Book Review: The Hunger Games Trilogy

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Hannah Hirschhorn
The trilogy of The Hunger Games written by Suzanne Collins, focuses on a country that is being controlled by an oppressive government and the people who are fighting against it for their freedom. Although the odds are against the rebels, they continue to combat tyranny at the risk of their own lives. The story takes place in the not too distant future in a country called Panem, which represents the United States. The Capitol, which is the center of the national government, is a brutal and very advanced metropolis, exercises political and physical control over the entire nation of Panem. One of the methods used by the government is the annual lethal “Hunger Games.” The main character, Katniss Everdeen is the female tribute or participant representing District 12 in the government sponsored to- the-death competition called the Hunger Games. Each of Panem’s twelve districts chooses one female and one male between the ages of ten and seventy to participate in the competition, but in the end, only one will survive. The Capitol uses various systems to manipulate the districts to keep the people under control and living in uncomfortable conditions which become increasingly severe over time. The Capitol is the ruling government of Panem in the novel, The Hunger Games. This government focuses on controlling its citizen population by confiscating goods from each district. The government takes food, transportation, protection, private property, energy, and most importantly, communication between each district. Without these six essentials the districts are at the mercy of the Capitol. In order for the people to get these necessities each district must look to the Capitol for help, which is the ultimate goal of the government. One of the Capitol’s policies is that when a district produces the required amount of goods or services for the government the district is rewarded with a small percentage of that production and a food allotment. In The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen says, “District 12 – where you can starve to death in safety,” (The Hunger Games, 6). Katniss’ attitude is justified because District 12 is the poorest District: it cannot produce enough coal to meet the Capitol’s requirements, and therefore, does not receive its food allotment. During one of Katniss’ appearances at a Capitol function, she sees what the people are doing with their precious food, and she despises them, “And here in the Capitol they're vomiting for the pleasure of filling their bellies again and again. Not from some illness of body or mind, not from spoiled food. It's what everyone does at a party. Expected. Part of the fun,” (Catching Fire, 88). This illustrates that the Capitol does not care that people are starving in the districts. The people are being starved deliberately. Transportation for each district is highly limited; walking is the main form of transportation within the districts. All districts, except District 6, have access to the government owned train, but it is very expensive to use. There is only one way citizens can use the train at no cost, and that is if they are chosen as tributes for the Hunger Games. In District 12, Katniss Everdeen volunteered as tribute in place of her sister. Her family is not wealthy so she got to ride the train to the Capitol for the first time, “Of course, I’ve never been on a train, as travel between districts is forbidden except for officially sanctioned duties,” (The Hunger Games, 41). The Capitol controls the district’s transportation in order to stifle communication among the districts. If the people are allowed to communicate freely they would be able to plot the overthrow of the government. Districts 6 and 13 specialize in transportation. Not much else is known about District 6 other than its production is transportation mostly for the Capitol. In the first book of The Hunger Games trilogy, readers are told that during the Dark Days the Capitol destroyed...
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