The story unravels in an apocalyptic world known as Panem where a teenage girl called Prim Katniss is striving to adapt and thrive in a world full of disillusionment and danger. The main issue is that there was once a crushed uprising by one ‘District 13’ and consequently each of the 12 districts in Panem is exacted a tribute to the reigning regime known as ‘the Capitol’. In this instance, it’s District 12s turn to offer two tributes in the form of teenage boy and girl who participate in the 74th anniversary of the games.
The complication arises when Katniss’s 12-year-old sister lands the role of tribute. Katniss had vowed to take care of her remaining family after the earlier loss of their father. She ponders the situation and decides that it would be better for her to take her sister’s place instead since anyway she is the younger one who deserves a chance at life. The sisters swap places and Katniss finds herself in the company of a young boy known as Peter Mellark. The two go through a journey that brings them closer together emotionally and that thrusts the plight and reactions against the Capitol into the fore while offering fresh perspectives to the people of the districts. Like any good story, the love and affection between the two teens is the source of glue that connects the people of all the districts.
Katniss performance in the games is determined by how she forms and views relationships and as a consequence, the rest of the people find new ways of viewing and experiencing their plight. The games have a brutal rule: ‘You either win or die’. This mutually exclusive solution is a challenge that calls for the defiance of Katniss and the progression of the story is about how this teenage heroine finds a solution that fits.
A good book has a balance between the good and the evil, and each character has issues that call his/her growth to question. Each person is a complex of conflict enriching the whole tapestry of the plot. Some of the main characters in the novel are:
Katniss plays the key role in this novel. Her role is full of energy, a dogged wish for survival, keen to be loyal to her values and the people she loves. More often than not the inclination to care for others is put to the test when opposing values are put to the test in situations. Katniss tries her best to be true to her family and values even to the extent of self-sacrifice. These forces drive her to be a symbol of hope and purpose to the citizens of a dystopian polity.
Cato is the main antagonist who has been preparing for the game all his life. In many occasions, he has successfully participated in the contest. He is not only wealthy but experienced too. He will fight for his life against Katniss. Not only is he a brutal warrior but a protégée of the wealthy villains in the entire contest.
Peeta’s connection with Katniss considerably is what is assumed will win the contest in their favor. A son to a baker, Peeta is another representative of the antagonists in the story. The baker’s son hails from District 12. The contest will indeed expose his affection for Katniss, similarly, at the same time be subjugated. At their tender age, he took care of Katniss by feeding her. He gave her food because he was concerned about Katniss and their situation at home. Katniss parents were unable to purchase bread given their financial deficiency. Their past, as well as current affair, will feature prominently as the book’s events unfold.
Rue will serve as the fulcrum upon which Katniss will draw her inspiration and motivation to emerge victorious at the end of the contest. A tragedy that will strike her will affect Katniss so much. Not only will she be saddened but she will also mourn her. But before then, Rue together with Katniss will forge a strong alliance born out of a mutual relationship. To Katniss, she will be more like a close family and indeed a sister. She is an equivalent of Primrose to Katniss.
Katniss’ emotions for Gale Hawthorne can be described as one that is not so clear however, they will be partnering in the contest as hunters.
As fate would have it, she was to be among the antagonist but the bravery of Katniss ensured that she would not represent the district but instead cheer her sister by offering her moral support to win. She’s young and only twelve. The substitution that was orchestrated by Katniss saw her rise to the fore and become one of the expected contestants.
Snow is the leader of Panem whose cruelty will throughout the episodes become visible. Considerably he is also an adversary as portrayed.
Cinna comes in handy as a wise person whose counsel helps Katniss in maintaining a sense of selfhood. She exhibits high intelligence and creativity that is necessary for the team to succeed.
The previous events had its winner in the name of this young man. In this particular event, he will be the trainer whose expertise will serve Peeta as well as her friend Katniss. His weakness is the fact that he likes booze, but this will not count as compared to the immense experience that elevated him to championship from the district.
Less visible from the start but they are instrumental given that they will spur the success for Katniss. Despite having lost her father, the mother’s contribution towards molding the character that Katniss is cannot be overlooked. This underlies her great contribution that ensured that Katniss and her sibling learned the traditional treatment and medicine that will come in handy. She suffered a lot due to the loss of her husband to an extent that she was incapable of giving the children the best life they deserved but still she is their parent.
Trinket has been assigned a key position due to the fact that she wields immense power besides being extremely rich. Her role in hunger game will see her accompany the contestants to the bush where the main event will happen.
A setting of this book is in a sort of dystopian world. The unraveling narration brings to the fore the following:
The subjection to the authority and the cruelty that the people in a given state experience in the hands of their rulers and the effluent is brought out in this part. This part is characterized by payment of the tribute as well as the actual day when harvesting happens. A tour of this district albeit via the events in the book is brought forth through this part.
This section is highlighting the event away from the district. It shows the contrasting life that differs from the wealthy who occupy the capitol. Glamorous and good life characterizes the capitol which is a complete opposite of the district where nothing but poverty reigns. Insensitivity to human life and co-existence becomes the order of the day as the contest starts. People adopt every possible means to remain alive. More so, the aspect that is so important is also revealed. Virtue emerges as one of the most important parts of humanity and harmonious living.
Notwithstanding the fact that Katniss was not the legitimate participant in the whole game, she has brought victory home. The residents of the district are thrilled and more than pleased that one of their own who carried their hopes has done the unthinkable and waded through the traps to finally hand then sweet victory. This final section epitomizes a struggle that the capitol did not anticipate. The affection Peeta had for Katniss becomes more evident at this point. The glaring punishment becomes imminent to Katniss at this point with the knowledge that the affluent could discover her illegal participation.
This captivating book is a must read given that it shows how it is possible to overcome what to others may look as impossible. With determination, heroes are made and their heroics save the society. Those who look upon us and love us no matter the challenges we face are the right ingredient to our success. Katniss had a choice to keep herself away from trouble but she chose to protect her family with her own blood. The support she had from the district indicated the societal thirst for justice in the hands of an oppressive regime. Importantly, a lot can be drawn from this novel as a lesson.
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