Discussion Topic

Comparing the themes, plot, and setting of The Hunger Games and To Kill a Mockingbird


The Hunger Games and To Kill a Mockingbird explore different themes, plots, and settings. The Hunger Games focuses on themes of survival, oppression, and rebellion in a dystopian future where children fight to the death. To Kill a Mockingbird addresses racism, justice, and morality in the racially segregated American South during the 1930s. Despite their differences, both novels critique societal injustices.

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Compare the themes of The Hunger Games and To Kill a Mockingbird.

Many of the themes contained in both of these books center around justice and its inverse--injustice.  In To Kill a Mockingbird, it should be clear that African Americans are considered to be of a lower social class than whites.  However, the central family in the story (the Finches) sees people.  The other people in the town in which they live are blinded by racial differences.  In The Hunger Games, so too are the citizens of District 1 blinded by social differences.  Instead of being blinded by race in this book, the people who live in the Districts closest to the capital look down on those who live in the outlying districts.

In both books, people with the most power tend to discriminate against and marginalize those with less power.  They do this for several reasons, but the main one is to maintain the status quo, and therefore ensure that their way of life will continue.

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How would you compare and contrast The Hunger Games and To Kill a Mockingbird?

The first thing I would do when asked to compare and contrast the two novels would be to consider the main elements of each story.  For example, list elements such as setting, antagonist, protagonist, theme, etc.  Then, jot down a few things about each of those elements as it pertains to each story; the protagonist of To Kill a Mockingbird can be compared to the protagonist of The Hunger Games because both are young, female, stubborn, outspoken, and have only one living parent and one sibling.  On the other hand, the two can be contrasted based on fact such as Scout's being the younger sibling, while Katniss is the older, etc.

In each of the books, the protagonist must face a society that is harsh in many ways.  However, both characters learn to rely on their strengths to make it through the hardships with which they are faced.  Each of the learns to persevere and that judgment of others without knowledge of them is not wise.

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What are the differences and similarities between the plot and setting of The Hunger Games and To Kill a Mockingbird?

To Kill a Mockingbird and The Hunger Games have some similarities.  They are both set in a small town.  The characters know little of the world beyond their town.  In To Kill a Mockingbird, the world outside of Maycomb isn't even discussed.  While Katniss does venture into the world outside District 12 in The Hunger Games, she is certainly unprepared for the differences she will see.  

Both characters are young children.  Scout is a few years younger than Katniss, but both main characters share the innocence and inexperience of youth.  Both characters are also faced with the harsh realities of life.  They are forced to grow up and find the strength to face difficult situations.

Both stories deal with great injustice.  Katniss is set to face this injustice herself while Scout must look on at the injustice done to another.  Both are living in a world with unfair legal systems and corrupt governments.  They each experience some form of persecution and witness great injustice both to themselves and to others.

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