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Suzanne Collins' literary work consists of a trio of books set in a small village in North America, with The Hunger Games serving as the main novel in the collection. Suzanne published her artwork in 2008, which inspired the book. The author bases her claims and setting on Panem, a prosperous country surrounded by twelve districts from which the peasants hail. The narrator in the book is the protagonist, who lives in District Twelve. Notably, every year, youths from each district are selected to compete in a mandatory death match known as The Hunger Games (Shmoop Editorial Team 1.2). Importantly to note, Suzanne quest to write the series starts when she was a little girl who was significantly motivated by gladiator games that were practised in the Roman Empire. Additionally, she cites the three features of the gladiator games that were strictly relating to her twelve districts; a proud and cruel government, citizens forced to battle to the death, and the sports' function as a source of entertainment through reality shows aired live in televisions. To establish well the thematic schemes used by Suzanne, the thesis of this paper will base on the major styles employed; class, power, internalised oppression, compassion, and reality television shows.
Looking at the themes mentioned above, Suzanne has succeeded in drawing a clear glimpse of her intended message in her book. Capitol and the twelve districts are very diverse in that the capitol is a wealthy nation while the twelve districts are total poverty ‘the exemptions are children from more affluent areas" (7.15). Citizens from the areas are restricted from mingling and visiting the Capitol, forming social classes in the society. Suzanne describes how merchants could not mix up although she got along with some of them. The differences between the citizens perpetuated the thesis of why class brought about divisions and discriminations among residents of the capitol and the 12 districts.
Moreover, power is viewed as the root of all evil in Collins’ book. She describes a state where dictatorship and ruthless governance occurred, with citizens subjected to forced activities like the hunger games as a form of punishment. “This is how we remember our past; this is how we safeguard our future" (Collins 2.17). Katniss in her narratives tells how the hunger games were used as tools to keep the leaders in power and propagate their brutal governance to the people (page 64). However, the citizens in District twelve from which Kate hails portray their brave move and act against the brutal power which excites and gives Katniss some air of importance and the feeling of being loved.
On another occasion, Collins uses her arts to display oppression among the people of Capitol and the twelve districts. She explains how district thirteen was wiped out by the government. "Look how we take your children and sacrifice them, and there's nothing you can do" (1.76). The government oppresses children from the low-income families in the various districts since they have no say over the state's ruling just as district thirteen was wiped out.
Notably, the author incorporates compassion as one of her main style of literature, to describe some key points in her book. Firstly Suzanne uses cruelty and violence significantly as her major themes but later outlines the existence of compassion in hunger games in characters such as Katniss, Peeta, and Rue. Katniss opts to stay with Rue after discovering that he sustained deep wounds during the tribute. This act of compassion touches Katniss as she remembers waking up and finding Peeta tended her wounds (“I’m not going to leave you, I’m not going to do that” (8.18).
Comparatively, other authors such as J.C. Maçek III of Pop Matters criticises Suzanne's book by saying it is nothing the action of the films themselves. J.C further says the author cuts off almost every detail of the novel to her movies. The other thesis of the book analysis is based on this point that creates the anxiety to know critics of Collins book by other book authors and how relevant the book is in literature (Godbey, Margaret J, 14). Again, Collins mentions that the hunger games were not just entertainment but a reminder of the districts persistent rebellion against the governing body of that time in Capitol (chapter 21).
Moreover, it is notable that Suzanne has embraced reality television show. She seems to have borrowed the idea from other artwork such as twilight, and the running man. The theme of reality television is seen as early as chapter one where people meet and discuss of the tributes. Additionally, a similarity of the hunger games and reality television is evident when the tributes are interviewed before an audience. (Godbey, Margaret J, 14) The author cultivates her idea in that she views the fight to the death as interesting when starvation and other natural factors are incorporated during the games.
In summary, the Hunger Games novelist Suzanne Collins has thematically portrayed her proficiency in writing, giving an easy time to filmmakers from her books. As mentioned above, the book is primarily founded on exposing oppression, love and compassion, class and power that relates to some districts and capitol. In my view, the book is key to literature research and paves the way for critical analysis of the situations that may be facing the majority of nations in the world and help to resolve the problems commensurately.
Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. 1st ed., New York, Scholastic Press, 2014 Shmoop
Editorial Team. "The Hunger Games Themes." Shmoop. Shmoop University, Inc., 11
Nov. 2008. Web. 1 Jun. 20
Godbey, Margaret J. "Beyond Sensation: The Hunger Games and Dystopian Critique". The ALAN Review, vol 41, no. 2, 2014, pp. 1-21. Virginia Tech Librariesdoi:10.21061/alan.v41i2.a.2.
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