Editorial: 'The Hunger Games' engages readers

The Newtonite

[media-credit name=”Jordan Robins” align=”alignnone” width=”191″]

For a summer reading book, this school chose The Hunger Games, which is one of those rare books that keeps teenagers engaged and interested, but also sparks serious debates about oppressive governments, social classes and moral dilemmas.

In its One School, One Book initiative, this school chose The Hunger Games, a book that has become increasingly popular over the last year due to the release of the film version.

The oppressive government of Panem is one aspect of The Hunger Games that sparks discussion. Even in today’s society, there are still oppressive governments like Panem that use drastic measures to control their people. One example of this type of government is Syria. By reading about Panem, we can understand the effects cruel leaders have on their people.

Furthermore, there are two social classes in the first book. The first is the upper ruling class of the Capitol, which members have money and food, while the second is the lower working class, which puts the food on the tables of the residents of the Capitol. The ruling class is constantly trying to protect itself and stay in power, while the lower class is trying to survive. This tension between classes is something worth discussing because it exists in our society, as well.

Because the government does not give Katniss’, the protagonist, family the resources it needs to support itself, she illegally hunts and gathers food for her sister and mother. Like Katniss, many people in the world struggle to find food and protect their families. The Hunger Games helps the reader reflect on the role society and the government play or should play in protecting citizens’ well-being.

If you still have not read The Hunger Games, we urge you to do so. From an entertainment perspective, the book is suspenseful and exhilarating, and from an educational standpoint, the book forces readers to reflect how we, as individuals and as a society, treat each other. The Hunger Games is a perfect summer reading book.