Hunger Games Genre

So. I have not seen or read The Hunger Games. I’m behind-the-times, okay okay. But, I have read about it online, and the premise sounds a lot like other stories I’ve read/discussed before. The stories that come to mind are Stephen King’s “The Long Walk,” and Koushan Tokami’s “Battle Royale.” I’m sure there are several more out there like this. The point is, there is a particular niche of storytelling that I want to address in this blog. 

This is from wikipedia: “The Hunger Games are an annual event in which one boy and one girl aged 12 to 18 from each of the 12 districts surrounding the Capitol are selected by lottery to compete in a televised battle in which only one person can survive.”   Here are the comparison to the aforementioned novels. The Long Walk takes place in the not-so-distant future US, which is under a super conservative regime. 100 teenagers are picked randomly each year to compete in a walking competition. During the walk, the walkers have to maintain a minimum average speed of 4 miles an hour. The competition lasts as long as the walkers; the winner is the last person standing. If you veer from the path or slow down, you are shot on sight. Other people die during the walk from disease or insanity. In Battle Royale, Japanese schoolchildren (in an alternate reality under a totalitarian regime) are forced into death fights. As you can see, common tropes of these novels are competition which result in death, and the characters being young (teenage or younger). 

I think the most important thread that ties these pieces together is the use of youth to tell the story. I think young people are perfect to tell these stories because they’re so submissive to authority. As a young person, you rely and depend on adults for everything (your parents, teachers, etc.) But youth also represent newness, novelty, and can be the hotbed for rebellion. 

But how should you classify this story? 

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~ by leviathan on March 26, 2012.

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