Essay 3 The Hunger Games

Submitted By htam_har
Words: 1167
Pages: 5

OCdt Tam, Harry
Dr. M. Hurley

The Hunger Games:
Power Grown from Weakness

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins depicts the life of Katniss Everdeen as she rises as a hero throughout her journey, a piece of literature that can be classified as an ironic piece for the many similarities in structure. Suzanne Collins, as an ironic piece of work would do, places the heroine of the novel in a harsh, savage environment, creating an illusion that life in Katniss’ District 12 is just a means of surviving the day and being able to continue to the next; the heroine is found to be powerless, helpless and suppressed by the forces working against her, not unlike how the Capitol controls Katniss and the entirety of Panem; the heroine in an irony is introduced to the concept that man (or being) can be treated as an object, as Katniss experiences the inhumanity of the Games through the trials in her quest for survival in the Hunger Games. Panem consists of 12, formerly 13, Districts; the heroine of the novel, Katniss, is obviously found in a District that has lesser privileges, as an ironic piece of work would assume. District 12 is dismembered from the remainder of the Districts and the Capitol, a poor District whose main product is coal. After her father’s death, Katniss took the weight of her sister and mother when she was “eleven years old, […] [she] took over as head of the family […] there was no choice.”(Collins 27) Katniss has the responsibilities of a full-grown adult as a child, unable to enjoy many ‘childhood’ experiences that normal people take for granted. The Everdeen family did not live in comfort either, their lives a constant struggle to get to the next day. They were only able to afford “[w]hat [they] absolutely didn’t have to eat, [she] began to trade at the Hob.”(Collins 52) Even as the heroine of this novel, Katniss does not have the conditions that an average person has, instead strives to survive in a harsh environment. District 12 itself does not seem to be a place to live in either, more like a prison than a city. Surrounding District 12 “is a high chain-link fence topped with barbed-wire loops.”(Collins 4) The Capitol seems to be treating the citizens of District 12 as savages, despite it being for ‘their safety’. The non-ideal environment of District 12 in which Katniss begins her journey supports the fact that The Hunger Games falls under the same structure as an irony. The Capitol directly controls District 12, as well as all of Panem, and their reign is ruthless in such a way that no on rebels. The Peacekeepers are the police of Panem, yet when a person dies from starvation in District 12, “the Peacekeepers are called in to retrieve the body. Starvation is never the cause of death officially. It’s always the flu, or exposure, or pneumonia. But that fools no one.”(Collins 28) Unlike the police of modern day, the Peacekeepers attempt to hide the truth behind the cause of death and although the citizens of District 12 know this, do nothing about it. Katniss is constantly acting her life out once she volunteers herself, to prove to the citizens of Panem her strength but more importantly, to please the Capitol and President Snow. Despite her anger with Peeta, Haymitch tells them both that they “will be together, [they] will appear amiable to each other.”(Collins 92) She must pretend to like Peeta despite her own feelings. Later on as a result of Peeta revealing his love for Katniss on television, Katniss’ “only defense [is] [she] was so madly in love [she] wasn’t responsible for [her] actions.”(Collins 357) Although in the first novel President Snow says nothing to Katniss outright about acting the right way for the citizens of Panem, throughout the first novel it is implied that that is one of Katniss’ roles. As in ironies where the hero is suppressed by the forces working against them, Katniss is powerless against President Snow and the publicity of the Hunger Games and must put on a false