The book hunger games by, Suzanne Collins is a young adults novel. The story is based on a post –apocalyptic country known as Panem. Each and every year the government organizes an event in the capital known as the Hunger Games: the games involve randomly selected 24 teenagers from the most subjugated Districts of Panem. The selected youths have to fight to death with the winner winning gifts (food) for his district, to cap it all the heinous event is broadcast live on television. The event is not in any way helpful to the people of Panem but it is held every year to remind all the residents of all the Districts the absolute power that the government wields. The book has several lead characters as the story of about each and every character tries to survive in their day to day lives, the main focus of this paper will be on the main protagonist or the narrator, a young girl by the name Katniss Everdeen.
Katniss Everdeen is a young teenager from district twelve; she lives with her mother and little sister by the name of, Primrose also nicknamed Prim. She is the main provider for the family she has to go hunting in the woods to find food for the family a responsibility she took over at the age of eleven after her father died in a mine explosion. To accompany her in the hunt is her best friend Gale who is 19 years old, he hates the capitol furthermore he wishes that all the people from the various districts could stand up and rebel against the government the way District 8 did. In order to ensure that he stays alive, Katniss has to pretend that the two are cousins.
Katniss Everdeen like any other young teenager is trying to help the family in whatever way she can. According to the theory put forward by Piaget the Preoperational Stage in children is divided in to two. At the age of about two to about six or seven years old, a child is able to acquire some skills and develops some sense of being. The child can be able to imagine and focus on items and make decisions. Another philosopher by the name of Erikson put forward a theory that “there were eight stages of psychosocial development. Each had a systolic (harmonious) element and a dystonic (disruptive) element. They reconciled in an ego quality or strength.” The stage in which a child proves competence is the fourth stage of development according to Erikson; it usually takes place between the ages of age six to thirteen. In the novel Katniss is at that stage of development and she proves that she is competent enough to take care of her family.
The death of her father and the living conditions of Katniss has played a major role in molding her character. The death of her father has forced her to be a brave teenager as seen in how she fairs in the Hunger Games. She has become an expert in shooting arrows as a result of hunting from a very tender age of eleven so as to provide for her family. Poverty also made Katniss to be a resilient young lady as their daily life was a struggle thus making her a more determined person later in life.
After winning the hunger games together with Peeta Mellark, who later becomes her fiancé even though later on Peeta is captured by the capitol Katniss experience in the games have brought out some character that was initially not visible. She proves that she is very clever this can be seen in how she tries to entice the viewers to side with her and her lover. She shows that she can be suicidal when she and her lover try to commit suicide.
Some of the major barriers that exist between Katniss and her success in life is the government in the capitol, as much as she is willing to prosper in life the government is doing all it has within its powers to oppress the people thus limiting their chances of succeeding in life. Katniss wish is to have her own family and work hand in hand with her husband to ensure that she fulfills some of her wishes, but the government ensures she does not succeed by capturing her fiancé.
The adults’ especially in District twelve plays a major role in the life of Katniss; they don’t see the games as senseless and are encouraging the teenagers to participate in games and even training them. The mayor takes pride in selecting teenagers to go and fight it out in the games, other teenagers in the life of Katniss such as Gale plays a very vital role in shaping Katniss.
The book is very interesting to read as it gives an account of what the protagonist has to undergo in order to save her sister in a competition whose ultimate price is food. The book is very relevant to the class as it gives a range of people with different characters to discuss. This book can be recommended to people who feel they are being oppressed, as it shows how self determination by an individual can change a lot.
The events that a person undergoes as a young child can impact on the person’s behavior later on as an adult. Katniss is shaped by the death of her father and poverty. The book gives a very interesting yet sad account of how the young people in the society are taken advantage of by the adults. Instead of the adults taking part in the games they push the teenagers to go and represent them in heinous games that they the adults have come up with.
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