The Hunger Games: Hidden Messages DecodedThursday, May 31, 2012 By Ashley Rosa, Staff Reporter
The Hunger Games is the first book in a young adult series that chronicles the journeys of two young heroes who fight to survive and eventually fall in love. This common assumption about The Hunger Games only tells a brief part of what the storyline is. When looking deeper into the world Suzanne Collins has created, one can see how it is a book that closely resembles our society today. It is more than two people living to love. It is about people simply trying to survive. The plot of The Hunger Games is crafted to critique today’s society and its problems. The people who rule Panem, the new North American country where the book takes place, is the Capitol. The Capitol is the richest out of the twelve districts that make up Panem and are described as shallow people who only care about vanity and themselves. While they are very well off, many of the districts live in terrible poverty which mirrors today’s disparity among the rich and the poor in American society. Like the Capitol, the wealthy politicians and leaders of today continue spending money wastefully while the lower classes of people work hard to try and earn some. Junior Kaysie Hernandez relates The Hunger Games to the Occupy Wall Street Protests, saying, " The Hunger Games was about the [haves] and the [have-nots] which is what inspired the Occupy Wall Street movement. As society grows increasingly corrupt, I think younger people like the characters in the story are becoming more aware of what’s going on around them and are fighting for equality." While the theme of the "haves" and the "have-nots" is prevalent in The Hunger Games, reality TV has a major role in the story as well. In the book, The actual Hunger Games is an annual televised event viewed by millions of people who find extreme entertainment in watching children from their districts brutally kill each other. With this, Collins is sending us a message that we are losing control of what we are allowing to be seen on TV. We need to set limits on the crazy reality TV shows that send negative messages to the people who watch them before a show like The Hunger Games actually shows up on our TV guides. Besides these messages, The Hunger Games is different from other popular franchises like the Twilight and Harry Potter series’ in that it has a strong female lead. The film The Hunger Games did extremely well at the box office (earning the third best debut ever for a movie at $155 million) it sends a message to Hollywood that female action heroes are accepted and appreciated just as much as their male counterparts. It also provides girls with a role model on how they can be strong and courageous. An avid Hunger Games fan, Junior Azure Garret says that the movie was amazing and that Katniss is a great female character that many people can relate to as she fights for her life and sacrificed herself for her family. The Hunger Games is a great read and see for teenagers because it is extremely relatable and has a great plot that gives them an increased awareness of their society. is a great read and see for teenagers because it is extremely relatable and has a great plot that gives them an increased awareness of their society.