The Hunger Games


Plot Summary

The Hunger Games is set in Panem, a dystopia that appears to reflect America after some type of failed revolution by the lower class. Panem is divided into districts, though the opening of the novel gives no real information about the other districts, focusing on District 12. The novel opens with an introduction to Katniss, one of the main characters and protagonists of the novel. She is a 16-year old girl, and she travels stealthily into the woods in order to hunt for food for her family. She is meeting her friend Gale, an older teenager, in the woods. They are hunting companions and best friends.

Quickly, the reader learns that it is a day known as the reaping. During the reaping, two teenagers, known as tributes, from each district are chosen to participate in the Hunger Games. the Hunger Games are a televised fight-to-the-death in which children are pitted against one another. All teenagers between the ages of 12 and 18 in a district are potential tributes, but each year a teenager has an additional chance of being chosen in the reaping, so that an 18-year-old is six times more likely to be chosen than a 12-year-old. Katniss’s thoughts are focused on her younger sister, Primrose (Prim), because Prim has turned 12 and is now eligible for the reaping. Katniss is concerned about her younger sister, whom she has largely raised since her father’s death five years prior. However, she consoles herself with the fact that Prim’s odds of being chosen in the reaping are very small.

The introduction to the Hunger Games also explains the role that they play in the society of Panem. They are a means of punishing the districts for a rebellion that is never fully explained. There were once 13 districts, but the districts all rebelled against the Capitol. The Capitol eliminated District 13 and continues to punish the other districts by making their children vulnerable each year. This is a way for the Capitol to keep the districts under control. Furthermore, if the districts refuse to comply with the reaping, the threat of total destruction, and...

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