Hunger Games is a novel that speaks about a dystopian community of Panem in North America (Latham & Hollister 2013). The nation is made up of a wealthy capital city found in the Rocky Mountains and surrounding the capital are twelve districts which are poor. Any decision regarding the twelve districts is made in the capital. In the capital, they live extravagant lives and are advanced technologically. In the 12 districts, on the other hand, they live below the poverty levels, and little about technology is known to them.
The narrator of this novel hails from district 12 the poorest of the twelve and where people die due to lack of basic needs. As a way of punishing the 12 districts for a rebellion against the capital, a boy and a girl who are in their teenage years are selected by the king to participate in a yearly pageant called Hunger Games. The contestants are made to fight until one of them dies, and the other emerges the winner in one of the capital’s public stadiums. Whoever that wins the battle enables the district from which they hail from to obtain some goodies which they take to the people in the community. The importance of the Hunger Games is simply to bring together the wealthy class of the capital and it also a way of telling the other districts that the rich men and women have no respect for them. Giving the government too much control in a country can lead to the violation of human rights.
Katniss Everdeen, a teenager from District 12 volunteers to take part in the 74th Hunger Games replacing her younger sister (Miller 2014). The boy selected from the same district is Peeta Mellark, and both are mentored by Haymitch who won 24 years ago. In an interview with the local media, Peeta confesses his secret love for Katniss. Katniss surprised about the confession says that she has feelings for another man who happens to be her friend and hunting mate. In the public stadium, Katniss takes on Rue an age mate of her sister from one of the Districts. After her death, Katniss places flowers on her body which signifies defiance towards the capital. All the tributes participating are allowed to work together as a team and win for their district (Simmons 2012).
Katniss finds Peeta takes that opportunity to nurse him till he regains his health and after the killing of all the other tributes the rules of the game changes immediately. With the two refusing to kill each other Katniss creatively suggests something which says that they can eat poisonous berries and die from them only for the authorities to save them during the last minute. The authorities are however furious of the fact that they have been made fools and Katniss pretends that she did all that for her love for Peeta.
Catching fire takes place half a year later after the completion of the hunger games. In this second series, Katniss realizes that her defiance in the first set had inspired a chain of reaction and started the revolution among the people of the districts. The president annoyed by that promises to hurt those close to Katniss if she does nothing to change a situation that is rebellious. Peeta is aware of Katniss love for him which is an act and having heard the threats from the president they play along. They tour the districts telling the people that they plan to do a public wedding.
Although they pretend to follow the orders of the president Katniss takes that opportunity to fuel rebellion. The Mockingjay pin she wears becomes a symbol of rebellion. As a result, all the districts stage an uprising against the capital. The president organizes a special 75th Hunger Games edition where Katniss and Peeta are supposed to fight with past winners leading to a cancellation of the wedding. All the tributes are urged to team up, and they manage to destroy the arena and escape. It is during that time when Katniss realizes the important role she plays in the rebellion. She also realizes that the plan had been there all along and after a while, she joins the rebels.
Mockingjay is the final series of the novel, and in it, most of the districts had rebelled against the capital. The capital lied about the destruction of the communities, and after the Mexican standoff, the residents of what was known as District 13 rebuild their strengths. Survivors of District 12 decided to work with those of district 13 and Katniss after seeing the destruction decided to stand out and be the symbol of the uprising.
Her fellow Games Victors including Peeta are captured by the capital and are to be granted immunity. A rescue mission is organized for her sake, and it can rescue her Game victors. Peeta had been brainwashed at the time he was captured and therefore tries to kill Katniss he is however treated and goes back to the mission. Katniss also recovers, and her team known as the Star squad continues with their mission. Katniss decides to go to the capital and kill snow, and most of the crew members are killed as they approach his mansion. Katniss who is also injured in the mission wakes up from a hospital bed only to realize that her teammates had won the fight marking the end of an error of torture and poor governance.
From the series, it is apparent that the capital was on a mission to destroy the 12 districts and their people. For long the people and their children had been mistreated, and it was their time to take on the capital and fight their rights. In any other setup, the people need to know their rights and fight for them. Governments should also respect and the people and avoid subjecting them to acts which are inhuman.
- Latham, D., & Hollister, J. M. (2013). The Games People Play: Information and Media Literacies in the Hunger Games Trilogy. Children’s Literature in Education, 45(1), 33-46. doi:10.1007/s10583-013-9200-0
- Miller, M. C. (2014). Of Bread, Blood and The Hunger Games: Critical Essays on the Suzanne Collins Trilogy ed. by Mary F. Pharr, Leisa A. Clark. Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, 39(3), 445-447. doi:10.1353/chq.2014.0046
- Simmons, A. M. (2012). Class on Fire: Using the Hunger Games Trilogy to Encourage Social Action. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 56(1), 22-34. doi:10.1002/jaal.00099