In what time period does The Hunger Games take place?

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belarafon's profile pic

belarafon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The time period is not specified in The Hunger Games, but it can be assumed to be sometime after the 21st Century. From existing information, it is known that the Games themselves have been going on for seventy-four years at the start of the first novel, and the Capitol and District system had been in place for some years before that. Since the setting is the ruins of North America, and since there is an abundance of new technology such as force fields, the time period is not likely to be earlier than 2100 C.E., and probably much later. Conditions leading to the creation of Panem include uncontrolled Global Warming and nuclear war among nations; the first would take years, possibly centuries to make significant changes, while the second depends on world societal conditions.


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bvanvelzen | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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The time period of this novel is vague because it needs to be plausible/applicable to any time period.  However, it seems to take place in the future, possibly 20-100 years from now, if not in our time. Dystopian fiction operates on the assumption that the conditions and technologies available to the fictional society will one day or are already available to our societies.  Evidence in the novel indicates that we do not yet have the technology to build the arenas, booby traps, etc., nor do we have the cosmetic talents of the surgeons in the novel.  Therefore, I would go with it being far into the future. I hope this answers your question.

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crystaltu001 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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I think it probably takes place in the future

zumba96's profile pic

zumba96 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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It definitely does not seem as if it is within our time period. Yet if you look at the map of Panem you can tell it's America, but with all the technology that has advanced it seems to be around 500-600 years in the future in a dystopian society. But then again with that technology it could simply be 100-200 years in the future, cept with a dystopian society sooner then expected. 

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thewanderlust878 | Student, College Freshman | (Level 3) Salutatorian

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Since the entire series is a dystopian futuristic type of series, it can easily be determined that the setting must be present to future, if it is based off of real life technology and such. I would say late 21st or 22nd century. If it was not based of the technological advancements of real life (for example if light bulbs were not developed/mass produced in the early 20th century, but say, in the 19th century of the Hunger Games world) then it is much more difficult to determine the time frame. 

user6808660's profile pic

user6808660 | eNotes Newbie

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I think it would take place in the 2070 because there are so much more advanced technology. Such as the fire and the mysterious booby traps.



It has to be much later than 2070...remember it was the 74 Annual Hunger Games for which Katniss and Peeta were selected to compete so at least 74 years in our future would be 2087 - but even that still doesn't allow any time for the catastrophe that led to the USA becoming Panem in the first place, or the first revolt attempt that led to the Hunger Games being created as punishment or the Districts - probably easily another 25-50 years for all that (could be less, but also could be a lot more time). 

I think it woud be awesome if S.C. would write a Panem Prequel to reveal just what happened! 

user6808660's profile pic

user6808660 | eNotes Newbie

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Some simple addition shows the series takes place at least 100 years from our time, and other clues indicate is probably much, much later.

The 3rd quarter quell was the 75th Annual Hunger Games Event, so right there is 75 years.

The Capitol was in power for an unspecified period prior to that, but long enough for the 13 Districts to get tired of, and rebel against, whatever system was in place prior to The Hunger Games. The uprising and subsequent war also took some time, but this could have been relatively brief. 

The technology in use isn't so vastly advanced than our own With a few exceptions - I don't recall any details on how hovercrafts are powered - certainly seems to be something advanced but given the reports of black budget military craft frequently implied to be mistaken for alien craft, coupled with the unofficial status of military tech being 25-50 years in advance of what the public is privy to, easily could explain hovercrafts and even advanced holographic tech such as the tribute deaths displayed in the sky (and only at night - see The Norway Spiral for possible modern demos of such things). The ability to conjure up the Muttations as depicted in the movie is certainly out of bounds, but in the book they are implied genetic engineered creatures, rather than magical holograms. Apart from speedy growth, the book tech is certainly not too far from similar on track today.

im curious about other nations, as I would seem they are not a consideration, at least not one mentioned. Are they comparable or even further behind the districts living conditions? Are there even still big populations on the earth elsewhere? The world SC has created is intriguing and I want know more about it! I wonder if she'd do other areas story since THG seems to be nicely wrapped up. It's all close enough to where we seem to be heading that I suspect many of us would like to know more about the entire earth in the next 150-200 years which is what I estimate the book series to take place in...


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herpaderpaderp1 | eNotes Newbie

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Well, they're still using some of our time period weaponry and vehicles as of: MRaps, Guns, and if they're in the future, wouldn't they use clothing as in Star Wars or some other futuristic movie or television show?

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knowledgeninja | eNotes Newbie

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Well, this is a complicated one. So in the book it says "75 years since the rebellion" (it says it in Mockingjay)

and it does refrence to the technology whe Plutarch says "and biological agents that expire" and judging for the. Hovercraft I would say 125 years into the future.

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udonbutterfly | Student, College Freshman | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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I have always pictured the Hunger Games to take place almost 100 to 150 years in the future. It always mention how riots were beginning to brake out and people started to conspire against the government. Then the government/ capital squashed the revolution and in order to punish those involved the games were created and in order to keep everyone in check each generation is forced into it. I can only think of our government especially since they had a president. Another thing if you sit down and really read the descriptions of each district you can pinpoint regions in America that those districts can correlate to. For example the district Rue came from would be somewhere in the south probably Georgia, and then district 3 could be California since it is know for is ocean.

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jess1999 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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We don't know exactly when it takes place , but we can infer that it is in the future . The Hunger Games is a dystopian novel which means that during that time depression or horrible rulings could be happening throughout the world .

eli468's profile pic

eli468 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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It appears to take place far in the future from this time period. In order for the wars to start, the United States to break up into just 13 districts and for all the advanced technology, it would have to be quite a ways into the future. Inventions alone that are portrayed would take quite awhile from our time period to be created and usable. Also, with just the arena alone you can see how advanced they are technology wise.

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Wiggin42 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) Valedictorian

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It was made obvious that it takes place in the future. But the specific time was left out; possibly for many reasons. But my guess is that Hunger Games is a teen romance novel first; science fiction second, so the era didn't seem important to the author. Its all a matter of personal cynicism: How soon do you think humans will fall under corruption to a dystopia?

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aznboy578 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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I think it would take place in the 2070 because there are so much more advanced technology. Such as the fire and the mysterious booby traps.

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