Starved of Freedom, Feeding on Our Pasts
By: Dubem M.
America, September 14, 2008 – The Hunger Games of The Hunger Games Trilogy is published as the first installation of the young adult series written by Suzanne Collins. The title of the book, The Hunger Games, stems from the gladiator-like displayed battles that occur in the books that have been named The Hunger Games. The story focuses on Katniss Everdeen, a rebel heroine from the post-apocalyptic nation of Panem. She lives in District 12, which is the poorest district in Panem. She is thrown into a whirlwind of battles, danger and love the moment she volunteers for The Hunger Games to save her younger sister, Prim. This book narrates the story of a girl who acts as the catalyst for a blazing fire of revolution and is fighting to not have to fit the mould made by society.
The author, Suzanne Collins, was the youngest of four children. Her father was an Air Force Pilot and made sure to educate them about wars and battles at a young age. She says that he believed that if education about wars happened early then better solutions could be found down the line of life. I believe that her father’s plan worked because The Hunger Games managed to touch the heart of many and was read by a huge audience ranging from teenagers deciding between #TeamGale or #TeamPeeta to acclaimed critics discussing the more insightful themes of the book.
The themes within the book are one of the aspects of The Hunger Games that made it a hit among reviewers. It criticizes and reveals the injustice and manipulation carried out by many governments to protect themselves and prevent riots and chaos. Furthermore, the literary aspect of this novel has been held to high esteem thanks to its tendency to include lots of different techniques. For example, the monomyth discovered by Joseph Campbell is present in The Hunger Games. The monomyth is a structure that most stories have that has a protagonist in a boring world and is called into a harsh world with talismans and allies to find and encounter. In addition to its conventional features, The Hunger Games also provides a window into human nature and how humans tend to deal with one another. The country’s districts explicitly symbolise a hierarchy with levels and jobs, which is explicitly depicted in many other renowned books like Of Mice and Men.
This book has had a huge impact on the world. It has been compared to the globally renowned Animal Farm, and some schools have started to incorporate it into their school curriculum. It even spurred a near-revolution in Thailand. The symbol shown within the book of three finger held up high became a real life symbol for rebellion and unity between people. A protest used this as their symbol/gesture and they were arrested. Further use of that gesture was prohibited. This shows the power and influence The Hunger Games has, and in my opinion it deserves it.