The main purpose of this book seems very similar to the main purpose of the first book in this gripping trilogy. However, the theme of state control and totalitarian power is escalated as those who have survived the terrible "privilege" of winning the hunger games once are sent into the arena one more time to do battle with each other again. Collins therefore focuses on the dangers of totalitarian governments who are willing to do anything to ensure that they maintain control of their populace. In this future dystopia, control is achieved only through harsh repression of the populace and the yearly publicised slaughter of selected children from each district. Power is shown to be built on fear and terror.
Of course, what is so interesting about this novel is the way in which Katniss tries to react against this and to assert her independence and not allow herself to be controlled by the Capitol and the machinations of President Snow. In addition therefore to focusing on repressive regimes, the novel also explores how one person can make a difference and oppose such totalitarian power structures.