What is the setting of the Hunger Games?Please include when and where and be as specific as possible.

Expert Answers
laurniko eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Hunger Games takes place in Panem, which is post-apocalyptic North America. There are several locations in the book and the year is never specified. 

The Hunger Games begins in District 12 where Katniss Everdeen lives. District 12's primary export is coal. In the United States, many coal mines are located in the eastern United States, especially Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and West Virginia. It's possible that District 12 is located in one of these areas, though it's never said explicitly. 

Katniss and Peeta travel to the Capitol. It's more urban than the districts and people that live there don't work in the same way those in the districts do. It's the center of leisure and the people there dress in bizarre styles. It's the only major city mentioned in the book. 

The final setting is the arena for the actual Hunger Games competition. Though it's not possible to know where it's located, the terrain includes hills, forests, and rivers. Katniss says the arenas change every year and mentions that past ones have included deserts and the sea. 

Though we don't know what year The Hunger Games takes place, we know that the Hunger Games in the first book are the 74th annual Hunger Games. That means that it's at least seventy-five years after the destruction of North America—and likely much longer, since the system of the Capitol and Districts had to be established and the districts had to rebel before the Hunger Games were ever created. 

A fan map made by Entertainment Weekly shows that fans of The Hunger Games believe the Capitol is located in Denver. Check out their placement of the other districts that appear in later books by clicking on the link in References. 

clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Hunger Games, as a science-fiction dystopian story, takes place in the future.  While the exact time period is never specifically revealed, what is apparent is that it seems to be post-apocolyptic, as those inhabiting the region of what used to be North America, have survived floods, droughts, fires, storms, hurricanes, and war.

The main character, Katniss, resides in this country, called Panem, which has been divided into 12 districts.  Hers, District 12, is in the region of what was once the Appalachian mountains, and is a poor, coal mining district.  Further, Katniss and her family live in the poor area of this very poor district.  The poverty of District 12 is directly contrasted with the wealth of the Capitol, located near what used to be the Rocky Mountains.  The central government of Panem is located in the Capitol, a shining city, filled with shallow but wealthy inhabitants.

yamaguchit | Student

The setting for The Hunger Games takes place sometime in the future (readers are never informed of the exact date or year), with what seems to be a time after some apocalypse. In North America, after various natural disasters that hit the earth and caused destruction to a greater part of the land, The Hunger Games provides for a setting that is greatly suited for the book and for the battle that commences as follows. 

wangkan07 | Student

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