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Hunger Games Essay


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Violence happens every day. According to ChaCha Answers, on average a person is murdered every minute worldwide. Murder and violence are also prominent factors of The Hunger Games, where children are forced to fight to the death in an arena for entertainment. Plaudits are given when a child dies; the capitol loves a good fight. Who would not want to preclude the death of young children? When reading The Hunger Games a reader might think that Panem and today’s world have no resemblance to one another. On closer examination, however, the similarities beneath the obvious differences become apparent. Beauty, violence, and sacrifice exist in both societies.
Beauty is a prized possession in Panem. In fact, it is a theme throughout The Hunger Games. Girls in the Capitol are a lot like girls in today’s world. In both societies beauty is everything. Girls constantly obsess over their physical appearance in both places because it is the one thing they will always be judged over. In both Panem and the United States, girls love to feel beautiful. They both wear makeup, do their hair, find cute outfits, and even surgically alter their own bodies to feel more beautiful. Yet in Panem the desire to be beautiful is taken to a higher level. In Panem girls get full body polishes so there are no imperfections. In The Hunger Games, Katniss’s prep team changed her whole image just to be put in an arena to die. Her hair that was always worn in a braid was styled and she was given a dress to wear instead of her usual rags. In some ways this is like putting on makeup. Nobody dies but the individual. Emotionally it hurts when someone puts on makeup just to impress somebody else.
In some ways violence is the same to Panem and the United States, but in others it is nothing alike. Violence to some is hitting but to others it can be much more. In today’s world there are many stories of death, homicides, and many more gruesome things. For example, last week the Kansas City Star reported that in Sedalia, Missouri a man killed a woman who thought of him as a son. Yet when one hears a story like The Hunger Games, he wouldn’t think of the United States because of the actual “games” that they have in Panem. In today’s society it is illegal to fight chicken or dogs for sport, much less children. But just as in Panem, violence here happens daily. While this society doesn’t have Hunger Games, it does have terrible violence. Violence consumes the lives of many. Not only does murdering kill the victim, more than that it kills the perpetrator. The pain of one’s child dying in the arena cannot be worse that the pain of one’s child dying in a street in Kansas City. And while the child is dead, isn’t the parent left dead inside? This pain is experienced in both societies. When the tributes made it out after killing someone in the arena, did they feel dead, too? Recently it was reported that a Kansas City teen was gunned down by a stranger while in town from college to visit his mother. The television reporter captured people holding candles to honor the victim and support those who grieved for him. During the games, Rue is violently stabbed in the stomach with a shaft. In her dying moments, Katniss sang to her. Violence followed by compassion is shown in both societies.
Finally, sacrifice exists in both places. It is the biggest component of The Hunger Games. Imagine watching a child slowly die. This happens every day in both places. Each year, a boy and a girl from each district in Panem must compete in the games. All but one of the children is sacrificed. Death is the ultimate sacrifice but there are many other types of sacrifices. Just as we believe sons and daughters serving in war is a big sacrifice so, too, is sacrificing your children to The Hunger Games. Katniss risked her life to get Peeta the medicine he needed. She further risked her life by staying up and keeping a vigil on their area. It can be simple or extreme but it is being out of one’s comfort zone to help another person. For example, in contemporary society a sacrifice may be as simple as letting someone have the last cookie at the lunch table. But it could be as extreme as giving another an organ to save their life.
In conclusion, the two worlds have a lot more in common than the reader experiences at first glance. If the reader opens both his eyes and his mind, he will see many more similarities than differences including the preoccupation with physical appearance, violence that affects nearly everyone and sacrifices made both large and small. They collide together to create a world filled with people who display their flaws and differences, like an alternate reflection of each other.



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Billie said...
Mar. 20, 2012 at 10:49 am

What struck me about Hunger Games was its highlighting of the differences in the Capitol from the rest of the country.   I recnetly read an article that the six richest counties in the U.S. are the six Maryland and Virginia counties surrounding Washington, DC.

So while much of the rest of the country suffers through the recession, the U.S. capitol and its surroundings thrive.  The one part of the country that actually produces little except Government paperwork and ... (more »)

 
GabrielK said...
Dec. 6, 2011 at 6:32 pm
You made some really great points, but they definitely could have been presented in a more interesting way. I think your essay would have benefited grealty from some figurative language and interesting words/syntax structures
 
M-star said...
Aug. 10, 2011 at 4:07 pm
This is all very true. I caught on to a lot of the points you mentioned when I read the book. There are a lot more similarites than differences. Great job!
 
anastasiag This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 12, 2011 at 4:53 am

I realize that this isn't a paper about rocket science, but how on earth could you cite ChaCha Answers as a legitimate academic source? ChaCha is a text message "question and answer" site - it'd be like citing Yahoo! Answers or, worse, Wiki Answers.

You could have at least done two more seconds of research.

 
GabrielK replied...
Dec. 6, 2011 at 6:34 pm
For the purpose and audience of the essay, I actually think it was clever to use ChaCha.  Now, this would not have worked in a more formal piece of writing, but here, I think it's fine
 
Andie said...
Mar. 5, 2011 at 10:21 pm
Thanks!! I love the book too!!
 
catread2me said...
Feb. 23, 2011 at 9:04 am

Very interesting ideas! I LOVE this book and will now reread it with a new view.

Good job!

 
Andie R. said...
Oct. 27, 2010 at 10:34 am
Wow, amazing story! You'll go far! :0
 
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