The Hunger Games & the Indian Caste System

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ENG 266 - 1001
Essay # 1: The Hunger Games
April 3, 2013

In a story that has an underlying theme of class and poverty, The Hunger Games and their twelve districts can be compared to India’s caste system. Both are hierarchies based on social status. The districts in The Hunger Games include the Capitol being at the top of the chain, with districts one through twelve falling below in numerical order. Going down the order, each district gets more and more poor. Following along with that, the Indian caste system also categorizes each caste by career type. That is, if a family or person falls into a specific caste. Those who do not are considered outcasts. In The Hunger Games, a similar organizational system is used. Each district is classified by careers as well. There is a district for mining, agriculture, and so on. The “untouchables” of the Indian caste system could easily be compared to the “avoxes” of the capital. Women also do not play much of a role in the caste system, as they are required to have lower paying jobs and stay true and pure for their future spouses. Women, however, are allowed to marry up a caste if they do desire.

The Hunger Games was written in 2008 by author Suzanne Collins. The novel can be translated into multiple different themes, including government control, gender roles, and the class system. Government control is evident throughout the story as the Capitol runs the games each year to prevent the districts from rebelling against the Capitol. The contestants are playing for keeps, with their life of course, and are forced to hate each district throughout the games as they kill one another. As for gender roles, Katniss defies the norm and proves to be a strong woman who does more than your stereotypical woman does. She took care of the family at home while still making the money and bringing home the food for her mother and sister. Lastly, the class system goes hand in hand with the theme of government control. If the Capitol and...
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