What is a dystopian society, as found in The Hunger Games?

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Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A dystopian society draws a strong contrast to utopian societies; a utopia represents all of the most ideal aspects of social, political, and economic life.  Life is seemingly perfect in all respects.  However, a dystopian society is basically the direct opposite of a utopia. Many times in literature, dystopian societies may have the appearance of goodness on the outside, but actually have many hidden flaws, flaws which ultimately cause suffering or abuse. 

Panem and the Capitol are perfect examples of dystopian society in The Hunger Games.  Collins presents Panem as a government that has achieved total control of its outlying populations in the Districts through manipulation and fear.  The populations of the Districts live in shadowed fear of Panem's retaliation; their lives, from their work to their daily rations, are completely controlled by the Capitol.  The Hunger Games themselves are another good example of how the Capitol reinforces its power over the lives of their citizens.

zumba96 | Student

A dystopian society is dehumanizing and unpleasant such as is the Hunger Games. The Hunger Games include 24 people sometimes even including kids (Rue, Prim) with only one victor and the only way a victor is possible is if they are the last one surviving. The 12 districts are in control of the President and he does the Hunger Games to show he is in control and if anyone rebels, they will not be spared. It is an inhumane society where others watch bloodshed for entertainment.