The Hunger Games (trilogy). Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. New York: Scholastic, 2008. Print.
Summary (Caution SPOILERS)Edit
The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) is set in the future in a post-apocalyptic future of North America, where the new country, Panem, is the result of citizen uprisings. Panem consists of 12 districts with a wealthy Capitol where the government runs the lives of the citizens. Due to the rebellions, the Capitol holds random drawings for one boy and one girl from each district to fight to the death in a controlled until one victor is left standing. This event is called "The Hunger Games", and the entire population watched eagerly.
The book begins with an introduction to our heroine, Katniss Everdeen; she is supporting her mother and younger sister, Prim (Primrose), years after her father’s death in the coalmines. At the Reaping, where they draw the names of the tributes, Prim’s name is called. In order to save her sister from her imminent death, Katniss eagerly volunteers to take her sister’s place alongside Peeta Mellark. Peeta, the son of the baker, once gave her burnt bread when her family was starving.
The two are taken to the Capitol where they meet Haymitch Abernathy who will serve as their mentor in the 74th Hunger Games. Haymitch was a victor in the 50th Hunger Games, and the only victor of District 12 to date. They were primped and set out to gain sponsors, and Katniss and Peeta train for the fight in the arena. During the interviews, Katniss wows the audience with her dress, but Peeta blows her out of the water by confessing his unrequited love for Katniss. Katniss believes it to be a ploy to gain support from audience viewers.
The Games begin with 11 of the 24 tributes dying on the first night, and then Katniss forms an alliance with a small girl named Rue who reminds her of Prim. Rue is killed by another tribute; Katniss kills him and then sings to Rue as she lies dying in a meadow of flowers.
A rule change is announced that says there may be two victors if they are from the same district. Katniss makes it her effort to find Peeta and stay alive with him. She decides to act that she is in love with him too in order to gain favor with the audience. Katniss finds a wounded Peeta and nurses him back to health in a cave where they seemingly fall in love and care for one another. The couple makes it to the final two when the rule change is revoked. One must kill the other in order for the game to be over. Because they don't want to live without one another, let alone kill the other, Katniss finds poisoned berries and she and Peeta decide to commit suicide. Right as the berries hit their tongue, the Gamemakers say the game is over, leaving Katniss and Peeta both victors.
As they arrive back in the capitol, their love is still played out, but Haymitch warns Katniss that she is a political target because of defying the Capitol so blatantly. On the train home Katniss admits to Peeta that her feelings weren’t entirely true and were a ploy to gain sympathy from viewers. The book ends with the two unsure of their feelings.
Though the novel does not deal with cyberculture necessarily, the viewers of the Hunger Games are engaged interactively. The Gamemakers are creating every disaster and happening that affects the lives of the tributes. They control the tributes like they are pawns, while the arena is a trap of death. The audience has the opportunity to send necessities (food, medicine, tools, etc.) to whatever tribute they so choose. It is a futuristic game of The Sims where the end goal is kill all but one, or two in the case of the 74th Hunger Games. The citizens question the games privately, but live in fear of repercussions of their protests. The Capitol is playing Big Brother to all, similarly to those who run the Internet. Between the interactivity and omnipresent authority, The Hunger Games books are associated with futuristic cybercultures and interactivity.