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The Hunger Games

Suzanne Collins
Main Ideas

Key Facts

Main Ideas Key Facts

full title  The Hunger Games

author  Suzanne Collins

type of work  Novel

genre  Dystopia

language  English

time and place written  Connecticut, United States, in the mid- to late-2000s

date of first publication  September 2008

publisher  Scholastic

narrator  Katniss Everdeen narrates The Hunger Games as the events of the novel occur.

point of view  The story is told in the first person and recounts the narrator’s personal history and experiences. The narrator is mostly objective, but on occasion she will imagine what other characters must be feeling.

tone  Mostly stoic, but occasionally very emotional

tense  Present

setting (time)  An indeterminate time more than one hundred years in the future

setting (place)  Panem, the country created after the governments of North America collapsed

protagonist  Katniss Everdeen

major conflict  Katniss must endure numerous deadly ordeals, navigate complex personal relationships, and learn to control how others perceive her in order to survive the Hunger Games.

rising action  After volunteering to take her sister’s place in the Hunger Games, Katniss has to manage others’ perceptions of her to gain the best strategic advantage possible, then learn to survive inside the arena.

climax  Having outlasted the other tributes, Katniss and Peeta threaten suicide rather than fight one another after a rule change turns them from allies into adversaries.

falling action  Even though she and Peeta won the Hunger Games, Katniss must try to assuage the Capitol, which is angry with Katniss for threatening suicide and forcing a decision they didn’t like.

themes  The inequality between rich and poor; suffering as entertainment; the importance of appearances

motifs  Fire, defiance, hunting

symbols  Mockingjay, Panem, Katniss’s dresses

foreshadowing  Katniss demonstrates her ability to hunt and forage in order to survive; Madge gives Katniss the mockingjay pin; Peeta excels at the camouflage station in training; Katniss saves the berries that killed Foxface.