The Hunger Games Questions and Answers
by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games book cover
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How is The Hunger Games about "the search for identity"? What points support that theme?

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Interesting thesis! Throughout the book The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, numerous identity searches are revealed. This is shown with multiple characters, such as Katniss and Peeta.

Beginning with Katniss, the story illustrates numerous examples of her search for identity. For example, Katniss struggles with her identity as a contestant and as Peeta's romantic partner. This is most clearly seen when the Hunger Games revokes its earlier decision about allowing two competitors from the same district to survive. As Katniss illustrates:

“Before I am even aware of my actions, my bow is loaded with the arrow pointed straight at his heart. Peeta raises his eyebrows and I see the knife has already left his hand on its way to the lake where it splashes in the water. I drop my weapons and take a step back, my face burning in what can only be shame.”

Due to her identity search, Katniss’ actions are confused and contradictory. Consequently, she does not initially know how to respond or act.

Furthermore, Peeta also experiences identity search. As Peeta progresses throughout the story, he expresses his love for Katniss. As a result, he acts like a boyfriend in the Hunger Games. However, once the games are finished, he realizes that Katniss was partially acting for the games. As a result, his identity changes from boyfriend to merely fellow competitor. As Katniss reveals:

“Already the boy with the bread is slipping away from me.”  

Thus, multiple characters experience identity search throughout The Hunger Games. This unique situation causes many individuals to change their identities, regardless of their desires or intentions.

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