How does The Hunger Games relate to people's lives?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The Hunger Games brings attention to trends in our own world.  In this way, it has a direct relation to people's lives because it forces us to reexamine what we accept in daily life.

Collins's origin story about the novel is important.  She was channel surfing and on one channel, she saw a television program where people were competing for a prize, and then on the next station she saw footage of the Iraq War.  Both of the images combined in an "unsettling way."  

This becomes the basis of the story.  The games's purpose relates to how voyeuristic our culture is.  We watch everything from a distance. Cameras everywhere enable us to gaze into the most private aspects of people's lives.  Everything is broadcast far and wide, with human emotions reduced to "perfect" camera angles.  Savagery and brutality is fit for cultural consumption.  This is one way in which The Hunger Games relates to people's lives.  It calls into question the values of a society where everything, including human destruction, is popularized for mass consumption.

This idea is enhanced with the materialism present in the Capitol.  People in the Capitol focus on sensory reality.  The latest clothes, the best food, and the most superficial of conditions defines their identity and beliefs. There is little problem in the disparity of the quality of life between the Capitol and the districts.  They see little wrong in placing people from the districts in this tournament where survival is the prize and murder is the way to achieve it.  Collins seems to be making a distinct social statement as to where such trends can be seen in our world today.  In examining our own social values and the place of individuals in it, Collins's work can relate to people's lives.

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