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Darina Kagan

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The Hunger Games Themes That Apply to Our World Today

Posted: 03/30/2012 3:56 pm

The seemingly fictional plot of The Hunger Games provided us with entertainment and enjoyment, although it has occurred to me that that some of the themes reflect some of the very real present day themes in today's society. Now of course there is no such thing as an actual Hunger Game, and definitely no event that involves children fighting to the death, however, the topics that it addressed seemed to hit close to home.

Warning: If you haven't seen the movie, don't read this post.

One of main themes was the application of "Districts" and their associated trades. Power plant workers, coal miners, and lumber were just a few of the trades represented in each district, similar to the same concept of unions that we have today. A rough explanation of a labor union is, "an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members (rank and file members) and negotiates labour contracts (collective bargaining) with employers. The most common, but by no means only, purpose of these organizations is "maintaining or improving the conditions of their employment"

These "Districts" have been grouped in order of their trade and the rebellions they participate in were a result of the unfair working conditions and unjust laws.

Another more obvious theme that can be seen in the movie and our society is the apparent divide of the rich and poor. One of the most recent events that supports this theme is the Occupy Wall Street protests. See link below for more detail:

One of the main goals behind the the protest was the unrighteous divide of the 1% Wall Street rich and the more common 99% of the working class. In the movie the working class encounters problems such as lack of food, shelter, clothing -- the bare necessities that we are accustomed to. Whereas, the other half of the people in the movie were exposed to the finer things in life ranging from decadent pastries to glamorous costumes and wardrobe. Needless to say the lifestyles of the rich and the poor are made very apparent in the movie.

Another theme that's present in our society and the movie is the obsession with celebrities and fame. I found myself finding a lot of similarities between the Hunger Games contestants and those on shows like American Idol and The Voice. Both have stylists that dress them up to make them look more dazzling and attractive, and both have mentors that help guide them through the process.

I'm not sure if Suzanne Collins intentionally wrote the trilogy to reflect some of the common themes in society, but it seems that there are a lot of cross overs and correlations that beg the question, are the odds ever in our favor?