Suzanne Collins’ trilogy, The Hunger Games, topped the bestseller lists for two years, making it a global success. The suspenseful novels captivated readers of all ages and eventually became a multimillion-dollar motion picture.
The themes of violence and reality television seen in The Hunger Games represent an extreme and highly exaggerated version of our society. Collins’ novels may be more than an entertaining trilogy; they may also serve as a cautionary tale.
Some don’t realize how much The Hunger Games reflect our society. Reality stars, for example, intrigue the masses with their idiosyncrasies or strange behavior. In the books, The Hunger Games is a television program where players are forced to fight to the death. This extremely dangerous and morbid take on reality television may be Collins inflating the exploitation seen on some reality television shows.
Violent video games and sports are billion dollar recreational habits of society. Video games, like Call of Duty, have massive fan bases, that experience simulated war zones on a daily basis. Avid gamers can kill hundreds in just one game. However, in both video games and sports, no real people die, like in The Hunger Games.
In Collins’ novel The Hunger Games, twenty-four kids immersed in a dysfunctional and war-torn society are heralded as celebrities before they fight. The result is a final victor whose greatest prize is escaping with his/her life. Collins’ deadly games display the outcomes of a society placing too much value in the exploitation of reality television characters and violence.
The government of Panem, know as the Capitol, supports and even enjoys the Hunger Games, causing both the reader and the characters in the book to hate the Capitol. If our society supports violence in video games or the exploitation of reality stars, are we different from the hated Capitol?
Collins’ novels depict an extreme society where too much value is placed on realty television and violence. This strong message warns readers to take a step back and evaluate societal influences, to avoid becoming the odious Capitol.