I thought that Daily Kos, being full of academics and humanities majors, would be a decent place to ask this. It's not a political diary, just an opening for discussion
John Granger, who made his name with an academic analysis of the Christian subtexts of the Harry Potter series, had a go with the Hunger Games trilogy. He sees the alchemical color themes of black, white and red in the progress of Katliss from destruction/penitence (black) through sanctification (white) and thence to resurrection (red). Peeta is the Christ figure, giving out bread in Book 1 and tortured for the first half of Book 3. Granger's also sure that the three books' division into three sections, and thence into 32 chapters is an allegory of the Trinity.
Do you think that such an analysis is justified by the books?
Here are the final three paragraphs of a series of articles in which he analyzes the series. Unlocking ‘Mockingjay’: Katniss’ Apotheosis
The book, though, quite intentionally is disturbing rather than a simple delight, satisfying while leaving the reader almost shattered alongside Katniss and confused on quite a few points. The race to the Capitol’s many alchemical notes came in such a rush that, while effective, were lost on the reader almost literally “blown away” by the accumulative gore and violence. Peeta’s agony, too, obscured for most his continuing role as the Christ of the books, the savior in whom our heroine struggles to believe, restores by her love and faith, and whose message she delivers sacrificially by taking up her own murderous cross to land on the Hanging Tree.Is this a reasonable analysis, or is this an attempt by an academic in the humanities to write something that is publishable in a "publish or perish" world?
It is not a Christian book, of course, in a Focus on the Family, cardboard-Jesus, evangelical fashion, but in the tradition of English literature. It is a work that one enters, and, if the heart is pure and disbelief suspended, we are transformed in our shared experience with the hero/ine and his or her greater life in Christ or as Christ. That this anagogical experience and deep stream of meaning exists beneath a dramatic indictment of modern media, the crimes of the political left and right (and how nebulous and superficial the differences between power-pursuing partisans of either side of the aisle are ultimately), and of modern warfare makes Ms. Collins’ achievement that much more notable.
I close with the observation that, as obscure as the sublime content may seem, it is the power of this well-beneath-the-surface story and its magic that delivers all the other messages. Though we only notice the political allegory, perhaps, and want to deny the spiritual freight of the books, it is the latter that changes us, maybe even shattering us, lifting us to a better, more human place above our ego concerns.
For that matter, are the stories of the early New Testament and beliefs/superstitions that may date back to the Bronze Age so woven with our intellectual being that a skillful author plucks at soul-strings whose presence we ignore? Is it also possible that authors completely innocent of alchemical elements (if not Christianity, as Suzanne Collins is said to be Roman Catholic) replicate them because they see them played out again and again in culture, as they may have been since cave-dwellers entertained each other around the fire?