Symbols in The Hunger Games?So after some research and thinking, I've decided that the theme of this story revolves around mental survival, as well as dignity (i.e. not resorting to suicide or drug...

Symbols in The Hunger Games?

So after some research and thinking, I've decided that the theme of this story revolves around mental survival, as well as dignity (i.e. not resorting to suicide or drug abuse in dire situations.)


The second theme i am considerring is the preservation of your beliefs, and standing up for what you truly think isright ( i.e. not killing in the hunger games, and ultimately not resulting in the killing of Peeta or Katniss in the end)

Anyway, what are some symbols that reinforce this idea?

So far, I have the morphling and alcohol abuse in the story, which is a symbol of lack of hope, or giving up.

I hav the hunger games as a symbol of control and isolation, and I have the attempt at death with nightlock a symbol of  defiance.

Even if it does not relate to the theme, any other suggestions? Thanks for the help.

4 Answers | Add Yours

lentzk's profile pic

Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

You could consider the theme of selflessness as a form of protest.  There are numerous acts of selflessness throughout the games that are designed to be cutthroat and about survival not humanity and caring.

accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

You would also benefit from considering the actions of Peeta in the Hunger Games. He only kills one other person, and this was by accident. He remains true to what he believes about killing even in the hardest of situations. Even though he appears to be going along with the violence, he is trying to avoid committing acts of violence and is largely successful in his goal. Actions are of course symbolic, and this is certainly the case here.

sarahc418's profile pic

sarahc418 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted on

I would also consider looking at the quote that Peeta says on the rooftop to Katniss about remaining a human while in the hunger games and preserving who he is and not becoming an animal. I think this works well for your standing up for what you believe in theme.

Then you could look at when Katniss finally realizes what Peeta meant by that as she lined Rue with flowers before the hovercraft takes her away. I think lining Rue with flowers is also a symbol of defiance and not giving into the callous Capitol too.

cldbentley's profile pic

cldbentley | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted on

In regards to your second theme idea for theme, standing up for what you truly believe is right, I suggest that you consider an act that happens relatively early in the story.  When Peeta chooses feed Katniss, and thus save her life, his course of action is one that he knows will earn him punishment at the hands of his mother. 

By burning the bread (bread symbolizes life), Peeta defies his mother's guidance (mother symbolizes tradition, what is supposed to be good but is not).  Even the pigs, which would have eaten the bread if it had not been given to Katniss, are symbolic; they represent the "dirty," greedy part of society, while Katniss represents rebellion and salvation for the underprivileged.

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