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Connector The premise of The Hunger Games is similar to the premise of a short story titled “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell where a man falls off a yacht and swims to an island. Rather than rescue, he finds out that he will be the prey in a hunt of life and death because the owner of the island has grown bored with animals and wants more worthy opponents. The contest in the short story, however, is only between the hunter and the hunted, and the characters are all adults. The hunt is not sanctioned by society.
Questioner Why did Katniss’ mom check out of her children’s lives at the time they needed her most? Why did Peeta give Katniss the bread? What does Peeta’s crying say about him? Katniss’ refusal to cry?
Literary Luminary Reread the paragraph beginning with “At least you two have decent manners,”… on the bottom of page 44 through the top paragraph on page 45. It’s ironic that Effie concerns herself with the manners of the youth who have basically been slated to die for entertainment. Katniss’ reaction reveals an important part of her personality.
Summarizer The story is set in a place called Panem, a futuristic society which used to be North America. The Capitol controls all 12 surviving districts, and in order to display its power has instigated something called The Hunger Games where each district must send a boy and a girl to participate in a battle royale, a fight to the death. KatnissEverdeen and PeetaMellark are the two chosen in a lottery from District 12, one of the poorer districts. Katniss is a strong character who has basically cared for her mother and sister since her father died. Peeta is a seemingly nice guy whose family run the local bakery. They are heading to the capitol to prepare for the Games.
Researcher Suzanne Collins has been writing for various Nickelodeon TV series since 1991. The idea for The Hunger Games came when she was channel surfing and saw a reality show on one channel and a news report on the Iraq War on another. The two images joined together to inspire her to write the book. Collins adapted the novel herself for the film version which will come out in 2012.
Word Wizard Panem comes from the Latin phrase “panem et circenses” which means bread and circuses. The phrase was coined by Juvenal, a Roman poet who lived about 100 A.D. and felt that Romans only cared about shallow, trivial entertainment .