I saw "The Hunger Games" movie yesterday, after reading the book a few weeks ago. I've been thinking about the book and Pesach for a while. I'm surprised that I've seen or read very little drawing a connection. (Here are the only two things that popped up so far: from Aish and from a rabbi in Atlanta.) I'm trying to gather my thoughts about this, so here are some first ideas.
There are some obvious connections. Both are about rebellion against tyranny. In The Hunger Games, a regime turns on its people, divides them, pits them against each other, and exploits their labor. This is a bit different from the Exodus, where only one group is oppressed. In both, there is a kind of underground -- the woods where Katniss and Gale escape and the black market in the novel; the sphere where the midwives Shifra and Puah save babies away from the eyes of Pharaoh.
I'm most intrigued of course by Katniss Everdeen. She seems to me like a kind of Miryam and Moshe figure in some ways. Both of them early in their lives, according to the midrash, could be brash in their resistance to Pharaoh. Miryam is said to have verbalized audacious thoughts, announcing her belief in Pharaoh's downfall. Moshe of course, as a teenager, reacts to injustice with his own act of violence against the taskmaster.
In the first book of the trilogy (as far as I've gotten) Katniss is unsure of her role and even her motivations. Is she willing to take resistance all the way? Is she thinking about her family, her district, and the other Tributes only, or is she standing up for all the oppressed people of Panem? Moshe is like this -- he flees to Midian for a long time after he first steps up, and it is a long time until he turns toward God's call at the burning bush.
Rabbi Michael from Atlanta notes that there is no tradition, no Exodus story, for Katniss to rely on. In that she is very much like Miryam and Moshe, blazing their own trail. He also notes the symbol of the mockingjay, which Katniss wears as an emblem of resistance and independence. According to the midrash, the Israelites passed down a code for four hundred years: the Hebrew letters peh peh, which stood for the words "God will remember, yes remember you" that Yosef told his people before he died.
So what do you think? Add your comments here. Surely there's a connection to the Exodus in this extraordinarily popular new story of oppression and resistance.