Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Notions on Love, Hunger Games style.

 I promised at least one more writing about The Hunger Games, yes?

I have seen the movie twice now and loved it more the second time.  Can't wait to see it a few more times...hope it parks at the Elvis for a good long while. 

But, one thing I did not care for in the movie version was the light and vague treatment of Katniss and Peeta's deep connection before The Reaping. It's only a moment- in the rain- but it means everything to the story. 

This is what truly happened, from the book source, Katniss speaking:

"When I met Peeta, I was eleven years old, and I was almost dead." I talk about that awful day when I tried to sell the baby clothes in the rain, how Peeta's mother chased me from the bakery door, and how he took a beating to bring me the loaves of bread that saved our lives. "We had never even spoken.  The first time I ever talked to Peeta was on the train to the games."

Katniss often refers to Peeta as "the boy with the bread".  That is her endearment of him when all other confusing terms conveying her feelings for him fail her..."the boy with the bread".  But that says it all to us, doesn't it?  That phrase sums up his deep connection with Katniss' soul...he sacrificed himself to save her.  And he does it again and again.  Because he loves her. 

I keep being reminded of this:

"Greater love has no man than this, that he would lay down his life for another."

I feel I am not learning this lesson and that's why I continue to see it everywhere.  Real and lasting affection means placing one's own selfish wants needs desires below the Beloved's.  It means sacrificing self to bring joy and peace to the one you love more than yourself.  And that's really the key isn't it...loving someone more than we love self.  It's easy to love our children this way, but it's a harder thing to be vulnerable...to give all our power hopes dreams future...over to another adult human being, isn't it?

We usually get a different perspective on love from media.  Pop culture tells us to please self, to end relationships where we aren't getting what we deserve...I have used that phrase before too.  Ouch.

But the lasting stories, the ones that won't leave our minds, are love stories based in sacrifice. Katniss and Peeta, Jack and Rose in Titanic, Colonel Brandon and Marianne in Sense and Sensibility, Aragorn and Arwen in Lord of the Rings, Rochester and Jane in Jane Eyre, Brad and Paradise in The Bride Collector...you probably didn't recognize that last one but it's okay, these are just some of my favorites.  I am sure you have plenty of your own.  Although usually in these stories, there isn't equal sacrifice...one person loves and sacrifices more than the other.  This is true in life also, yes?  It is rare to find two people in a committed loving relationship who sacrifice equally...it takes deep connection and maturity.

Truth- I love the character of Peeta.  He's so good.  If we are honest, we realize Katniss doesn't really deserve the deep and sacrificial love he has for her.  Don't misunderstand me, she is a noble female hero.  But she is selfish with her love too.  She withholds, out of fear.  And she can't figure out what to do with Peeta's love or how to reciprocate, other than feeling she is amassing an emotional debt she can never repay.

Truth- Sometimes you have to just to accept it.  Treasure it for all it is...a gift of another's heart you can never be worthy of.  Then endeavor to give your own heart in return. 

Still pondering love.  And adore that boy with the bread.


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