Here’s a new thing I’m starting. Rants. On things I find randomly on Pinterest.
So. I guess it has come to the attention of the Internet that there is little to no swearing in the Hunger Games trilogy. Apparently this bothers people. I guess that’s because in current American culture a huge group of people believe that the only appropriate, human response to pain and suffering is swearing.
I’ll give them this:
1. A lot of people swear.
2. A lot of stuff is hard to express in any other way than swearing, especially in a short amount of time.
1. Not everyone swears.
2. Katniss is a woman of few words.
3. Panem ISN’T modern America. And believe it or not, not every culture swears.
4. Suzanne Collins obviously likes to express character reactions in words other than “swearing.”
End of first rant.
Potter fans, please realize that I have a deep respect for J.K. Rowling, her stories, and her accomplishments.
Let’s talk about this idea of a “best seller” first. What, dear people of the Internet, is a best seller? Is it a book that sells so well that the author is commissioned to write sequels? One that is so beloved and bought that movies are made from every single book in the series, and those movies go on to become giant blockbusters? Or is a best-seller a book that lasts for decades and makes an impact not only on the readers, but on the market and storytelling in general?
The Hunger Games, the Harry Potter books and the Twilight series did and are doing ALL these things. They are ALL best sellers, in every way.
Why is it ok to belittle a successful author? Why is it acceptable to hate a person who worked just as hard to create a world, a story and a series as another author? Why is that same author’s work derided when she ends her books happily? And, if the Potter books are about friendship, loyalty, sacrifice and true love, why don’t the readers practice these things?
Let me tell you the beauty of the Twilight story, from someone who watched the movies.
Twilight is about a normal girl, someone who has nothing going for her except a pretty good dad. Somehow this girl, who isn’t even very pretty, has no talents to make her noticed, isn’t incredibly smart and doesn’t have any experience with real life, catches the attention of a man who is far older, wiser, smarter, prettier and more accomplished than she is. Instead of running from him in fear, she faces the one person she should never have attracted and begins the greatest con I’ve ever watched. She keeps him interested in her until (epic spoilers) he is forced to turn her into an immortal, powerful, beautiful, alluring creature with little equal in the world of humans. She is suddenly everything she wasn’t–accepted, accomplished, pretty and with purpose. If you listened closely to the last movie, Bella says, “I suddenly knew what I was supposed to be all along.” And you realize….
Twilight wasn’t telling a love story at all. Twilight was and is a story about an ordinary person who fought her way into extraordinary.
Now let’s talk about Mr. Potter, the king of the nerd reader world. Harry begins life as an extraordinary person. He is hailed as the defeater of the most powerful wizard ever. He is taken to a school for wizardry and every semester he uses his extraordinary skills as a friend, a wizard and a warrior to fight evil. He always prevails. Has he suffered much? Yes. Has he lost much? Yes. But in the end the story of Harry Potter is about an extraordinary boy who did extraordinary things in the face of terrible opposition.
We are not wizards, those of us who love the Potter books. Most of us are horribly ordinary people. And yet we scoff at the Twilight books and hail the Potter books.
Both J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer gave us gifts. They told wildly different stories, but they showed us the same thing: people can achieve extraordinary things, no matter the opposition. Both of them shouldn’t have become millionaires, the odds were stacked against them. But they worked hard and took the literary world by storm.
Even if you don’t like the Twilight books, or maybe you’re one of those Potter haters (you better not post on the Internet–I think it will instantly kill you), have a little respect for a person who prevailed in spite of the odds. Maybe you hated their work, but that’s all it is in the end–their work. No need to attack the person.