The Hunger Games
Self Selected Novel Theme Project
The Hunger Games: Theme
Every revolution has a spark.
"'I never want to have kids,' I say. 'I might. If I didn't live here.' says Gale. 'But you do,' I say, irritated. " (p. 9)
It is Gale who initially plants the thought of, not a revolution exactly, but of change, in Katniss' head. She says that Gale would rant about the Capitol while they were in the woods, but Katniss' mindset is that there is no point in complaining about it if we can't do anything to change it. However, she does know how horrible the Capitol is because of her life with her family, and how great it would be if they were destroyed.
"The berries have just passed my lips when the trumpets begin to blare." (p. 345)
Katniss and Peeta are just about to eat the poisonous berries that will kill them both in a matter of seconds, leaving no victor for the hunger games, when the trumpets go off, signaling the end of the games. Katniss outsmarted the gamemakers and made the Capitol look like fools, just with a handful of berries. She was able to change the rules and make people realize the Capitol wasn't impenetrable. Because people realized that it was possible to outsmart the capitol, the districts started to rebel. This act started the revolution.
"Only I keep wishing I could think of a way to...to show the capitol they don't own me. That I'm more than just a piece in their games." (p. 142)
Both Peeta and Gale have the same idea, of overcoming the Capitol and to show that the Capitol can't control them. If these two people are thinking the exact same thing then it stands to reason that people from other districts are thinking the exact same thing. Because the districts have been oppressed so violently for such a long time, Katniss eating the berries and getting both her and Peeta out of the arena safely, something that the Capitol tried hard to prevent, had a ginormous effect on the districts.
Mohammed Bouazizi was a man with a high school degree who supported his family of eight by selling vegetables. His dream was to be able to rent or buy a pick-up truck for his work.
A policewoman confiscated Bouazizi's vegetable cart because it was unlicensed. When Bouazizi tried to pay the 10 dinar fine ( about seven dollars which is how much he earns in a day), the policewoman slapped him, spat in his face, and insulted his dead father. Bouazizi went to the provincial headquarters to speak to some one but they refused to see him. Less than an hour later, Bouazizi showed up again, poured fuel on himself, and set himself on fire.
On December 17, 2010 at 11:30 in the morning, Bouazizi set himself on fire. He died January 4, 2011.
In Tunisia, in the town of Sidi Bouzid
"Mohammed did what he did for the sake of his dignity," says his mother, Mannoubia.
Because the policewoman was mocking him and being disrespectful, Bouazizi set himself on fire as a form of defiance.
What theme do you see reflected in this current event/issue?
No revolution starts from nothing. In Tunisia, the people had been oppressed for many years. Bouazizi setting himself on fire was the catalyst the people needed to overthrow the president. The theme between The Hunger Games and this current event is that every revolution has a spark.
How do these connections contribute to your understanding of the novel?
This novel seems to have more depth because I know that this theme can be proved in real life. Suzanne Collins didn't just come up with this idea over a morning cup of coffee, it was developed through revolutions that have happened and are happening in real life.
How do these connections contribute to your understanding of theme?
I understand this theme better now that I have a real life example to go with it. Whenever people are continually oppressed, a single event or person can cause a revolution.
My experience of this theme in my own life:
There was this one time in middle school where the power went out for a few moments. At first it was quiet but then one kid started screaming, then two, and soon after the entire school was screaming. The same thing happened in this book. One event happened, Katniss getting both Peeta and herself out of the Hunger Games, and then it effected everybody else, the districts started to rebel. Both the lights going out and Katniss pulling out the berries acted as the spark for the rest of the events.
My symbol for this theme would be a wave. Wind creates the wave, then the wave creates little ripples that eventually fade. This is exactly like a revolution. The wind is like the spark, the wave is all the people rebelling, and the ripples are what happens before people become stable again and settle down.