Feminist/Marxist Analysis of the Hunger Games
Introduction and Book Summary From Wikipedia
“The Hunger Games takes place after the destruction of North America, in a nation known as Panem, which consists of a wealthy Capitol and twelve surrounding, poorer districts. District 12, where the book begins, is located in the coal-rich region that was formerly Appalachia. As punishment for a previous rebellion against the Capitol in which a 13th district was destroyed, one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 from each district are selected by annual lottery to participate in the Hunger Games, a televised event in which the participants (or "tributes") must fight to the death in a dangerous outdoor arena controlled by the Capitol until only one remains. The story follows
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Each tesserae is worth a meager year’s supply of grain and oil for one person” (13). They may also do this for each of their family members. So the wealthy children, who have no need for tesserae, have far lower chances of being chosen to fight to the death. By keeping the poor in a constant state of fear and oppression and keeping the wealthy content and happy, the Capitol ensures that there is no rebellion. Katniss expounds on this, speaking about her friend Gale: “I’ve listened to him rant about how the tesserae are just another tool to cause misery in our district. A way to plant hatred between the starving workers of the Seam and those who can generally count on supper and thereby ensure we will never trust one another. ‘It’s to the Capitol’s advantage to have us divided among ourselves,’ he might say if there were no ears to hear but mine” (13). Additionally, the Capitol wields its power all year between the Games, by showering the winning district with gifts of grain, oil, and even delicacies like sugar, while the rest of the districts continue to battle starvation. This furthers the atmosphere of isolation between districts.
The imperialistic Capitol also supports the capitalist notion of “survival of the fittest” in the Games. However, similar to themes apparent in today’s society, the tributes from certain districts have a distinct advantage, having been well-fed and trained for combat all their lives.