“When you’re in the arena, it’s kill or be killed.”
Katniss Everdeen is a sixteen-year-old girl living in District 12, Panem, the worst district of all in the first book of Suzanne Collins’ trilogy, The Hunger Games.
In the land of Panem, there are twelve districts, and the people live in a post-apocalyptic world where guns and important technology no longer exist except in the Capitol – a rich and wonderful place to live. This is a selfish, manipulative district that rejoices in its wealth and exploits all other districts.
There used to be a District 13, but in the wake of the great rebellion the murderous Capitol destroyed it. As a punishment for the uprisings, the Capitol now runs an annual deadly competition known as the Hunger Games, a festivity that is televised live. For the Games, each of the districts must sacrifice two of their children, who become known as tributes. All tributes are imprisoned in an outdoor arena and forced to fight to the death until only one survivor remains. In District 12, “the word tribute is pretty synonymous with the word corpse” (p. 27).
So, when Katniss’ little sister’s name, Primrose, is drawn from the ball at the reaping to represent District 12, Katniss quickly volunteers to replace her. In seventy-four years, District 12 has only had two winners in the Hunger Games. Katniss is an expert marksman who can hit a rabbit in the eye from fifty metres away with a bow and arrow, but considering her competitors, her chances of surviving are small.
If you like thrilling adventure stories that are full of suspense, this is the book for you. You will struggle to put The Hunger Games down.
- Nick B. (Year 8)
Read more great reviews at our Reading Blog - The Gathering.
Panem is governed by The Capitol - a totalitarian regime which controls its citizens, like the Nazis, and as in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four.
The Capitol reaps or harvests children from the Districts in order to feed the appetite of its citizens for violent entertainment.
Read more here:
|Seneca was a Roman philosopher/ orator who would have been about 10 years old when Caesar was assassinated.
|Octavia (a prep team member) was the name of Octavian Augustus' sister.
|Purnia is short for Calpurnia, one of Caesar's wives.|
|Fulvia (a rebel from the Capitol) was a very harsh wife of Mark Antony.
|President Snow's first name is "Coriolanus". He was a Roman general who marched against Rome but was persuaded against attacking by his mother and wife.|
|The new Head Peacekeeper in District 12 is "Romulus" Thread. Romulus was the founder of Rome and was associated with wolves.|
|Cato was a Roman orator/ senator.
|Castor and Pollux were twin demi-gods who helped Rome win a battle.|
|The interviewer, Flickerman, has the first name "Caesar".|
|"Claudius" Templesmith is a Gamemaker: the Emperor Claudius ruled in Ancient Rome.|
|"Tesserae" were Roman tiles used for mosaics, dice, and writing watchwords in military camps - a good choice for the slip of paper with a contestant's name that buys them extra food.|
|"Avox" uses the negating "a" (as in "atypical") and "vox" (the Latin word for 'voice'). Avoxes are literally 'voiceless'.|
|The country is called "Panem", meaning 'bread'. In book 3, the author explains the reference to "panem et circenses", a famous quote from a Roman satirist referring to "bread and circuses," meaning to keep the masses happy.|
|Vomiting to keep gorging at a Capitol party is a popular depiction of Roman decadence.|
|CapitAl refers to the head of something- the head city of a state or country. CapitOl has a more specific reference to the Capitoline Hill in Rome, the largest hill where the main temple of Jupiter and the citadel were located.|
|The Hunger Games is basically the Theseus myth.|
|The Hunger Games arena is another gladiator arena, like the Colosseum, created to entertain the citizens of The Capitol.|
Information from Tulisha Scott, a Greek and Roman Studies major at Rhodes College (via Becky Jackman)