The Hunger Games Questions and Answers
by Suzanne Collins

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What are some literary elements in The Hunger Games?

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One of the major literary elements in this dystopian work of literature is the theme of the media and how there are two levels to the actions of Katniss, and eventually, when he realises it, to Peeta as well. Because the Hunger Games are played out in an arena where every single moment of every Tribute is scrutinised and watched from every angle, there is no privacy, and Katniss finds that in order to survive she not only has to defend herself against the other Tributes but also project a certain impression of her character. In particular, she has to pretend that she is in love with Peeta, and that she feels more love for him than she actually does. There are numerous references to Katniss thinking about how she is seen by others, such as when she is in the cave with Peeta and deliberately talks about Peeta's love for her for the crowds watching the show. Note how this theme is reflected in the final two paragraphs of the book:

"One more time? For the audience?" he says. His voice isn't angry. It's hollow, which is worse. Already the boy with the bread is slipping away from me.

I take his hand, holding on tightly, preparing for the cameras, and dreading the moment when I will finally have to let go.

This demonstrates the way that Peeta now recognises how he has been used, both by Katniss and by the Capitol, but how he too has to play along with the impression that they have given of them both being in love with each other, even though it has only been true on his side. One of the literary elements of this work, therefore, is the way that the theme of the mass media and its impact on Katniss is explored and presented. The constant scrutiny of the Tributes means that Katniss needs to project a different version of herself that will be liked and loved by the Capitol in order to increase her chances of survival. However, this also necessitates the abusing of Peeta through fooling him with this alternative Katniss as well as the audience of the Hunger Games.

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