Book Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Tonight I finished reading
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. In this science fiction novel set in a post-USA North Amerca governed by the despotic Capitol, the 12 regions of the country of Panem send two youths to the annual Hunger Games. These randomly selected kids will fight to the death for the pleasure and amusement of the capitol. The hunger games are the legacy of a treaty that ensued from a rebellion that just didn't work out for the ordinary people.
Collins's novel explores the effect of despotism and violence on children. Katniss Everdeen, the main character and narrator, simply lacks the emotional experience and resources to take in all that is expected of her. In short, she doesn't know how to play the game--until she must.
In the name of control, the Hunger Games would reduce the 12 youths--called tribugtes--to savages.The Capitol takes some pleasure in treating human decency, compassion, and love as affectations. The plot thickens when Katniss, and her Region 12 compatriot and unlikely parter Peeta Mellarkin refuse to accept the basic premise that they are worthless. By insisting that life is worth something, that love is worth something, by refusing to be manipulated by a system that seems them as a source of entertainment rather than human beings, Katniss complicates the games and the very idea of control.
Control is a choice. Just ask the kids who win.
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