Quoting High School Students on “The Hunger Games”: The Best Ever. Ever.

This will be a short tribute.  In honor of the inordinate amount of money generated at the box office by the movie The Hunger Games, I’d like to talk about it for a brief moment. But I haven’t read the book or seen the movie, so instead of approaching the subject in a way I might normally approach a book or film (with some sort of real and personal knowledge), I’m going to rely on my teenage students for the requisite information.  And as you can see from the quotes below, I’ve gotten to know the movie’s key points pretty well by now.

I kept a notepad to record the following nine verbatim clips of high school students’ film analysis and critiques I overheard in the classrooms and hallways of the high school where I teach:

1. An obvious starting place – a freshman boy in my English 9 class:  “Have you seen The Hunger Games yet?  Oh, man, it’s like the best movie ever made.  No joke.  The best ever.  Ever.”

2.  Another freshman boy who stands up while speaking:  “Yeah, it’s a requirement.  Fact.  You have to see this movie.  You haven’t seen it?” he points around the room. “What? You haven’t seen it either?  Show me your hands, everyone.  Who’s seen it? What?  You’ve got to be kidding me.  This is ridiculous.”

3. A sophomore boy in the 200 Hall talking to his friend:  “That chick in The Hunger Games, she’s, like, so fine.  A super fine poor girl.  When her hair’s all wet and shit?  I’d like to fight her, you know? Not kill her and all, but you know what I mean, right?  Get it?”

4.  A sophomore girl standing outside the library talking to a friend:  “I don’t know why Katniss is so beautiful, but she is.  And she’s amazing, you know?  Like what all she can do?  I’d carry a bow everywhere if they’d let me.”

5.  A quick back and forth between two freshmen girls in the 300 Hall:  ” Oh, and the ending.”  “Oh, I know.”  “Yeah, I was like, ‘no…'”  “Oh I know.  Me too.  I was like ‘no’ the whole time.”

6. Senior boy talking to his friend at the drinking fountain in the 400 Hall:  “Yeah, people say it’s kinda sad in parts or whatever but mostly I just wanna do that sort of thing.  The way I play COD, I know I wouldn’t have any trouble.  I can go up behind a gunner post and slit a throat.  For real.  No literally, for real.”

7.  A freshman girl in the front hall: “Peeta’s too cute.  When he’s looking at Katniss all serious and stuff?  I don’t even know what she’s thinking.  What would you be thinking?  I know what I’d be thinking.”

8.  A Junior girl waving her hands around like she’s swatting at bees:  “Are you fucking kidding me?  Really?  Peeta over Gale?  Are you totally fucking blind?  What the fuck? For serious?”

9.  A junior girl to her friend as they copy chemistry notes at a desk in the English office:  “I don’t know, but basically.  Yeah.  I know it sounds weird but I wouldn’t mind being a girl who has to fight to feed my district.  Would you?  And some of those other kids were evil too, so I could justify things.  And they made the right choice in the end, don’t you think?”

Peter Brown Hoffmeister


  1. Ooh. I never considered that ascpet of Foxface’s death. How horrible would that be? That among her last thoughts would be, Well, at least these two won’t do anything bad to my body. Sadness. Now I want to give Foxface a hug again. Wonderful review. Like many, this movie and associated book series has eaten my brain and I mull it over in my head frequently. (And I’ve got a movie pass that I intend to use to watch it again, if the stars align.) Thanks, by the way, for reiterating the underlying message of children dying is bad, m’kay?’, because that’s something that has such potential to get lost in the telling of the story. How terrible of an upbringing must a Career tribute have, to be raised from an early age knowing they’re going to have to kill or be killed? Worst. Birthday parties. Ever. Augh. This series breaks my heart a little bit, each and every time I go back through it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *