The Hunger Games

Main Idea, Irony, Symbolism

Main Idea

The main character is Katniss Everdeen, and she lives in District 12. The series is set in the country of Panem, a post-apocalyptic version of North America. Every year the government in the Capitol organizes an event known as the Hunger Games: a bloody, gladiator-style fight-to-the-death battle between 24 randomly-selected teenagers from the oppressed Districts of Panem. To top it all off, the carnage is broadcast live on television – as entertainment for the residents of the Capitol and a reminder to the residents of the Districts of the totalitarian government’s ultimate power.


The real reason Katniss volunteers as a tribute is to save her little sister, Prim. However, during the first games, Katniss starts a revolution, and her sister ends up becoming a medic, causing her to be in harm's way.


The Mockingjay represents defiance in the novel. Panem symbolizes a dystopian United States.