The References And Motivations Of Suzanne Collins In The Hunger Games Trilogy

Capitalism and social classes

One of the most important topics that Suzanne Collins chose to write The Hunger Games trilogy (2008-2010) is the critic to the capitalist system. According to Afiani (2015), the class struggle which is reflected in the trilogy is seen as the vehicle to criticise the capitalism system. All throughout the trilogy, it is clearly seen the distinction between the Capitol, which is the ruling class and represents the bourgeoisie, and the twelve districts, which are ruled by the Capitol and represent the working class. In addition, these districts are classified into two levels – the wealthy districts and the poor districts. Although it may seem that the wealthy districts have the same standard of living as the Capitol because of being rich, they are not, and their situation is similar to the poor districts. However, there are clear differences between the wealthy and the poor districts pointed out by Afiani (2015). In the wealthy districts the Capitol employs the bonded labour, whereas in the poor districts the Capitol employs the lower-waged labour. There are other differences such as poverty and inequalities. The wealthy districts have a good standard of living even though it is not the same as the Capitol, whereas the poor districts live in permanent poverty and starvation. Moreover, the political strategy used by the Capitol is very similar with Roman Empire one, which is conquer and division. All throughout the trilogy, the Capitol tries to divide the 12 districts and it does not allow any type of communication among them.

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In the first book, which is The Hunger Games (2008), it is seen that the twelve districts are forced to provide one boy and one girl, called tributes, to participate in a game in which they have to fight against the other tributes. The game ends when only the last tribute remains alive. Apart from this rule, the Capitol has peacekeepers keeping the order through the twelve districts and they mainly employ violence with the poor people. There are people called Avox who are the Capitol’s servants that have been mutilated by cutting their tongues because they committed a crime.

War and the struggle for survival

Another important topic is the war and the struggle for survival. According to Pilar González Vera (2016), the trilogy is based on a country which have been destroyed by the war and the beginning of the games leads to a battle for the participants’ survival. Furthermore, the relationship between war and the struggle for survival presented in the trilogy is also a reflection on the parallels between ancient and present civilisations.

Classical culture

It is true that Suzanne Collins has great interest in Classical culture and that is why the key topic of The Hunger Games trilogy (2008-2010) is a recreation of the Minotaur’s Greek myth. According to Pilar González Vera (2016)

Symbolic elements

In The Hunger Games (2008), we can see that flowers play a symbolic role. Collins gives flower names to some characters such as Rue (a yellow flower), Prim (a herb called primrose), Buttercup (a bright yellow wildflower), and Katniss (an aquatic plant also known as arrowhead, so her name is interpreted as a reference to her archery skills too). In addition, white roses are very symbolic in the trilogy because they are the favourite flowers of President Snow, but also because they are a very strong symbol to Katniss.

31 October 2020

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