Table of contents

The Hunger Games 2

Some notes on the prudent archer

Two men train our protagonist. The hunter says: Face the probability of your imminent death, & know that there’s absolutely nothing I can do to help you. Success must come by your own arms, without recourse to strangers. That belief is the ground of the art of war. The other teaches how to impress the many & make friends by deceit: The political art. To be oneself in order to arouse such passions means that audience & protagonists are naturally different, as endurance & daring are different. This teaching separates the few & the many, then puts them together again.

The girl is advised not to reach for weapons when the hunt commences. Direct confrontation is not her way. She is advised to find water & the high ground. Survival indeed requires both first principles & perspective. So soon as she is safe, she sets snares. She is a hunter who also knows to act like prey. Her friend is also full of deceit, which is how he makes his last kill, poisoning another tribune.

The girl gets a weapon by killing a girl who had a weapon. Having the art of war is the only necessity. Two other girls who also try deceit & use the perspective of the high ground die, being untaught in the art of war: They fall victims to traps. Several die by their own traps. We see several young men die because they could not hide, whether or not they could fight. The men, unlike the women, almost always ignore necessity & proudly flaunt their skills or their anger.

The hunters are told that most of them will die of natural causes; killing goes unmentioned, but it’s all we see in the hunt. Apparently, surviving nature is not good enough; one must still survive the onslaught of man. The art of war apparently does not care who uses it: All are advised, but only one will win. The advisers apparently do not understand the implications of their inability to predict or control who wins in the hunt.

The girl learns by degrees that the hunt is only an image made for an audience. This is not to say there are no advantages to staying alive, but that the conditions of survival follow another necessity than the wilderness. The girl learns to make others fall in love with her. It is necessary to pretend to fall in love with them in return. Appearing needy is important in arousing neediness in others. She must pretend to do good for others in order for them to do good in return. But whether or not she does good for others she only judges by the necessity to survive.