Suzanne Collins’ series “The Hunger Games,” which will soon see the release of a major film adaptation, is captivating the minds of teenagers and adults around the world. Collins’ unique style has made for an excellent series, appropriate and entertaining for all ages. But after reading and loving all three books, I have to wonder, are the books simply creative fiction, or are they a prediction for the future?
“The Hunger Games” trilogy is based in a country named Panem, which is located on the ruins of North America. Within the country of Panem there are two types of societies, the tyrannical Capitol and the twelve districts.
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The Capitol of Panem is the perfect exhibition of power and sheltered opulence. The citizens are rich, well fed, and stocked with everything nice. But while the Capitol is throwing their big parties and buying expensive goods, the districts surrounding them are working hard to fulfill the Capitol’s every need, leaving them with next to nothing.
The twelve districts of Panem are full of misery, poverty, and food shortages. Each of the districts has an assigned duty by the Capitol, from agriculture to coal mining; they work hard and suffer to provide their designated good. The citizens of the districts live within the tyrannical laws of the Capitol, and if they ever decide to break the law, they are sure to pay. The Capitol strives every day to remind the people of the districts that their reign is supreme, and one of their favorite torture devices is the annual Hunger Games.
Every year the Capitol goes around to each of the districts to select two teenagers to fight ’til the death. With 24 in the beginning, only one will win–well, usually, that is.
This story’s Hunger Games had a few twists and turns in it, and they were not set up by the Capitol. Katniss and Peeta, district twelve residents, decide to give the Capitol a run for their money in this year’s Hunger Games. They are tired of the constant oppression and refuse to be pieces in the Capitol’s game. When the Capitol gets a hint of Katniss and Peeta’s plan, they react and turn their lives into a living hell, triggering a complete rebellion in the process.
Many people disregard the fact of how political the “Hunger Games” series is. But when you look at the full picture Collins displays, it is impossible not to see the political trend. Throughout all three books there is a constant battle of tyranny verses freedom.
There is no word on Collins’ political views, but it is obvious she has distaste for government control. She makes it clear that the only way the characters can have freedom is to overthrow their big government machine. I find it hard to believe the books are only coincidentally based in the ruins of America. Could Suzanne Collins be hinting she believes the country’s current trends will lead to an economic collapse?
America’s current situation is one that is leading towards government domination, and though we are not even close to the extremities of “Panem,” it is hard not to imagine what lies ahead. It is gloomy to think of the possibilities of the future, yet refreshing to know that one of the world’s most popular books (and soon to be movies) are ones that actually go against the liberal agenda of larger government influence.
I urge everyone to read this book and to dig deeper. Whether you’re looking to just escape for a while or are in need of some political motivation, “The Hunger Games” is sure to please.