Time period

The novel The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins takes place in a dystopian future, though the exact time setting is not specified. The story about the creation of the Hunger Games mentions the downfall of North America and the natural disasters and wars that caused it. Because of this, it can be assumed that the novel is set in a post-apocalyptic future. Another clue that hints that the novel is set in the future is the existence of advanced technologies, such as force fields, genetically-engineered creatures, or hovercrafts.

The events of the novel take place over the course of about a month. Katniss and the other tributes spend a week of preparations following the reaping, the Games last for a couple of weeks, and Katniss and Peeta recover in the Capitol and participate in the victors’ celebrations and interviews for a few days before they return home to District 12.  

Physical setting

The novel takes place in a dystopian future, in a country named Panem which is located on what is now North America. The country is split into thirteen districts – although only twelve remain after District 13 was destroyed – and the Capitol, where the seat of power is.

It is unclear whether other countries exist but Panem has cut off communications with them to maintain their dictatorial regime. It could be that all other territories have been wiped out by the natural disasters and wars that came before the formation of Panem, and only Panem remains.

The twelve districts each focus on a specific industry: District 1 makes luxury items for the Capitol, District 3 is factories, District 4, fishing, District 11, agriculture, District 12, coal mining (Chapter 5, 43%). Free trade is illegal, as all goods produced in a district are sent to the Capitol. The further away from the Capitol a district is, the poorer it is, making District 12 the poorest. The districts are also segregated from each other and people are generally not allowed to leave thei...

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