The Hunger Games Susan Collins Copyright date: October 1, 2008 Genre: Science fiction The Hunger Games book review North America has been destroyed and is now run by the powerful Capital and is divided into 12 districts (district 13 has been destroyed due to a rebellion). In district 12 ace hunter Katniss Everdeen, a 16 year old girl, carves out a meager existence for herself, her younger sister Prim and their widowed mother. In order to keep the 12 districts aware of who runs the county, the Capital arranges a game to the death each year in an elaborate arena.
Each district holds a drawing of one boy and one girl to go as tributes. When her sister is picked, Katniss exercises her option to volunteer for the games. Along with Katniss comes also Peeta, the baker’s son, who grew up with her. Katniss and Peeta must fend for themselves against natural elements, the Gamemakers and the other contestants whose only option is to kill or be killed. The seemingly fictional plot of The Hunger Games provided me with entertainment and enjoyment, although it has occurred to me that that some of the themes reflect some of the very real present day themes in today’s society.
Now of course there is no such thing as an actual Hunger Game, and definitely no event that involves children fighting to the death, however, the topics that it addressed seemed to hit close to home. One of main themes was the application of “Districts” and their associated trades. Power plant workers, coal miners, and lumber were just a few of the trades represented in each district, similar to the same concept of unions that we have today.
These “Districts” have been grouped in order of their trade and the rebellions they participate in were a result of the unfair working conditions and unjust laws. Another more obvious theme that can be seen in the book and our society is the apparent divide of the rich and poor. One of the most recent events that supports this theme is the Occupy Wall Street protests. One of the main goals behind the the protest was the unrighteous divide of the 1% Wall Street rich and the more common 99% of the working class.
In the book the working class encounters problems such as lack of food, shelter, clothing — the bare necessities that we are accustomed to. Whereas, the other half of the people in the movie were exposed to the finer things in life ranging from decadent pastries to glamorous costumes and wardrobe. Needless to say the lifestyles of the rich and the poor are made very apparent in the book. Another theme that’s present in our society and the book is the obsession with celebrities and fame.
I found myself finding a lot of similarities between the Hunger Games contestants and those on shows like American Idol and The Voice. Both have stylists that dress them up to make them look more dazzling and attractive, and both have mentors that help guide them through the process. I’m not sure if Suzanne Collins intentionally wrote the trilogy to reflect some of the common themes in society, but it seems that there are a lot of cross overs and correlations that beg the question, are the odds ever in our favor?