What are some themes to consider when writing about The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins?   

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sdlizsmith eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Hunger Games touches on a variety of themes. One of the most prevalent themes is:

Social Class - The Capitol is depicted as an upper-class society. Its residents are concerned with the latest trends and fashions. Residents of The Capitol view the Hunger Games as just that - games - and they make the rules of the Games.

The other districts in Panem represent different classes. Some are wealthy and able to train tributes throughout their lives. In those districts it's an honor to be a tribute and, not surprisingly, those are the districts that regularly win the Games.

However, we see the Games from District 12's perspective. In District 12, the Hunger Games are a death sentence. The people are impoverished, hungry, and ill-suited to compete. Fashion is the last thing on their minds. They're worried about their next meal. Many children are forced to enter their names in the Hunger Games drawing multiple times just to provide food for their families. They rarely stand a chance at winning the Games. Nevertheless they are forced to fight and lose.

This disparity urges readers to consider the difference between a social class that has money, power, and the ability to train for the Games and a social class that does not. These classes view the Games - and the world as a whole - differently.

sarahc418 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Sdlizsmith discusses a very important theme in the novel, but I think there are a couple others to consider. One is the nature of power. Throughout the novel, President Snow, the gamemakers and the citizens in the Capitol strive to ensure that the districts are kept in their place. What are some ways that they do that? 

Consider the use of fear and death through the Hunger Games and consider keeping the people in the districts in poverty. People also are unable to communicate between districts and can't be educated except for things they needed for their immediate surroundings (people in the Seam learn about coal). 

Besides the nature of power, there is also the important topic of natural versus unnatural. Everything about the capitol is unnatural: the animals are muttations; their clothes and physical appearance is constructed out of makeup, surgery and tattoos; the happiness and joy they feel is constructed out of manipulation and lies. Their names even sound unnatural, but the members of the outlying districts have natural names and connections to the natural world. Rue, Prim, Katniss, Gale all are names that connect to nature. 

yayayanyan | Student

Manipulation of media! That's really important. The Capitol does a lot of things to instill fear in the citizens.

mlc1998 | Student

Here are some really good ones.

Recognize Your Strengths

   When training for the Hunger Games, the tributes are told to find their gift and improve it. Katniss, a hunter, chose archery. Realizing the qualities that make you unique and the skill sets that separate you from others will help you in the long run.

Realize the Value of a Good Mentor

   At first, Katniss is upset with her mentor, Haymitch, who is a drunk, but he later saves Katniss in the arena, becoming a loyal ally. It is important to find someone who has “been there, done that” (Haymitch won the Hunger Games when he was little).

Stay True to Who You Are

¾    Katniss stands up for what she believes in. Despite facing others’ doubt and frustration, she eventually leads a rebellion that is based on her own experience of injustice. It is important to be true to yourself and your values.

Family First

   The whole reason Katniss went to The Hunger Games in the first place was because her sister was picked in the reaping. Prim was only twelve years old, and the odds of her surviving the games were small, so Katniss volunteered; putting her sister before herself.

You Have to Make Sacrifices

   Katniss made the choice to put her on the line in order to save Prim. Not only did she do that, but she puts others needs ahead of her own, even in the games where only one person was supposed to survive. She wasn’t the only person who sacrificed her life; her opponent and friend Peeta puts his life in danger as well for others.

linash-12ts | Student

Some really good themes are friendships, love, family, survival, and power.

popan006 | Student

perserverence and determination no matter what the situation

sweetsour3232 | Student

To never give. Even if everyone is trying to hurt you, stay strong and you can pull though..

popan006 | Student



difference of social classes