The Hunger Games: Comparing and Contrasting

September 14, 2010
By LisaM BRONZE, Kansas City, Missouri
LisaM BRONZE, Kansas City, Missouri
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

What would it be like if your daily needs turned into a battle to the death? If violence and obsession were much more common than usual and the government was corrupt, what would you do? Could you do anything? Imagine that was your life every single day. Compare it to your own life, and prepare to see a remarkable change, and many other shocking similarities. Throughout The Hunger Games, there are countless similarities and differences when you compare Panem and the real world, such as violence, physical appearance and food.

Violence, obsession with physical appearance and the need for food are general topics that relate to both Panem and our world. Basically, the entire idea of The Hunger Games was to depict children killing children, turning it into the most overpowering point by itself. However, many other acts of violence were used against others in Panem that were not as prominent. Panem's media is very open against violence, not to mention making the entire country watch their coverage of the game. The people become desensitized to violence over the years, making this horrible law less disgusting and heartbreaking than some would think before. Violence becomes a part of their lives, and unless a loved one is in the arena, the shock wears away. The Hunger Games is a punishment against the people for rebelling because of the absolutely unfair way they have been treated, but other minor punishments are a part of Panem as well. Stealing, disobedience or even speaking out can result in horrible punishment or a death penalty. In all, Panem's level of violence is very high, and certainly a nightmare for any who truly believe in their own freedom. Our current nation would have a long way to go to get into Panem’s state. In comparison, our world does have slightly similar places like Panem, but our own government in the United States, media and punishments are far from all the insanity caused in the Hunger Games.

Have you ever watched a fashion show? What if the clothes the models were wearing were your normal apparel? Would you wear layers of multicolored makeup just to look beautiful every day? The residents of Panem's capital do. During the Hunger Games, one of the most important ways to win was surprisingly to look good. Appealing to the viewers and sponsors with looks and personality could result in a victory by itself. After all, it is on television, and though the people of Panem are forced to watch it anyway, they still attempt to make it seem like an entertaining show to watch. When Katniss first arrived to the capital, the fashion there seemed quite vibrant and seemed incredibly overdone. The most staggering extreme that seemed to stand out is that the people of Panem took to was dying their skin a certain color. Interestingly, even Katniss who had seen the Hunger Games many times on television seemed to be appalled by the preposterous looks of the Capital's people, with few exceptions. Even during the actual games, Katniss was forced to wear a costume. Is it possible that our world could head into the Capital’s state? Perhaps it’s already on its way. Our world is filled with not only the immense amount of makeup and clothing, but tanning and plastic surgery as well, which could very well compare to Panem’s dying of the skin.

The definition of food is quite the same, yet entirely different for the people of Panem. If you lived in the Capital, food is simply a necessary luxury and three meals a day came to you at a little cost. If you lived in the poorer districts, food is never guaranteed and those three easy meals a day could turn into none at all. Working, hunting, growing, or even stealing are all difficult, yet normal ways to obtain food for you and your family living in the district. In the districts, it’s not about what you like or don’t like to eat. Rather, it’s more what you can or cannot eat. The advantage Katniss had over the people in the higher districts during the Hunger Games was that she knew how to hunt animals or in some cases humans, specifically with a bow. The majority of people in Panem are very much food deprived, and labor just to get something to eat. The majority of people in our nation usually work to buy their own food, which is probably much better than the food served in the districts of Panem. There are a lot people in our world that do hunt or grow their own food for themselves or to sell, just like in Panem. However, we try to get food to every part of our country, not hoarding it all into one place, unlike Panem, so everybody gets their fair share.

In conclusion, the similarities and differences between Panem and the current United States are quite plentiful. The connections that Suzanne Collins wrote in her book show interesting results when compared to the real world. Throughout The Hunger Games, there are countless similarities and differences when you compare Panem and the real world, such as violence, physical appearance and food.

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This article has 13 comments.

Silly Girl said...
on May. 4 2015 at 5:01 pm
I think homwork is good because it helps you to be ready for life. But it is hard work.

Happiness said...
on Nov. 6 2013 at 5:59 pm
How is Panem's media against violence? They endorse it, they make an entire nation watch it. So wouldn't they be for violence?

Stoneman said...
on Aug. 24 2013 at 5:58 am
Think the Hunger Games is more subtle than the above essay perceives it as , its a reflection of our world, that our world is one big long hunger games arena (not necessarily with physical weapons). A world/arena in which most of us try to survive as long as possible where we all fall along the way, to illness, diseases, accidents, conflict, old age, etc. Everyone has their natural skills/abilities which they need to discover and utilise to try to make their way in life. From teenage years onwards this becomes particularly necessary. Making friends (alliances) to help each other get by in life with people you connect with and/or self reliance skill are all needed in order to survive.

C.Tessa SILVER said...
on May. 14 2013 at 7:31 pm
C.Tessa SILVER, Los Angeles, California
9 articles 0 photos 22 comments

Favorite Quote:
Doubt whom you will, but never yourself.
Christian Nestell Bovee

2 Timothy 1:7

The article was intresting on how Hunger games and our country are so simliar yet so different. If we go more into obession of apprance being the best thing of a person and enjoying to see violence that shows your own child killing other, then will we be like Panem ,maybe. But I hope it would never happen ,we are a different generation than the ones in the past if we want change we could make it happen.

on Feb. 3 2013 at 10:12 pm
HiddengoldTee SILVER, Brooklyn, New York
7 articles 0 photos 24 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Procrastination was created to give you time for the things that you'd otherwise have no time for"

Peeta living in bread Peeta=pita bread

Lizzy said...
on Oct. 23 2012 at 11:24 am
Imagine Peeta finding that out. 'OMG I LIVE IN BREAD!'

on Sep. 18 2012 at 10:10 am
AENNOMAS BRONZE, Atlanta, Georgia
2 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"Eh, I have some quotes I'm sure. I just can't think of any that mean anything."

I really enjoyed this article! Personally, I think the United States could possibly be on the verge of what Panem is. Obsession with beauty, love of violence and gore... It seems that the only time we all can come together as Americans is if someone dies! Forgive me, this isn't just the charcteristics of America but the world. Riots, mobs... It only seems to get worse.

on Jul. 14 2012 at 11:05 am
ScienceLover PLATINUM, Colden, New York
28 articles 1 photo 20 comments

I always thought that the distribution of food in the Hunger Games was symbolic of the distribution of food across the world.

The capitol became like the United States, while District 10 was symbolic of a third world country.

SGNox SILVER said...
on May. 9 2012 at 9:50 am
SGNox SILVER, Timberlake, North Carolina
9 articles 0 photos 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
'The stars are always there, but we miss them in the dirt and clouds and we miss them in the storms. Tell them to remember hope. We have Hope.' - Renee Yohe

Okay... my last comment failed.

What I was trying to say:

I really enjoyed reading your article! It's scary to think how similar the U.S. and Panem are!

One thing I noticed was that Panem seemed similar to the Roman empire. Like the Hunger Games could be compared to the gladiator games. Panem is actually the Latin word for 'bread'. Just a little interesting bit of information for you. :)

Really enjoyed your article!

SGNox SILVER said...
on May. 9 2012 at 9:48 am
SGNox SILVER, Timberlake, North Carolina
9 articles 0 photos 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
'The stars are always there, but we miss them in the dirt and clouds and we miss them in the storms. Tell them to remember hope. We have Hope.' - Renee Yohe

Please keep your comments positive and constructive. We'll remove anything inappropriate. Thanks!

Indilove GOLD said...
on May. 9 2012 at 8:17 am
Indilove GOLD, Kenockee, Michigan
17 articles 0 photos 71 comments

Favorite Quote:
No one is your strength or guidance. If life is what you wish to live then do not bind your soul to something unreal. The creater nor the keeper can heal you for it is blind faith that leads you.

Very well thought out. I enjoyed your style of writing. Though next time, even though this is suppose to be serious, keep in mind that it's easier to keep readers intrested with a little excitment or something funny or just something crazy that they wouldn't expect. But stay focused on your topic too. Just thought that little tip would help

Overall I loved this, the idea, everything, great work!

zion rock said...
on May. 2 2012 at 12:50 pm
zion rock, Colorado Springs, Colorado
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
I thought that this document was decent it could have used a little more detail on the relation of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins to real life because that is what i typed in and couldnt find the best information for it sorry :( 

KimiRose GOLD said...
on Jul. 4 2011 at 2:33 pm
KimiRose GOLD, Harrogate, Other
14 articles 0 photos 9 comments
That's what I thought when I read that section, as I have read both the Hunger Games and Uglies, and I found quite a few similarities between the two in this area, which makes sense considering both are novels set in a twisted version of our potential future, and therefore both show how our current obsession with looks and 'beauty' could become further exaggerated with the introduction of new technologies, leading to increasing obscure and seemingly absurd high fashion. 

on Apr. 25 2011 at 3:23 pm
leaf44 PLATINUM, Rehoboth, Massachusetts
20 articles 0 photos 38 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Truth is stranger than fiction because fiction has to make sense."
"Be careful, or you'll end up in my novel."

In your 3 paragraph you mention how makeup and clothing and essestialy "beauty" as it is perceived today could be headed toward something like the capital.  I was wondering if you've ever read uglies (i think by scott westerfeild but i'm not sure) because it's kind of like that.  They're great books (it's a series - uglies, pretties, specials, and extras) by the way if you havn't.  Anyways it just reminded me of them because those books also take place in the future and deal with looks except in a larger way then in the Hunger Games.  Your article was great and very well written - Great Job! 

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