Study Guide

The Hunger Games Versions of Reality

By Suzanne Collins

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Versions of Reality

Ah, reality television: The Bachelor, The Biggest Loser, Jersey Shore. Don’t we just love it? The people of Panem, the fictional country of The Hunger Games, also watch lots of reality television, except there’s only one show they watch. It’s called the Hunger Games. Instead of contestants losing a bunch of weight or marrying a total stranger, the show is about a group of teenagers who (wait for it) kill each other in a fight to the death.

Yup, you heard us. Death.

The Hunger Games, then, asks us to think about all of the different versions of reality at play in the novel – and their consequences. What’s real and what’s not real in the Hunger Games? These are the questions we’ll be grappling with, along with the characters in the novel, throughout the series. (Be sure to head over to "Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory" for more on reality TV.)

Questions About Versions of Reality

  1. Do you watch any reality TV shows? Did The Hunger Games change the way you view American reality TV? Why or why not?
  2. People in the Capitol enjoy the Games as entertaining television. Why?
  3. Why is the fake romance between Peeta and Katniss so popular with the Hunger Games’ audiences?
  4. Why is it so important that Katniss hide her emotions on camera?
  5. Why don’t the Hunger Games end – even after Katniss and Peeta have been declared victors?
  6. Which character puts on the biggest show for the camera? Can you always tell when characters are being themselves versus trying to get sponsors?

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