Monday, March 24, 2014

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is a fictional novel. The compelling and sensational plot make this book so interesting, I cannot keep my eye off it when I started reading.

    The story is set in a future North American country known as Panem. The Capitol, the antagonist in the book, selects a boy and a girl, called tributes, between the ages of 12 and 18 from each of twelve districts, to participate. “The twenty-four tributes will be imprisoned in a vast outdoor arena that could hold anything from a burning desert to a frozen wasteland. Over a period of several weeks, the competitors must fight to the death. The last tribute standing wins” (18). Katniss, the protagonist, a 16-year-old girl from District 12 who volunteers for her sister, Prim, a 12-year-old young girl, when Prim’s name is chosen. Then, Katniss goes to the Capitol for training with Peeta who be chosen as the boy from District 12. He is the son of a baker and a childhood friend of Katniss. When the competition begins, Katniss tries her best to fights and to be saved. Because every tributes wants to become the victor of the seventy-fourth annual Hunger Games. "The last tribute alive receives a life of ease back home, and their district will be showered with prizes, largely consisting of food. All year, the Capitol will show the winning district gifts of grain and oil and even delicacies like sugar while the rest of us battle starvation" (19). Only the victor has benefits.

    Collins spends a fair amount of ink on Katniss’s feelings. For example, when Katniss’s body loses water in the beginning of the Hunger Games, she thinks about how she could find the water and what she should do for getting the water from Haymitch. “What is Haymitch doing? Despite my danger, and suspicious, a small voice in the back of my head whispers an answer. Maybe he’s sending you a message, it says. There’s only one good reason Haymitch could be withholding ester from me. Because he knows I’ve almost found it” (169). Katniss's thoughts are through the whole book. "Now what? I could probably finish off the job by sense of feel but that may not be the smartest plan. If the wasps are too groggy, if the nest catches on its way down, if I try to escape, this could all be a deadly waste of time" (187). Katniss is struggling with many ideas before she wants to cut a wasp nest to harm other tributes.

    Katniss and other people in Panem hate this game, but they cannot revolt. Because the reason of having this game that is revolt. Long time ago, "The districts against the Capitol. Twelve were defeated, the thirteenth obliterated. The Treaty of Treason gave us the new laws to guarantee peace and, as our yearly reminder that the Dark Days must never be repeated, it gave us the Hunger Games" (18). Katniss replaces her sister goes to the Hunger Games. She does not want to hurt anyone, but if she is going to win she is going to have to kill. This is the conflict in this book.

    There are a few themes The Hunger Games raises. The easiest to see is survival. Katniss and Peeta must survive the games, but they also survive their daily lives in the districts. Katniss is a survivor; she takes place of her sister for surviving her sister’s safety. And she pulls her family from the hard time after her father died. The next theme I found is power. The Capitol holds most of the country’s wealth, and the government controls all people. The third one is competition. The tributes compete for tempting bounty around the Cornucopia; they fight and compete for the only one victor. Competition is everywhere in the Hunger Games.

    The Hunger Games is appeal to most teenagers, but some plots in the book are violent, so I will not suggest young child to read this book. But I have to say, it is a really great book and contains many great ideas. It is much different from most other books. It will encourage many readers to consider issue: What can people do to get rid of the wealthy few control? Is watching the death of others really make people excited? … I highly suggest reading it, and hope Collins will write more fictional novels as good as The Hunger Games!

 Collins, Suzanne, and Phil Falco. The Hunger Games. New York: Scholastic, 2008. 

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