The Hunger Games and Philosophy provides an excellent springboard from which to dive into some key themes in this incredibly popular trilogy. Abigail Mann’s contribution, “Competition and Kindness: The Darwinian World of the Hunger Games,” offers some insight into how this series looks when viewed through the lens of Darwinian theory. I will do my best to adequately represent her argument, as well as provide a response of my own.*
According to Ms. Mann, The Hunger Games themselves seem to epitomize Darwin’s concept of how the evolutionary process works: competition, adaptation, survivability, and a little bit of luck. The Games manage to involve three of evolution’s famous Four F’s: fighting, fleeing, feeding, and, uh reproducing. It’s pretty basic, really. Survival of the fittest as entertainment.
In the evolutionary process, selection brings the strong to the top blindly and haphazardly rather than purposefully. No situation is right, wrong, good or bad. Life just happens. Nature in essence “selects” that which is most fit in a given set of complex circumstances either through blind luck and/or superior adaptability. The only thing this process accomplishes ruthlessly is survival through reproduction. Some would say it is the ‘goal’ of evolution, but that’s a hard claim to make in a system with no goals. [Read more...]