The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins | Teen Ink

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

March 28, 2010
By Megan Bane BRONZE, Canfield, Ohio
Megan Bane BRONZE, Canfield, Ohio
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Just a fiction novel or someone’s strange fantasy world depicted in ink or a potential prediction of the future? Each individual has his or her own interpretation of The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins; however, most will agree that the novel is an intriguing story that proves to be impossible to put down after just a few chapters. With tantalizing themes, captivating characters, and a scenic setting, The Hunger Games promises to be an exhilarating read for any audience.

The storyline of the novel draws the reader in within the first ten pages. New vocabulary such as “the reaping” and “Hunger Games,” along with a progressing background of the country of Panem, constantly sparks the reader’s interest. Although, new terminology does not mean the novel is at a tremendously advanced level. From family values and love to sacrifice and adventure, the story includes an aspect for every age. The reaping begins the Games when two names, a boy and a girl, are drawn from a glass ball containing thousands of slips. When Katniss’s little sister’s name is called, the main character knows it is a sure death sentence. Therefore, Kat volunteers to take her place, becoming one of twenty-four tributes required to fight to the death along with the other tribute from her district, Peeta. Throughout the novel, the importance of family is clear with Kat’s ever-present thoughts of her sister, her mother and her deceased father. Kat’s devotion to her sister and willingness to sacrifice herself, because she loves her younger sibling, illustrates the important aspect of family. Beginning as a supposed strategy to survive the Games, Peeta tells the audience he is in love with Kat. However, Peeta’s feelings are true, and since Kat is constantly fighting for her life, she does not have time to sort out her feelings toward him; she just continues to play up the romance for the audience. This vital theme, mixed with the non-stop action, allows The Hunger Games to be a fantastic read for any booklover.

Whether it is the main character or the supporting characters, Collins develops their personalities with intent. The majority of the book focuses on Kat and Peeta, and their intoxicated sponsor, Haymitch. Depicted as a strong, reserved, and caring individual, the character of Kat continues to grow with every page of the novel. Readers learn Kat usually trusts no one and depends on only herself; however, the Games force her to care for and trust Peeta, a decision that could be detrimental to her survival as well as her potential life after the Games. Collins makes it apparent that her leading male, Peeta, is not a fighter. Described as the bread boy from District 12 and Lover Boy in the Games, Peeta is not expected to survive for very long. However, he shows to be sly as well as sincere; Peeta “teams up” with the advanced tributes, all the while truly caring for Kat. Finally, the sponsor for District 12 is portrayed in a comical and serious light. Haymitch is an upfront drunk, whose sarcasm offers comic relief to Kat and Peeta as well as insight to the Games. In order for the two to survive, they must understand the way Haymitch works, as he is their lifeline to gifts and supplies. Kat admits after kissing Peeta that “…in my head I can hear Haymitch’s smug, if slightly exasperated, words, ‘Yes, that’s what I’m looking for, sweetheart.’” (302) Haymitch might be perceived as a bad role model, but his wisdom and character are essential for his tributes survival. Overall, each character that Collins develops is crucial for the advancement of the novel.

A final feature that is fundamental in The Hunger Games is the setting. Because the novel falls into the sci-fi genre, the time and place is unfamiliar to the readers. Collins states the country of Panem lies within the ruins of North America, so it might be assumed the time period is very far into the future. Once divided into thirteen Districts and the Capitol, after the Districts rebelled, the Capitol demolished District 13. The Districts either live in poverty or small wealth depending on what they produce, while the Capitol is booming with advancements in everything from architecture to cosmetics. Most of the novel takes place in the woods; whether it’s the forest of District 12 or the arena of the Games, the characters must know how to survive the wilderness. Collins uses the picturesque setting to enhance the action packed novel and its intriguing characters.

The Hunger Games is an action packed novel that offers elements of love and wisdom along with intricate characters and an unforgettable setting. Collins’s novel is filled with aspects for every reader and is impossible to put down. The fantasy storyline and intricate themes hook the reader from the very beginning and leaves him or her begging for the sequel. Overall, The Hunger Games is a fantastic choice to stimulate the senses and consider the possibilities of the future.

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