Perspectives

Dystopian novel

Suzanne Collins’s novel The Hunger Games can be considered a dystopian novel. 

Dystopian fiction presents an imagined society, often set in the future, which is disturbing or frightening and where there is great suffering and injustice. Dystopian societies often feature tyrannical governments, environmental disasters, and an overall decline in society. 

This is also present in Panem, the country where the events of The Hunger Games take place. The country was born out of the ruins of North America after wars, flooding, fires, and other disasters reshaped the world. Panem is ruled by a totalitarian government that oppresses its people by enforcing strict class divisions and letting poor citizens die of starvation while the wealthy enjoy luxuries.

Dystopian novels also feature societies in which the public expression of any form of dissent against the ruling government is forbidden and punished. In The Hunger Games, the rebellion of the 13 districts against the Capitol was punished with the creation of the Games, in which children are randomly selected to fight to the death. The existence of the Games for nearly 75 years serves to show the population of Panem that rebellions are pointless and will not be tolerated. 

Moreover, Katniss’s strategy of winning the Games is also considered a form of rebellion against the Capitol for which she must be punished. This endangers Katniss and forces her to adopt a non-threatening image in order to survive. 

Other notable examples of dystopian fiction include 1984 by George Orwell, Lois Lowry’s The Giver, and Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.

The Hunger

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