Hunger Games: Friends and Frienemies

A devotion for Jr. High Students

In the book and movie The Hunger Games, all the tributes know that only one can be crowned victor.  Yet many of them form relationships.  Just like in real life, Some of these are true friendships and some are not.

Do you remember your first friend?  Are you still friends today?  When we’re young most of us make friends with the people around us because they’re available.  These relationships come and go, a few may stay with us, but as we get older the bar for friendship gets higher and higher.  We make more conscious decisions about who is our friend and what kind of friend we want to be.

During the 74th Hunger Games, Marvel, Glimmer, Cato, and Clove form an alliance.  They have lot in common: they’re older, well trained and confident;  they all come from (relatively) wealthy districts and they’ve received a specialized education.  They treat the games like fun and bond over hunting and torturing the other tributes, but each knows in their heart only 1 of them can survive.  When something goes wrong– like a trackerjacket nest, or their food being destroyed– or when they have no other targets they are quick to turn on one another.   They even pretend to be friends with Peeta, just so he’ll help them find Katniss, and then   Have you ever known anyone like that?  Someone who always puts themselves first?  Or mocks others to make themselves look good?  [allow for answers]

The Career’s friendship is very different than the relationship Katniss develops with Rue.  How would you describe their alliance?  [allow for answers]

They help one another, they try to protect each other.  When Rue dies, Katniss genuinely grieves for her and tries to honor her memory.  It’s that same kind of friendship that makes Katniss volunteer for the games in the first place.

Jesus said “No greater love has anyone than this:  that they would lay down their life for their friends.”  (John 15:13).  That’s the kind of love He showed for us on the cross, and the kind of love he calls us to show to one another.  It isn’t always easy, in fact a lot of times we fail.  But the alternative is living like we’re in a battle; remaining constantly on our guard, never really trusting even the people we’re closest to because we know they’ll hurt us the same way we would hurt them.

Discussion Questions:

  • Can you think of any other relationships from the book/movie?  How did they become friends?
  • Can you name any friends in the Bible?  What is their relationship like?
  • Based on this what are good qualities to look for in a friend?
  • How can you be a good friend?
  • What about Katniss and Peeta?  How would you describe their relationship?  How does it measure up to Jesus’s standard?

3 thoughts on “Hunger Games: Friends and Frienemies

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