Social Criticism in the Hunger Games and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

2162 words 9 pages
Social Criticism In The Hunger Games And Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland
“Off with their heads!“ (Carroll 122) could be the motto of Suzanne Collins’ bestseller The Hunger Games. Published in 2008, the novel tells the dystopian story of Katniss, a young girl who has to participate in a fight-to-death-tournament with 23 other teenagers. Connoisseurs might have recognized the quotation of the classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, first published in 1865. Mostly known as a children’s book, the novel depicts the story of Alice a girl that finds herself in a wonderland, where she meets many curious people and gets confronted with arbitrary brutality. Although they don’t seem to have much in common at first glance and have
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During the Hunger Games Katniss gets confronted with the effect her outward appearance and personality have on the audience, which gets her to think about who she is. This point marks the beginning of Katniss’ identity struggle that is led by the questions how she can preserve her (not yet found) identity in a world that forces her to kill and who she can trust in. Forced by the Capitol she takes the role of “the girl who was on fire”, pretends strength, even if feeling weak. Throughout the Games Katniss acts how she thinks the audience expects her to because she is dependent on its gifts and the goodwill of the sponsors. She never comes at ease with her personality and in the end still asks herself “who she is and who she is not” (Collins 450).The seven-year old Alice uses a very educated language, which makes her seem a lot more mature than other kids of her age, at first glance. But like Katniss, Alice shows her immaturity by her behavior, for instance by climbing into a rabbit hole “never once considering how in the world she was to get out again” (Carroll 8). As Katniss, Alice isn’t able to cope with her thoughts and feelings, scolding herself “to go on crying in this way” (Carroll 22). With Alice’s entrance into the wonderland the identity struggle starts. She begins to ask herself if she has “been changed in the night” (Carroll 22) and “Who [she is] then?”