The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is a story about Katniss who is growing up in a time where America has been destroyed by war. It is now called Pandem and is ruled by a dictator in the distant Capitol. Katniss lives in District 12 where they struggle with poverty, famine, and oppression.
Every year there is the Hunger Games where a boy and a girl from each district is chosen to participate. In the games they are forced to fight to the death in an arena while the rest of the country watches on their televisions.
Katniss is a strong and extremely practical girl that will sacrifice everything for those who she loves.
It is a great book and series that is accruing a lot of fame today. The books are currently being made into a movie franchise. I personally loved the books and would highly recommend them to any and every one. Just make sure you have enough time to read all three in a row, you will not want to stop after the first one.
For an interview with Suzanne Collins click here, this interview includes Collins reading from the third book in the series where she uses the accent in which her characters talk in.
A great book for The Hunger Games to be paired with is Brave New World. These post-apocalyptic books share the idea of the masses being strongly controlled by a dictator, in every facet of their lives. The characters of Bernard Marx and Katniss Everdeen both feel a discontent with being so closely controlled by the government and they rebel in their own ways. It would also be interesting to discuss how keeping society apart from other groups would help them to be controlled. In The Hunger Games District 12, where Katniss lives, is not allowed to know about lives in the other districts, and in Brave New World the separate castes do not intermingle.
Another interesting topic would be to analyze how education is used in the books to only pigeonhole the people into a job they are predestined for. For example, District 12 children are educated solely in how to mine coal, and the castes in Brave New World are educated to do the job they are biologically programed for. One more commonality in these books is the use of technology. In The Hunger Games the districts are deprived form technology and only the capitol has access to any technology, be it medical or otherwise. In Brave New World technology is the people’s lives, but they are only given access to what the controller wants them to have.
Both books have a lot to say about society, and include a warning about the potential society has to strip people of their humanity and individuality.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is a satire of a Utopian world where people are made and controlled by the Controller. The main goal in society is to be stable and therefore the people do not have access to anything that can make them hope or even dream. The embryos are made to produce an amount of people for each caste.
The people are without family or passion. The only relationships they do have is with their friends, and these relationships are extremely shallow in nature. The relationships in their lives are affected by the emotions feel and the sole emotion they feel is being content.
The book is interesting and extremely thought-provoking. Definitely an interesting topic to discuss in a classroom setting. Click here to find the text online.