What is the social cultural context of the book The Hunger Games?

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Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The social cultural context of a novel usually deals most closely with the setting that the author has created and how that setting affects the characters' social perceptions, customs, and beliefs.  In The Hunger Games, the setting plays a strong role in defining the characters' outlook on life because of the rigid division between the Capitol and the Districts. 

A perfect example of social cultural context is how the two different groups view food.  Effie Trinket announces that she was appalled at the District childrens' lack of table manners.  The people in the districts, like Katniss and Gale, have grown up in 'survival mode,' subsisting on very little food; the children from the Seam have never had a need to learn table manners, because they have never had a quality meal.  In a direct contrast, Collins characterizes the people of the Capitol as having every luxury at their fingertips; they can afford to focus on menial details like table manners.