The Hunger Games

What are the characteristics of a dystopian society and how is Panem a dystopian society?


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The Hunger Games is actually considered young adult fiction, and Panem is characterized as a dystopia. The theme of excess and opulence enjoyed by a few at the expense of many is one that is used effectively. The world has been reduced to the status-quo of the rich living in a relative bubble and the poor toiling away with little to live on. The Capitol and its vapid population enjoy watching the games which are reminiscent of Roman gladiatorial type games of ancient Rome. It makes for some thought provoking ideas about our own world as well as quite entertaining fiction.

Panem is a country built on extreme class divisions. The districts are kept from contacting one another, and each is forced into a particular industry, thus limiting the social mobility of those within the district. Class is a strong tool used by the Capitol to keep its citizens distant from one another, hence limiting the chances of another rebellion. The tesserae is a prime example of how class keeps the poor resentful of the rich. Much of Panem's totalitarian and controlling structure is intended to keep the districts from uniting into a second rebellion. The Capitol has orchestrated a system to keep its population distracted and separated from one another.