The fictional plot of hunger games has provided its audience with enjoyment and entertainment. However, the same themes that were used in the three novels reflect some of the issues in our society. Of course there is no such thing in the society as the actual hunger games where children starve and fight to death. The topics in the novel however are close to some of the issues that people go through in life. This paper explores how hunger games is connected with the revolution in Arabic spring and real life. Hunger games is not just fictional but is themed around real life issues.
The connection between hunger games and the Arabic spring revolution
Hunger games show the story of a girl-Katniss. She is the main character in the novel. Katniss is the catalyst of revolution and because of her actions people revolt and rally. We are shown how those in power use the power to oppress the poor. She is the catalyst of a revolution that engages the public (Clark and Mary 102). After reading Hunger Games, one cannot help but think about Arab Spring. Mohamed Bouazizi of Tunisia was the main catalyst and the turning point of the Arab revolution. If it were not for his actions, the revolution would not have started in the first place. There are many laws in the world that govern countries and take away the rights of citizens and special group. However, these laws are not rebelled until there is a catalyst. Bouazizi’s statement is the reason and the catalyst behind the revolution.
After Bouazizi’s statement, the famous or infamous Arab Spring followed where country after country rebelled against their authoritative governments. There was Egypt that staged a coup which was relatively peaceful and then there was Libya that threw out their dictator leader of many years. The Libya coup was bloody just like the revolution in Hunger games and caused a lot of destructions.
Currently there is Syria that is engrossed in wars between the government and revolutionaries. In Syria’s case, there are several ugly crimes and abuses of human rights from both the government and the revolutionaries. Civilians and children are being used as shields for military movement. There are deaths everywhere thanks to the revolution. The situation is much like the revolution in Hunger Games where the civilians were negatively affected by the revolution and innocent people lost their lives in the bloody fight (Kierkegaard and Alexander 29).
Leaders in the Arab nation especially from Syria have at times refused to allow outside help from NGOs. They have allowed this people to die from starvation and war related causes and the little foreign aid that I allowed are used to show the benevolence of the supreme leader just like in Hunger Games.
The leaders of the Arab countries long before the revolution had been worshiped as gods of their countries. For generations, they had been praised by for generations. No one dared to go against them unless they did not value their lives. They were dictators whose opinion was the only one that mattered. They ran the state without caring about other peoples’ opinions. For generations, they ruled their subject by the use of fear. This is the case in Hunger Games where the Snow King is hero-worshiped and feared. The revolution, however, is the beginning of his subjects revolting his rule.
In Hunger Games, Kids are killed and used to kill people (Henthorne 125). Child soldiers have been used in Arab countries especially by the revolutionaries trying to overthrow the government. We do not have to watch Hunger Games know that these things happen. Watching the war in Syria makes one realize that these are things that happen to people and that these places are real. Oppression and bad governments are not only in Hunger Games. The Arab Spring is a good example of what goes on in the Hunger Games novel (Sharp 101).
The Arab spring has made the affected nations a miserable place to live in thanks to their military government (Johnson 1-14). The government of these countries like in hunger games is not nice to their people. They live in the capital where life is different from the rest of the citizens who live in poverty and war. Those who have the audacity to contradict the existing power have their fillies tortured or sent to prison, and their extended family is sent to slave camps or undergoes some sort of torture. The human rights violation during the Arab spring was pretty nasty. Now we know that there are people in our real world that actually experience some of the things if not most of the thing we read in Hunger games (Dunn and Nicholas 40).
Connection of Hunger Games to other bad governments in the world
Apart from the Arab countries, there are other countries that were not part of the Arab spring, but have been having the same issues as those of Hunger Games. One of such countries is Burma of South East Asia. This place is one hard area to live in thanks to its military government. However, the government of Burma has been taking steps like being nicer to its people and mending relationships with the west. The country has been known to use its military to oppress the people and eliminate monks (Sharp 110).
Sudan is a similarly bad government that has been killing its people in Darfur for years and oppressing its civilians. There have been killings as people try to revolt the current government. These revolutions have led to bloody wars.
North Korea’s government is much like the government of Panem in Hunger Games. Though its capital might not be as colorful as Panem’s capital, North Korea’s government structure is like that of Panem (California Bookwatch 2012). Those in the capital use extreme propaganda allow their people to starve and do not allow their people to access foreign aid. The little foreign aid that is allowed is used to show the generosity and kindness of their leader. Those who do not agree with their leader are tortured together with their families. It is like a chapter from Hunger Games.
Connection of Hunger Games to other real life experiences
In the book, Katniss’ younger sister is selected to participate in the deadly Hunger Games but Katniss volunteers to go on her behalf. In real life, older siblings or those siblings who are mentally and physically stronger than their siblings are often willing to sacrifice on behalf of their siblings. This is especially in homes where parents are withdrawn from their children, or they have died like in the case of Katniss and her younger sister.
Katniss protects her and also fends for them. However, she shows animosity towards her mother for being psychologically removed from her children. In most single parent households, the role of the parent sometimes falls on the firstborn-especially if the parent suffers depression, alcohol and drug addiction. Such children often resented their parents for imposing their role on them. However, they feel inclined to set their feelings aside to protect their family.
One of the themes in the book that can be seen in the book is the obvious divide of the rich and the poor. In the book, the poor lack food, clothing and shelter whereas the rich are exposed to a glamorous life. This is the same in real life where the poor lack basic necessities and the rich have more than enough-inequitable distribution of resources (Henthorne 115).
Another theme that is present in today’s society is the obsession with fame and celebrities. The Hunger Games contestants and contestants from television shows like American Idol and American Top Model both have stylists that make them look good to the audience. They also have mentors who guide them through the process.
Though, unlike hunger games, real life experiences of the pressed are not a game that is put on national television for all to see, these things happen I real life. I am not sure if Suzanne Collins intentionally wrote the novels to reflect some of the issues in our society, but it seems there are a lot of similarities in her themes and real life experiences.
Clark, Leisa A, and Mary Pharr. Of Bread, Blood, and the Hunger Games: Critical Essays on the Suzanne Collins Trilogy. Jefferson: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2012. Internet resource.
Dunn, George A, and Nicolas Michaud. The Hunger Games and Philosophy: A Critique of Pure Treason. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley, 2012. Internet resource.
Henthorne, Tom. Approaching the Hunger Games Trilogy: A Literary and Cultural Analysis. Jefferson, N.C: McFarland & Co. Publishers, 2012. Print.
Kierkegaard, Søren, and Alexander Dru. The Present Age: On the Death of Rebellion. New York: Harper Perennial, 2010. Print.
Sharp, Gene. From Dictatorship to Democracy: A Conceptual Framework for Liberation. East Boston, MA: Albert Einstein Institution, 2008. Print.