The Hunger Games



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The Hunger Games

The novel The Hunger Games written by Susan Collins has many themes that surround it. These themes mirror real world social and political issues, which must be dealt with if the world is to be just. Susan Collins has expressed many of these issues in The Hunger Games such as control through entertainment, dehumanisation to justify inequality, restriction of resources and restriction of information.


Control through entertainment is one of the most important themes demonstrated in The Hunger Games. The citizens in The Capitol are under the control of their government through use of entertainment and food. To make sure the citizens will listen to them over any other the Panem government provides them with entertainment through the brutal murder of District children in The Hunger Games itself. The government also takes food and resources from the Districts so the Capitol citizens can abuse it. This gives a level of power to the Capitol citizens that then make them dehumanise anyone of lower status than them.
Dehumanisation is how the government of Panem justifies its inequitable treatment of the Districts. This is explored through the character Effie Trinket who has many moments of where she says or does actions that dehumanise a lower class such as a moment on the train to the Capitol where Katniss sits down to eat dinner and picks up her knife and fork, Effie continues to comment with “At least you two have decent manners, The pair last year ate everything with their hands like a couple of savages. It completely upset my digestion.” The children being mentioned in this sentence were likely to have been starving for most of their lives and the amount of food on offer would feed their whole family. So for them to eat with their hands was expected, so when Effie calls them savages she was referring to that she thinks they don’t deserve to have been equal to her as she has better table manners. This is because because of the Government of Panem’s system of resource restriction which promotes unequal treatment of the Districts.
The lower districts of Panem are some of the poorest places in any story ever. This is because the Capitol has restricted its resources to its more trusted districts. In The Hunger Games District 12 has pretty much no food for anyone and most are starving. This happens because the Capitol spreads its resources so it shall all lead back to the Capitol itself, this helps the Capitol control its nation because the citizens of the lower districts know that if they were to rebel their already low supply of resources would be cut and they would not be able to sustain it. The low resources also help keep the citizens physically weak so any rebellion would be easily crushed. Resources are not the only thing the Capitol restricts to the higher Districts they also restrict information as a form of control.
The Panem government uses the restriction of resources to keep everything localised. So in The Hunger Games Katniss makes a comment that “At school everything always comes back to coal.” This is so that the Capitol can make sure that if a uprising was to start up it would be easily put down and very few people would know of the location of other Districts whose help could be called upon. It also helps to make sure that no weapons can be produced as the only people who know how to make weapons are in the most loyal district and it is very likely that they would not betray the government of Panem. But this is only one of many social and political issues throughout the world expressed through The Hunger Games.
Susan Collins has expressed many real world social and political issues through the novel The Hunger Games. These include Control through entertainment, Dehumanisation to justify inequality, restriction of resources and restriction of information. The are all ways the government of Panem controls its population by using bribery, turning people against one another, fear and localising information.


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