The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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I always knew that I was very lucky. There is almost nothing that I want but do not have. When I say that, I am not referring to recreational items such as toys and gadgets, but genuine things that truly make me happy. Until I read The Hunger Games, these important things were what I viewed as necessities and all of the extra things were luxuries. I thought that even if you didn’t have anything, those necessities were still there. Even if I didn’t have a comfortable living space and many possessions, I would still have my loving family, health and freedom.

I originally read The Hunger Games for a book club at school. I didn’t even finish reading it on time due to a late start and the fact that I did not want to rush through the story, but rather to cherish what I had in front of me. I always thought that I was seeing things with right perspective since I recognized that I have many luxuries. This novel has showed me that I have many more luxuries than I thought. Young Katniss, who supported her widowed, depressed mother and younger sister was stripped of everything and given what she saw as a death sentence. Yet, she lived.

Of course, she didn’t need her family, home, possessions, dignity or human rights to survive. She lived at the minimum expense of her biological needs. That is my new definition of necessities. Everything else that I formerly viewed as necessities of life that every human being just has because they need to are really things that we are lucky to have. We have to cherish them as long as we can because they are not things we are entitled to have forever. Life can continue without them, so appreciate these genuine things as luxuries.

In addition, I can relate to the ffeelings Katniss experienced at the reaping that lead to the decision she made. I know the feeling that you would give up or do anything for the sake of someone that you love and have the responsibility to protect. This is because I am the oldest of five children. I might have made the same decision had I been in the same situation.

Another aspect of the novel that I think relates to our own society is the Capitol. To me, the Capitol mirrors American society. Both have values that do not reflect happy lifestyles. Members of the Capitol and America focus their lives around invaluable things such as fashion, entertainment and outdoing everybody else. It is to the point where people change themselves unnaturally and practice relativism, where anyone can be or do whatever they wish and still be called “normal”. In our country, there are times when a person’s own entertainment or personal gain takes precedence over somebody else’s safety. For example, in ancient Rome, people were put into an arena to fight a beast while others paid to watch. I have to be honest, I was entertained by some of the gory scenes in the arena and admit to watching shows with similar content. This novel not only illustrates this theme of inappropriate values behavior towards others but delves into the future and shows what the consequences are. This applies not only to the society we live in, but to almost every society around the world.

In summary, The Hunger Games showed me things about the world that were not clear to me before. For this reason as well as the intriguing plot and interesting characters, this work was meaningful and enjoyable to me. I especially liked the first person form and present tense in which the story was written because it made me feel like a character in the book that heard events just as they were happening.





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