dad talking to me about war and battles and taking me to battlefields and distilled it down into one question, it would probably be the idea of the necessary or unnecessary war. Thatâ€™s very much at the heart of it,â€ť Collins said. â€śThe picture book is really just an introduction to the idea of warâ€¦. The Underland Chronicles, sort of moving along in sophistication, is about the unnecessary war. The Underland Chronicles is an unnecessary war for a very long time until it becomes a necessary warâ€¦. In The Hunger Games, in most peopleâ€™s idea, in terms of rebellion or a civil-war situation, that would meet the criteria for a necessary warâ€¦. And then what happens is that it turns back around on itself. If you look at the arenas as individual wars or battles, you start out in the first one and you have a very classic gladiator game. By the second one it has evolved into what is the stage for the rebellion, because the arena is the one place that all the districts that cannot communicate with each other, itâ€™s the one place they can all watch together. So itâ€™s where the rebellion blows up. And then the third arena is the Capitol, which has now become an actual war. But in the process of becoming an actual war, in the process of becoming a rebellion, they have now replicated the original arena. So itâ€™s cyclical, and itâ€™s that cycle of violence that seems impossible for us to break out of.â€ť