Unlike the very popular saga Twilight to which this book is frequently compared, The Hunger Games book presents not a banal plot, there is no usual imposition of a love triangle, although it is also present here, instead, a reader can follow the suffering of heroes and sense of imminent tragedy – all this is described rapidly, easily, and even with a certain degree of irony.
I. Introduction. The Hunger Games is a book written by Susan Collins and is aimed on the same audience as Twilight and Harry Porter.
II. The book has a profound basis of lessons about friendship and love, help and hatred. The author does not try to manipulate with her audience emotions. It can be assumed that The Hunger Games are a non-standard product for its genre.
III. The Hunger Games were connected to the well-know saga Twilight though they have barely anything in common. There is nothing in common, except for the presence of a love triangle. There might be a slight tinge of fear to observe glowing werewolves or “good vampires” in the book due to such presentation. The book The Hunger Games is quite entertaining, aimed at a teenage audience and contains a minimum of violence.
IV. Susan Collins deals with the future and aims to show an antiutopian society. Collins could not surpass Orwell. Obviously, these are different genres, with different audiences and for different ages. Katniss, as opposed to fully adult characters of Orwell, sees primarily a personal tragedy, but only through the prism of her own life she can observe an imperfect society.
V. Susan Collins preserved her right to surprise a reader throughout a book.
Conclusion. The author also succeeds in connecting the feelings of a reader and heroes: every step is followed with compassion and fear. The book serves to be a lesson of survival.
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The Hunger Games by Susan Collins
As it is well-known, the literature for young people from seventeen to twenty-one (the so-called “young adults”) has become extremely popular all over the world with the light hand of JK Rowling with her Harry Potter books – more than ten years ago – and Stephanie Meyer, which fueled interest in the love relationship, encountering obstacles, by creating a vampire saga Twilight. So, in an uncertain future there was a revolt in America, after which the area left was divided into twelve districts. As a punishment for disobeying the government, which was in the capital – the Capitol – it was decided to conduct an annual youth game of survival, followed by watching live all around the whole country. In the center of the story there are two members of the very poor class from the twelfth District – Katniss and secretly in love with her Pete. Finals are unpredictable: after all, even if both reach finish, someone will have to sacrifice. Unlike the very popular saga Twilight to which this book is frequently compared, The Hunger Games book presents not a banal plot, there is no usual imposition of a love triangle, although it is also present here, instead, a reader can follow the suffering of heroes and sense of imminent tragedy – all this is described rapidly, easily, and even with a certain degree of irony (Sellers).
First of all, the book has the desired intensity, drive and typical for such works morals of friendship, mutual assistance, and other similar values. It is read very easily on one breath. What is more, the author does not try to manipulate with her audience emotions. Overall, it can be assumed that The Hunger Games are a non-standard product for its genre. Incidentally, after the premiere of this work, there was a wealth of materials connected to the universe fashion of The Hunger Games: now it is possible not only to braid her hair like Katniss, but to make a startling makeover a la Effie Trinket (a notorious resident of the Capitol, who accompanied Katniss and Pete). What is more, now Facebook presented an online game based on the film. Fans went even further to cook the pasta in the spirit of the Capitol, and even buy a blend of tea with the name of the hero of the book – in general, the fans of The Hunger Games will be certainly entertained. It seems that humanity is witnessing a new phenomenon: after a book, the film took a strong position in global box office and it seems that in the near future this is not going to change (Eisenberg).
Turning to the book, it should be mentioned that Susan Collins, the author of The Hunger Games, is an American who writes books for children and teenagers. For some unknown reason, The Hunger Games was published in the series, promoted by the name of Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. In fact, there is nothing in common, except for the presence of a love triangle. However, there might be a slight tinge of fear to observe glowing werewolves or “good vampires” in the book due to such presentation. Overall, the book The Hunger Games is quite entertaining, aimed at a teenage audience and contains a minimum of violence. The book is written being based on the memoirs of Susan’s father, who survived the war. The horror, hunger, poverty and the catastrophic social pressure which a girl Katniss has to face are all copied from the real examples. Hence, there is the incredible accuracy of what is happening in the text – psychological and actual. When compared to Twilight, this book does not present any tears like those on the face of Bella Swan, here a reader can see only determination and confidence of Katniss Everdeen, a bird which becomes a symbol of rebellion of twelve districts, without even meaning to.
In terms of composition, all three novels are written correctly and beautifully. The climax of books on all sorts of strain is worthy applause and can be pulled into a good thriller, especially when taking into account that the audience is children and adolescents. For them, a series of The Hunger Games should be a revelation.
However, being familiar with anti-utopias, the first experience is slightly blurred – after all, Collins could not surpass Orwell. In fact, hardly did she wish to. Obviously, these are different genres, with different audiences and for different ages. Katniss, as opposed to fully adult characters of Orwell, sees primarily a personal tragedy, but only through the prism of her own life she can observe an imperfect society.
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In the book, it is not quite clear what is happening with the heroine and other people, including the people of Panema twelve districts. In the book, narrated in the first person, Katniss can only guess what was the cause of a particular event in the outside world. Even though the first book received a continuation, it is obvious that the audience can get a complete picture and perception of the problem from the sufficient first book (Colby).
Additionally, despite the hefty predictability of happening, Collins still manages to surprise. For example, due to the possibility of narration in the first person, she gives a first estimate of the characters supporting them with false features. Katniss’s mother looks like a bungler capable of nothing, although behind her back there are many years of experience of nursing terminally ill and injured miners of District-12 (Collins). Pete, one of the contenders for the heart of the heroine, seems like a rustic baker, although his oratorical talent and strength of will are worthy an award, if such was awarded for the book’s characters. Moreover, these characters do not suffer from such an evaluation; their lines are sustained on an excellent level of a serious work for adults. Katniss just looks at people from the perspective of a teenager – incredulous, scared, and stubborn. As the story takes changes, the attitudes of the main heroine change accordingly:
“Pete is all that he [President Snow] has left.
– What did they do to him? – I ask.
Prim speaks as if she is at least a thousand years:
– All they need to break you.” (Collins)
Several episodes are described in the books with such details and authenticity, that it seems they happened in a reality. Of course, this turning key points are essential to the main story line, and the neglect of them could be costly for the entire book, but Susan chooses her words so carefully that readers start to believe – yes, it was all real (or will be):
“I can not take my eyes off of Rue. She is so small, even smaller than usual. Lies in the grid, as a chick in the nest. How do I leave her here. So defenseless…” (Collins)
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As a result, the reader wants to do exactly the same, here and now: they want to blame and confound people, get them to understand that no matter what they did to these characters, no matter what they were forced them to do, these characters do not belong to them without a trace. Rue is more than just a figure in their game.
In contrast to the adult literature in which a death is often of a secondary importance, here, in The Hunger Games it is described as one of the most horrific events that can occur. Through Katniss eyes a reader can watch the death of the other children that were sent to the Arena; the second novel shows a massacre among two dozens of friends, who managed to survive a tribute, and became champions of The Hunger Games, and the third book – readers watch the Civil War, with all the consequences. Each death seen by Katniss is her nature fracture; she remembers all of them, and this is much more like the truth than indifferent characters involved in the battle.
“Before my eyes terrible pictures sweep: a lance, pierced through the body of Rut; senseless Gail beaten by the stake; and my District, desolated and littered with corpses. For what? For what?” (Collins)
Even a few accidental deaths that occurred on her fault remain in the memory of Katniss: Diademma, poisoned by mutant wasps, little Rue, cruel Cato – these are the heroes of nightmares, ghosts, who never leave her, even for a moment. If in the Harry Potter children are offered an example of Severus Snape and a lesson that appearance can be deceiving, in The Hunger Games this is rather a rule than an exception (Brake). Drunk and obnoxious Haymitch – a mentor of Pete and Katniss in the arena – is a good friend and a talented teacher. A small and fragile sister of Katniss handles fatal wounds and follows terminally ill patients. Everyone plays his role. However, this game does not entertain the heroine. Every time she has to force herself to portray something in public, and Katniss faces an internal contradiction. In order to win, she has to be another player, and she hates herself for this: “No wonder I won the Hunger Games. For decent people it is too hard.” (Collins)
Finally, the book succeeded in conveying the inner struggle that accompanied every day in the arena, where Katniss had to pretend to love and act so that sponsors were kept happy. On the surface, it looks like short-sighted actions performed by the inertia of the great love and lack of intelligence, but the book provides deep thought, analysis, and attempt to assess the pros and cons for each of them. Overall, the author managed to make a picture closer to a reader so that it became possible to believe in everything happening. What is more, the thoroughly written text stands out of all similar works: unlike Harry Potter and Twilight saga, this book has a lot of lesson to be learned.