Sociology of "Hunger Games"

Topics: Sociology, Social class, United States Capitol Pages: 7 (1705 words) Published: April 29, 2014


Sociology of “Hunger Games”
By. Tom ************
Soc 101
11/17/13

Introduction
The nation of Panem has risen out of the ravaged ruins of what was once known as North America. 74 years ago, the poverty-stricken districts of Panem rebelled against the wealthy, controlling the Capitol. After its crushing victory, the Capitol devised the Hunger Games as an annual reminder to the twelve districts of its authority, and as continuing punishment for the rebellion. Every year, each district must hold a raffle (known as the "reaping") to choose one boy and one girl (ranging from age 12–18) to participate in the Hunger Games, a competition in which each of the twenty-four contestants (known as "tributes") fight to the death in a televised arena until only one is left alive. This is the story of the 74th Hunger Games and at the center of it is Katniss Everdeen, a resident of the poorest of all the districts, District 12. During "The Reaping", the "Tribute" selection comes to pass and is where Katniss ultimately volunteers to fight after her sister's name is drawn from the fish bowl. Her male counterpart is the baker's son, Peeta Melark. Per the rules, only one or neither of these two combatants will ever return to District 12 alive. "The Hunger Games" are treated as just that, games, they are televised in the Capitol and all 12 Districts as people look on, the members of the Capitol cheering along the way and members of each District looking on in sadness as their children are murdered for the satisfaction of the oppressive government. After the tributes are selected they are taken by train to the Capitol. On the train and in the capitol you can see the apparent culture shock in the face of the 2 district 12 contestants. Coming from the poorest district modeled after the coal mining era, where most people live in absolute poverty Peeta and Katniss are taken back by the surplus of luxury and wealth exhibited by the Capitol. The Games are held in an arena in a forested area. When they begin, Katniss rushes away from the excitement of the initial bloodbath and uses her hunting/survival skills to develop a strategy. She sleeps in trees and hunts game. Each night, faces of the dead are broadcast into the sky. As she stays hidden, she learns that Peeta has allied himself with the "Career Tributes," those tributes from the richer districts who train their entire lives for the Games. The game makers announce that the rules have changed, and that the two tributes from a district can serve as co-victors. She then finds Peeta, who was cut badly after helping Katniss escape the Careers. She does her best to help him recover. They spend days growing closer in a cave, they prepare themselves and head out to face Cato, the only other surviving tribute. But their main challenge turns out not to be Cato, but several wolf-man creatures unleashed by the Game makers, creatures reanimated from the corpses of dead tributes. Katniss and Peeta escape by climbing to higher ground, while the other tribute falls and is tortured by the creatures. Finally, Katniss kills the tribute with her arrow out of mercy. They have won the Games, but the Game makers rescind the rule about dual victors. Peeta and Katniss threaten to commit suicide, which would ruin the Games, and they are hence awarded a dual victory. Social Conflict

The social conflict theory is a struggle between different segments of a society over often limited and valuable resources, needed for that segments survival. This is seen in majority of districts as the citizens of each district struggle to survive and obtain resources such as food, water, clothing, and shelter. They are also exploited for their districts specific resources like fish, coal, and steel to name a few by the ubber rich Capitalist ( those who live in the capitol). This reminded me of our reading and discussions about the Congo. In the Congo the poor native people were controlled by...

References: 1. Smith,J. (April 18, 2012). Five Lessons in Human Goodness from “The Hunger Games”. Retrieved (Nov 15, 2013). From http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/five_lessons_in_human_goodness_from_the_hunger_games
2. Schofelt,C. & Walsh, D.(March 28, 2012). Why does The Hunger Games strike a chord?. Retrieved (Nov 15, 2013) From http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2012/03/game-m28.html
3. Ebert, R. (March 20, 2012). The Hunger Games Review. Retrieved(Nov 15, 2013) From http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-hunger-games-2012
4. Travers, P.(March 21, 2012) The Hunger Games Review. Retrieved(Nov 15, 2013) From http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/reviews/the-hunger-games-20120321
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