The Hunger Games Smores Project

by Carson Clayton

Characters

Katniss Everdeen, a protagonist, is 16 years old who lives in Panem’s District 12. Katniss, an illegal hunter who partners with a boy named Gale, in order to help each other hunt for food and help feed their families. She hunts illegally and would rather get caught going into the forest and being executed, than starving to death or allowing her family to starve to death. She is strong, proud and loyal. As noted in the book, she showed her strength when her family was about to die from starvation. But, she kept repeating to herself, “I must go on; I must go on”. She demonstrated being proud when she and the other tributes were put in a carriage and made their entrance in the Capitol. She stood up straight and smiled proudly to the crowd. She demonstrated loyalty when she and Rue were in agreement to be allies; she provided Rue a place to sleep and protection from the other tributes.


Peeta Mellark, another protagonist, is also 16 years old. He is a baker’s son in District 12 and his family is considered middle-class, with a decent home and enough food to eat each day. He is compassionate, kind and strong. He shows his compassion when he intentionally burns bread so he has to throw it out. Instead of throwing it to the pig, like his mother told him, he throws it to the starving 12 year old Katniss. He shows his kindness when he offers to help Haymitch clean himself, which is actually the job for the Avox. He shows his strength in many ways. For example, he has to carry 100 pound bags of flour on his shoulders around the bakery. Also, during Hunger Games Training, he threw a 500 pound disc at least 30 meters.


Haymitch Abernathy, a supporting character, is 39 years old and lives in District 12. He is the only surviving victor of any Hunger Games from District 12. He is an alcoholic and a depressed, sad man. He is depressed because his family was killed by the Capitol after he won the Second Quarter Quell. As a victor, he is forced to the mentor the two tributes from District 12 each year in the annual Hunger Games. His depression and alcoholism keeps him from doing a good job. But somehow Katniss’s strength and courage inspire him to help Katniss and Peeta win the Hunger Games with real strategy and survival skills. He also finds sponsors for Katniss and Peeta, which brings special tools and medicine during the Games.

Theme

The theme of The Hunger Games is survival. Katniss and Peeta must survive the games, but they also must survive their daily life in District 12. The capitol has made life very hard for the people living in the districts and to survive without enough food and basic needs requires great strength of spirit and dignity. Some people in the districts give up, but some manage to survive by becoming cruel and mean to others. Peeta's mother beats her son when he burns bread. Katniss is a true survivor because she pulls her family through the horrible time after he father's death, by illegally hunting for food. She realizes she must stay strong in order to keep her family alive, because her mother became so sad and depressed. She continues her survival during the games. She gave Peeta sleeping medicine, so she could find a cure for him. She was extremely careful with what she ate or drank in the arena. She even shares her feelings for Peeta with Panem, hoping that it will help her survive. Peeta tells Katniss that if he dies in the arena, he wants to do it with dignity. He tells her that he is not willing to do horrible things to others in order to survive and he would rather die with dignity. Peeta's survival was keeping his dignity, no matter what.

Setting

The Hunger Games is set in Panem about 200 years in the future. There used to 13 districts or regions, but now there are only 12. District 1 is known for being rich and luxury. District 2 is about masonry because there is lots of stone; district 3 is technology. District 4 is about fishing and has many lakes and rivers. District 5 is about producing power. District 6 is about transportation. District 7 produces lumber and there are lots of trees and forests. District 8 produces textiles; district 9 produces grain so it is very flat farmland. District 10 cares for livestock. District 11 is agricultural. and District twelve's people are coal miners. There isn't enough food in district 12, so Katniss knows how to hunt which helps her win the Games. Some of the tributes come from districts that don't produce or make things about survival, which ultimately affects them during the Games.

Plot and Conflict

After a huge war, destruction and chaos in North America, the country of Panem was formed. Originally, there were thirteen districts, but there was an uprising called the Dark Days. Districts 1 through 12 lost and District 13 was obliterated. The Capitol controls all things in Panem, including all of the districts. To punish the districts for the uprising, the Capitol created the annual Hunger Games, which means each district provides a male and female tribute, ages 12 - 18, to participate. The 24 tributes must fight to the death, inside of an arena, with one sole victor.

On the Reaping Day of the 74th Hunger Games, Prim, who just turned 12, is chosen. So, her 16 year old sister, volunteers to take Prim’s place. Katniss thinks she has a better chance of winning because she has been hunting illegally to provide food for her family since she was twelve. Another boy, with the name of Peeta, is chosen for Hunger Games.

So, Peeta and Katniss begin to train with their mentor, Haymitch for the Hunger Games. Each one has their own unique skill. Katniss has a skill with bow and arrow. Peeta’s skill is camouflage and strength. They begin the games separately, but eventually unite after a rule is declared that there may be two victors, if from the same district. As the games go on, there are three people left: the boy from District 2, Katniss and Peeta. When the boy from District 2 dies, the “two victor” rule is removed because Katniss and Peeta made an act of loving each other and the Capitol wants to see what the two love birds will do to each other when one has to kill the other. Katniss and Peeta have to decide what to do and which one of them will survive and be the winner.

Book Recommendation

I recommend this novel for people that like fiction based on futurist, dystopian societies. The author kept the suspense throughout the book, which kept me reading to the very last page. I really liked the characters, Katniss and Peeta, because they were so different but found a common goal. There is a lot of gory and scary things that happen to the characters, so you have to be able to handle that. The Capitol believed that the districts provided goods to the Capitol and the Capitol provides order. There was a lot of inequality between the districts and the Capitol, rich vs poor. This book helped me realize how lucky we are that we live in a country that allows us to bear arms and also have the freedom of speech. The people of Panem did not have the privileges that we have, and as a result their lives were miserable and completely controlled by the Capitol.

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Haiku: Sleeping In the Tree

We hide, Rue and I

Alliance and trust we made

Save her, I could not.

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Haiku: On Fire

Who is she, from 12?

Strong, loyal, rebel, passionate:

The girl on fire!