Review: Hunger Games
By Kristen Coughlan
The book is good read. The movie does follow the book very well but they added some extra scenes since the original book is from the point to view of Katniss and took some elements from Catching Fire, the second book in the series, to fill in some gaps.
Hunger Games takes place in the future in Panem which was once North America. Panem is ruled by the Capital and is surrounded by 13 Districts. Each district has their own job for Penem and trained in only that job. People in those districts are locked into their district and are forbidden to leave. Peacekeepers guard the district.
Seventy-Four years before the series begins, the districts rebelled against the Capital in the time known of the Dark Days. Because District 13, had nuclear technology and possibly of creating the a nuclear weapon, the capitol destoryed it. Since the Dark Days as punishment for rebelling, the Capitol has hosted an event called The Hunger Games where a boy and a girl aged 12-18 are chosen through a lottery or volunteering on Reaping Day and sent to the Capital to fight in an arena until there is only one remaining. A child can have more food and oil rations for their home for more ballots per member of household and the ballots roll over to the next year.
The book starts off in District 12, the mining district, through the point of view of Katniss Everdeen. District 12 is the poorest outlanding district were the citizens are very poor and starving. She takes her sister Prim’s place when she is called to be the female tribute. Peeta Mellark becomes the male tribute. Peeta once saved Katniss from starvation when Katniss father died in the mines and it would be months before she can qualify to get extra food by extra ballots in the reaping.
Katniss and Peeta are trained for the games and made over to look good for the cameras. Peeta makes a remark in the final interview before the games that she loves Katniss. Katniss doesn’t feel the same but the media spins it as they are star-crossed lovers.
During the games, after Katniss gives a final respect to Rue(District 11 female) by covering her in flowers. She had a tempary alliance with her before she was killed by Marvel (District 1 male). It in the movie, it causes a riot in District 11 and President Snow calls on the Head Gamemaker to make changes to prevent an uprising.
The gamemakers change the rules of that if two of the same district are left win but when Katniss and Peeta are left, they retract the rule wanting a dramatic finale. . Katniss and Peeta take poisoness nightlock berries to their mouths and the game makers change their minds making them both winners. Haymitch, Katniss and Peeta mentor, tells Katniss what they did would anger the Capital because not everyone would see it as an act of love but as an act of rebellion.
The book and movie does have a lot of predictive programming.
Both the book and movie show how propaganda is used on the citizens of Panem. The Capital doesn’t want people to see like Katniss laying the flowers on Rue and is cut out of the highlights. It has the feel in the book that some of citizens of the Capital are sheeple. The only people that leave the Districts are Peacekeepers, high officials, tributes, mentors, and their escorts. What the Capital tells them about the districts are from the propaganda. During the reapings as part of the speeches (PSA video in the movie) they talk about the destruction of District 13 as a way of saying to the people, remember what happened to District 13 if you think of going against the Capital.
The book makes a good ploy on the real reason for having fences. Katniss mentions how they are built to keep dangerous animals out but they are used to keep the people in. In District 12 an electric fence is used but due to the pity of the Peacekeepers and mayor it is not kept on all the time and some major laws are overlooked. Katniss learns from Rue that District 11 is run like a police state where theft is punished by death. Even that District 11 grows food, they are not allowed to take any of it.
My personal favorite parts in the book and movie is Katniss shooting the arrow at the Game-makers when they don’t pay attention to her and when Katniss bonds with Rue and learns of District 11 and how things can be worse off than she is.