Summary of the Novel

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Summary of the Novel – The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins Written by Suzzane Collins and published in 2008, The Hunger Games is a science fiction novel and its story takes place in Panem, a nation located in the ruins of North America after its destruction by an apocalyptic event. It deals with a realty show and the author has subtly portrayed the theme of how people in power misuse the media to mislead the masses. Panem with its twelve poor districts is governed by the influential and powerful leaders in Capitol. As the punishment for a past rebellion against Capitol, the government selects there a boy and a girl from each of the twelve districts to participate in the Hunger Games, a reality show. The people so selected, known as the ‘tributes’ are to fight to death which will be telecast from eager audience until one tribute is finally left, who will be rewarded with food and luxuries of life. Collins narrates this story from the point of view of a 16-year-old girl Katniss Everdeen from District 12. The protagonist, volunteers to take the place of her sister for the annual Hunger Games, as she fears that her sister, Primrose, may become the sacrificial lamb at the altar of Hunger Games The male tribute is Peeta Mellark, from the same district, who had been compassionate towards Katniss during her earlier days of absolute poverty. As the novel progresses the audience finds Collins laying bare the harsh realities behind shows, which are telecast in almost all TV channels today. Thus, the author seeks to unravel before her audience the gimmicks that governments play to mislead and control the citizens through exploiting the media. Each tribute is made to look glamorous in an attempt to appeal to the television audience to obtain sponsorship. Peeta reveals his longtime unrequited love for Katniss in front of the TV audience, which may or may not be true. All these ploys are to gain sponsors, who will shower gifts on the favoured tributes. Society at large and youngsters in particular are carried away by the show not knowing the ordeals that the participants have to undergo for their survival. Being a reality show, the audience takes the happenings in the show for granted. In this novel, at one point, due to sudden reversal of rules, both the contestants are allowed to win the game. This is to keep the show rating high and plays on the emotions of the people. To portray a dramatic finale, suddenly the rules are again reversed, when one survivor is to be declared the winner. Finally, realizing that both tributes intend to commit suicide, they both are declared winners. The daily Telegraph comments that The Hunger Games is a brilliantly imagined dystopian novel about the ultimate television reality game for teens (Collins 2008). Youth are especially drawn to the glitzy and glamorous shows and relate to the themes and events shown therein. These shows are a real farce and everyone, and more so, the youngsters are willing participants, little knowing that they would be mere puppets in the hands of the organizers, who dictate each and every action of theirs. They fail to understand that governments, through misusing the media, are trying to control the citizens. According to Irish Times, Collins’s fluent style and imagination shape a futuristic tale about contemporary issues (Collins 2008).Reference ListCollins, Suzanne. The Hunger Game. 2008. Web. 28 March 2013.