I appreciate stories when the protagonist is a strong female. The Hunger Games is set in the future, featuring Katniss Everdeen ws a strong, defiant woman, who takes many risks even defining the laws of her city to protect her family. I was introduced to the series by Suzanne Collins, when searching for a fantasy novel featuring a brave, determined female protagonist.
The Hunger Games Characters
Katniss Everdeen is one of the residents of District Twelve, and nominates herself as tribute for the Hunger Games, during the ceremony in which one boy and girl are chosen from each district. During her training, it’s revealed that she is an expert with a bow and arrow, using the tools to hunt for food for her family in the woods outside her district.
Gale Hawthorn is a citizen of District Twelve and is Katniss’ best friend. He promises Katniss that he will look out for Prim and Katniss mother while she is in the games. He is seen hunting with her, being an equal hunter and reveals that he has romantic feelings for Katniss.
Peeta Mellark is a citizen of District Twelve and is the male chosen from the district to enter the Hunger Games. He works with his family in a bakery and during training uses his artistic skills to camouflage himself. He is also seen as being strong, from lifting heavy bags of flour in the bakery.
Haymitch Abernathy is seen as the drunk of District Twelve having won the Hunger Games in the past. He is tasked with being Katniss’ and Petta’s mentor. Haymitch acts as though he favors Peeta being more direct and harsh with Katniss, knowing that she has the skills required to win the Hunger Games.
President Coriolanus Snow runs Panem, the city in which the games occur, and intimidates Katniss. He’s described of smelling like blood and roses. He wears a white rose in his lapel, and the blood is caused by the sores in his mouth. He tells Katniss that the sores were caused by him drinking poison with the antidote to fool his enemies into believing he was their ally.
The Hunger Games Plot
In book one of the trilogies, The Hunger Games (2008), follows sixteen-year-old, Katniss Everdeen, during the choosing ceremony. Katniss nominates herself as tribute for the seventy-fourth Hunger Games. Her sister Primrose had been chosen first, but Katniss knew her sister was unprepared for the battle grounds. Peeta Mellark is also another person chosen for the games from District Twelve.
They are mentored by Haymitch Abernathy, the winning victor of the games for District Twelve twenty-four years ago. Peeta confesses his feelings for Katniss in a televised interview prior to the Games, conflicting with the feelings she has for Gale, her best friend. Peeta and Katniss are the last two surviving members of the games, and are unable to kill the other, they are about to eat poisonous berries, until the game runner says they are both the winners. After the games, her feelings for Peeta become genuine.
In book two of the trilogy, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2009),starts six months after the games, teaching Katniss that her definite actions have started a rebellion against the Capital. Katniss’ family is threatened by President Snow to defuse the rebellion. After Peeta learns of the threats against Katniss’ family, he agrees in planning to stage a wedding. The mockingjay pin Katniss wears given to her by Primrose, acts as a symbol for the rebellion.
President Snow announces a special Hunger Games known as the Quarter Qwell, which forces all living victors of the Games to play including Katniss and Peeta. Haymitch gets them to team up with other tributes, and with their help they can destroy the arena and escape. Katniss learns that her rescue by rebel forces of District thirteen was staged. Gale informs her that Distract twelve was destroyed and Peeta was captured by the Capital.
In book three of the trilogy, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay (2010), the other districts have rebelled against the Capital led by District Thirteen and President Alma Coin. District Thirteen flees underground taking in those who survived District Twelve’s destruction. They embark to rescue Peeta and other games victors that were captured by the capital, but Peeta has been brainwashed and ordered to kill Katniss. Peeta undergoes extreme medication treatment to cure him, and he along with Gale, Katniss, and others film propaganda in combat areas throughout the Capital.
There are many causalities during the rebellion, as Katniss is focused on killing Snow. While trying to execute Snow, bombings are dropped killing her sister, who was tending medical aide to those injured. She learns that President Coin ordered the bombs and kills him instead, then President Snow dies soon after. Katniss returns to District Twelve, where she settles down with Peeta. Recovered from the brainwashing, having two children together.
The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, was adapted into four films, each book adapted to film except for the third book, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay was split into two. The films were produced by Lionsgate Entertainment written by Suzanne Collins and directed by Gary Ross in 2012. The film stared Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta, and Liam Hemsworth as Gale.
Personally, despite the films being a close adaption to the novels thanks to Collins writing the screenplays, I preferred the books over the films. Many changes were made in the films that were not present in the books which was frustrating. It’s always interesting to see the environment displayed visually through films, but your mind will interpret it differently and may be left disappointed.
Furthermore, the dystopian novel by Collins is reminiscent of people scarifying their lives in war, hoping for a better future. Both the films and the novels they are adapted from, have been highly successful, reminding us to look for a beacon hope against adversity and despair.