What comparisons and contrasts exist between The Hunger Games and Nineteen Eighty-Four?

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Suzanne Collins' 2008 novel The Hunger Games and George Orwell's 1949 novel Nineteen Eighty-Four both have several similarities and differences in plot, setting, and themes.

Both books are set in a dystopian, future society in which an effectively enslaved population is ruled over by a tyrannical government.

However, the nature of the dystopian epoch in the two books is notably different in the way the ruling regime uses conflict to discipline and suppress the population.

In Oceania, the government uses external conflict to unite the population against a common threat.

At this moment, for example, in 1984 (if it was 1984), Oceania was at war with Eurasia and in alliance with Eastasia. In no public or private utterance was it ever admitted that the three powers had at any time been grouped along different lines. Actually, as Winston well knew, it was only four years since Oceania had been at war with Eastasia and in alliance with Eurasia.

The situation is different in the fictional state of Panem. There, the government uses internal conflict — in the form of the gladiatorial Hunger Games — to cow the population into submission and distract the ruling elite, the population of the Capitol.

While both Oceania and Panem are totalitarian states, they are organized along different political ideologies. Oceania subscribes to IngSoc, or "English Socialism," which is presented as an evolution of Marxism-Leninism. Panem, meanwhile, may represent a type of proto-fascism reminiscent of ancient Rome in which an all-powerful city rules over a larger, colonized area.

Oceania and Panem both feature a ruling elite which is privileged to the exclusion of the disfavored minority. In Panem, this is the population of the Capitol. This point is driven home in chapter five when Capitol resident Effie notes that Katniss and Peeta have "both successfully struggled to overcome the barbarism of your district." In Oceania, meanwhile, this is the membership of the Inner Party, a group whom Julia describes: "there's nothing those swine don't have, nothing."

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