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.