Study Guide

The Hunger Games Violence

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Panem's supposed to be an advanced civilization, and yet their most popular yearly event involves watching 24 teenagers murder each other. There's an ancient Rome vibe to the proceedings—think gladiators—and President Snow even takes the name of a Roman general and traitor, Coriolanus. Violence lies below the advanced, civilized veneer of the Capitol, and comes bubbling out both in the way they do business (eat up, Seneca) and in the way they treat the outlying Districts. Violence is a part of this world even though they don't always acknowledge it: and poor Katniss gets to deal with it up close and personal.

In The Hunger Games, it's disturbing how much ordinary citizens (the ones whose kids aren't Tributes) enjoy the bloodbath. The film points a finger at the media for getting everyone into a frenzy about it; it seems to be one giant indictment of the constant desensitizing violence we're exposed to every time we turn on the TV.

We're feeling a little guilty for enjoying the film so much.

Questions About Violence

  1. How is violence in the Games shown to be accepted and embraced by this culture?
  2. What's the difference between the violence in the Games and the riots in outlying Districts?
  3. How to the Tributes' enthusiasm for violence shape our attitudes about them?
  4. How are characters changed after they commit acts of violence?

Chew on This

Violence is a part of human nature and even future societies must acknowledge it in some way other than hockey.

Violence can be transcended by the civilizing forces of society; Panem has simply failed to do so.

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