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What are the comparisons between the situation of the contestants in the Hunger Games...

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saramorris | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 3, 2011 at 6:47 AM via web

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What are the comparisons between the situation of the contestants in the Hunger Games and contestants in other types of entertainment, such as modern day reality television?

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litlady33 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted November 3, 2011 at 9:00 AM (Answer #1)

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There are many comparisons one could draw between the contestants of The Hunger Games and contestents in modern-day television. Perhaps the strongest is the fact that in both cases their every move is watched by the world. From the moment Katniss volunteers for the "reaping" in Chapter 2 and throughout the entire book series, she and the other contestants are paraded in front of what is left of the world. There are cameras trained on them at all times, to a point that the contestants cannot be themselves for fear that their every move will be analyzed. After Katniss has volunteered, her mentor, Haymitch does her a favor by taking the attention of the camera away from her.

With every camera gleefully trained on him, I have just enough time to release the small, choked sound in my throat and compose myself. I put my hands behind my back and stare into the distance.

These moments of solitude for Katniss will become more scarce as the novel continues. When she is in the arena, she is on camera at all times: night and day. It is reminiscent of the reality shows such as "Big Brother," or "The Real World," in which contenstants cannot get away from the cameras, even to sleep or shower.

Another comparison to reality TV is the interview aspect of The Hunger Games. Before, during, and after the events of the games, contestants are expected to participate in interviews during which they are scrutinized by viewers. We see this in almost every reality show, where there are pre-show interviews, talking heads during the show, and post-show interviews.

Competition is another aspect that the two share. Katniss has to compete with the other contestants for her life. While modern-day reality shows are not quite as extreme, contestants are still pitted against each other in competition, and sometimes will resort to extreme measures to win.

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