The Hunger Game in Real Life

This is a warning statement for possible spoilers of the novel “The Hunger Games.”

Would you kill a person for a prize? Let me rephrase the question. Would you kill a person to protect your life? The Hunger Games written by Suzanne Collins is about a girl named Katniss Everdeen who participates in an annual survival event, the Hunger Game, in Panem. Panem has 12 districts divided by wealth, and every year, a boy and a girl are selected from each district for the Hunger Games.

The society in The Hunger Games is similar to our society in the sense that they both often only care about 1st place or the winner. In the book, the readers can notice how this aspect of society is exaggerated through the fact that a game that encourages murder is entertainment. The lives of the participants only seem like chess pieces to the spectators of the Hunger Game, where their absence is only unfortunate for the sake of the game. Moreover, when two characters were selected as winners instead of one, they had to give an excuse. They had to pretend that they loved each other because while killing a person and having one winner was acceptable, having two winners from not killing the other person was not.

It is not ethically wrong to give attention to people who won the first place or those who deserve recognition for their hard work and efforts. However, when those efforts start to harm others, they become potential dangers. Naturally, everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. In the novel, for example, some people were good at battling while some were not. The world would be a more meaningful and peaceful place to live if everyone could admit that there are people better than themselves and that they cannot overpower and surpass everything. Unfortunately, however, this is not the case. There are countless incidents where people, blinded by ambition and prestige, use illegal and unethical ways to achieve what they desire. The major gap between the novel and society is that while all these incidents are happening secretly in the real world, they are broadcast nationally in Panem.

We should constantly remind ourselves that it is okay not to win first place every single time. Yes, it is hard to undertake that by heart when living in a world that always requires us to be the winners. However, we should not stop trying to change our mindsets and attitudes. You will learn from losing, and even if you never win, you are still good enough.

By: Miso Kim