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February Discussion - The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins


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  #1  
February 15th, 2010, 09:27 AM
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Let's discuss this month's book, The Hunger Games. I got the following questions from Scholastic. We can use these questions as a springboard for our discussion. Feel free to answer any or none of the questions, contribute thoughts or make any comments.

Discussion Questions

1. How does Katniss feel about the country of Panem? Why does she need to make her face "an indifferent mask" and be careful what she says in public?

2. Describe the relationships of Katniss with Gale, with Prim, with her mother. How do those relationships define her personality? Why does she say about Peeta, "I feel like I owe him something, and I hate owing people." How does her early encounter with Peeta affect their relationship after they are chosen as tributes?

3. How does the fact that the tributes are always on camera affect their behavior from the time they are chosen? Does it make it easier or harder for them to accept their fate? How are the "career tributes" different from the others?

4. Why are the "tributes" given stylists and dressed so elaborately for the opening ceremony? Does this ceremony remind you of events in our world, either past or present? Compare those ceremonies in real life to the one in the story.

5. When Peeta declares his love for Katniss in the interview, does he really mean it or did Haymitch create the "star-crossed lovers" story? What does Haymitch mean when he says, "It's all a big show. It's all how you're perceived." Why do they need to impress sponsors and what are those sponsors looking for when they are watching the Games?

6. Before the Games start, Peeta tells Katniss, " . . . I want to die as myself . . . I don't want them to change me in there. Turn me into some kind of monster that I'm not." What does this tell you about Peeta? What does he fear more than death? Is he able to stay true to himself during the Games?

7. Why does Katniss ignore Haymitch's advice to head directly away from the Cornucopia? Did she do the right thing to fight for equipment? What are the most important skills she has for staying alive - her knowledge of nature? - her skill with bow and arrow? - her trapping ability? What qualities of her personality keep her going - her capacity for love? - her intelligence? - her self-control?

8. Why does Peeta join with the Career Tributes in the beginning of the Games? What does he hope to gain? Why do they accept him when they start hunting as a group? Why do groups form in the beginning when they know only one of them will be able to survive?

9. What makes Katniss and Rue trust each other to become partners? What does Katniss gain from this friendship besides companionship? Is Katniss and Rue's partnership formed for different reasons than the other group's?

10. Discuss the ways in which the Gamemakers control the environment and "entertainment" value of the Games. How does it affect the tributes to know they are being manipulated to make the Games more exciting for the gamblers and viewers? Does knowing that she is on live TV make Katniss behave differently than she would otherwise?

11. When does Katniss first realize that Peeta does care for her and is trying to keep her alive? When does she realize her own feelings for him? Did Haymitch think all along that he could keep them both alive by stressing the love story? Are they actually in love?

12. What do you think is the cruelest part of the Hunger Games? What kind of people would devise this spectacle for the entertainment of their populace? Can you see parallels between these Games and the society that condones them, and other related events and cultures in the history of the world?

13. In 1848, Karl Marx wrote in The Communist Manifesto, "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." Discuss this statement as it applies to the society and government of Panem. Do you believe there is any chance to eradicate class struggles in the future?

14. Reality TV has been a part of the entertainment world since the early days of television (with shows such as Candid Camera and the Miss America Pageant), but in the 21st century there has been a tremendous growth of competitive shows and survival shows. Discuss this phenomenon with respect to The Hunger Games. What other aspects of our popular culture do you see reflected in this story?
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  #2  
February 15th, 2010, 11:19 PM
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1. How does Katniss feel about the country of Panem? Why does she need to make her face "an indifferent mask" and be careful what she says in public?

She doesnt agree with the way the country is run, but she has to blend in with the others to keep herself and her family safe. If she voices her beliefs, her opinions, she could seriously alter her family's life for the worse.

2. Describe the relationships of Katniss with Gale, with Prim, with her mother. How do those relationships define her personality? Why does she say about Peeta, "I feel like I owe him something, and I hate owing people." How does her early encounter with Peeta affect their relationship after they are chosen as tributes?

Gale. HE is her BFF. He believes the same as she does about their way of life. they are trying to take care of their families and do the best they can. She feels like shes had to grow up real quick and take care of Prim, and Gale is one person who she can relate to. They are one soul with two bodies. How this defines her personality... i dunno maybe, her trust in him with how they relate to each other, is why she lacks trusting in others who are not like her?

Prim. Her little sister. Her reason for living. If it wern't for her sake, Katniss would rather just die and leave the world she lives in. how this defines her personality, is that Prim makes her into the mothering type, the one who wants to look after others, worry for otheres, as in Rue in the hunger games.

Her Mother. She dislikes her mother because she fell out of life when her father passed. She feels jipped of a childhood because she had to step up and raise her sister and take care of her mother. yet she loves her just the same. How this defines her personality, is much the same as Prim. She has become the mother figure. the caregiver.

Peeta. She feels she owes him, because if it wern't for him and his genorousity, she would have given up on taking care of her family. As tributes together, she feels she owes him something, payback of some kind, if only just a friendship, to help him, keep him alive.

3. How does the fact that the tributes are always on camera affect their behavior from the time they are chosen? Does it make it easier or harder for them to accept their fate? How are the "career tributes" different from the others?

They dont want to seem weak in the eyes of the camera. It makes it harder because they know its highly possiable they wont make it, but they can't let their emotions show on camera. The career Tributes seems like cocky little(insert a few dirty words here) to me. They seem to have no emotion, no care for others.

4. Why are the "tributes" given stylists and dressed so elaborately for the opening ceremony? Does this ceremony remind you of events in our world, either past or present? Compare those ceremonies in real life to the one in the story.

To get them sponsers. Sponsers means they may have more of a chance to survive. It reminds me of Miss America kinda lol. Im not sure if Miss Amerca gets sponsers.. but the vote is usual chosen on which one is more beautiful wearing whatever and their personalities and talents. In the story, the tributes are sponsered, on their looks and personalities and then talents. Also our reality shows on tv.


5. When Peeta declares his love for Katniss in the interview, does he really mean it or did Haymitch create the "star-crossed lovers" story? What does Haymitch mean when he says, "It's all a big show. It's all how you're perceived." Why do they need to impress sponsors and what are those sponsors looking for when they are watching the Games?

I think he means it, but I also think it helps with the star crossed lovers story. Maybe he means it but it hiding behind the story.

Its all a big show. Like a reality tv show. The viewers dont know anything thats not on camera.

They need to impress sponsers to gain valuable things to get them through the games. I suppose the sponsers are looking for stength and knowledge, and valuable skills that will lead that tribute to victory.

6. Before the Games start, Peeta tells Katniss, " . . . I want to die as myself . . . I don't want them to change me in there. Turn me into some kind of monster that I'm not." What does this tell you about Peeta? What does he fear more than death? Is he able to stay true to himself during the Games?

He wants to die as himself, his true self. He seems to be a caring, compassionate person. He doesnt want to go out and slaughter people. He doesnt want the games to portray him as a monster who strives to win.

I dont know if he'll stay true.. haven't got that far... probably not.

7. Why does Katniss ignore Haymitch's advice to head directly away from the Cornucopia? Did she do the right thing to fight for equipment? What are the most important skills she has for staying alive - her knowledge of nature? - her skill with bow and arrow? - her trapping ability? What qualities of her personality keep her going - her capacity for love? - her intelligence? - her self-control?


Because she saw the bow and arrow and she really needed it. She grabbed the backpack and ran, she did good that she didnt fight for the bow.

Her most important skills... her knowledge of nature. What she can eat and can't eat. trapping helps. and if she gets a bow and arrow, that would be good for her in hunting and in defense.

Her personality qualities that keeps her going is her love and honesty. She told Prim she'd do her very best to make it and she will do her best not to disappoint her sister.

8. Why does Peeta join with the Career Tributes in the beginning of the Games? What does he hope to gain? Why do they accept him when they start hunting as a group? Why do groups form in the beginning when they know only one of them will be able to survive?

I dunno why he joined them.. maybe so they wouldnt kill him?

They want him to help find Katniss to get her out of the running, obviously they are threatened by her skill and likability by the crowd/judges.

I dont know why there would be any groups forming at all. Seems crazy to me.. I suppose you could be in a group to stay in the game longer, you have people to help with defense to help knock other opponents out of the running, but I personally would never trust anyone in such a game.



I havent read any farther then that. I saw question 9 was about Rue. omg. now I have to read it.. lmao I deleted the rest before I could read them, didnt wanna give it away!!
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  #3  
February 16th, 2010, 09:12 PM
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Here's what I have so far. I've responded questions #1-8. It's all I could get to.

1. How does Katniss feel about the country of Panem? Why does she need to make her face "an indifferent mask" and be careful what she says in public?

I don’t think Katniss liked Panem one bit. And I don’t blame her. She keeps an indifferent mask in order to keep herself and her family safe. The wrong word, the wrong expression can mean trouble for Katniss and her family.

2. Describe the relationships of Katniss with Gale, with Prim, with her mother. How do those relationships define her personality? Why does she say about Peeta, "I feel like I owe him something, and I hate owing people." How does her early encounter with Peeta affect their relationship after they are chosen as tributes?

Katniss has an amazing and comfortable relationship with Gale. They are survivors. Gale is the only person with whom Katniss feels that she can be herself. She can speak her mind, be herself without worries. Katniss can stay true to herself during her moments with Gale. I think this is how she doesn’t lose herself and her true personality because it is so easy to do so when you always have to have a mask on.

Prim brings out the nurturing side of Katniss. Life in Panem has made Katniss have an edge to her. Katniss is Prim’s protector and mother hen.

The relationship between Katniss and her mother is a difficult one. Her mother wasn’t there for Katniss and Prim when their father died. She shut down and didn’t care or tend to her daughters as she should have. Katniss and Prim were too young. But Katniss stepped up and did what she could to survive and help her family to survive. Although their mother has returned to them mentally, Katniss still has reservations about her mother.

In Katniss’ mind, she owes Peeta her life. At the time that she was about to give up from starvation and frustration, Peeta was willing to be punished harshly by his mother in order to give much needed food to Katniss. And it is something that Katniss cannot repay Peeta for. I think Katniss is always wary of Peeta. She doesn’t believe that someone will do something for someone else selflessly. Unfortunately, life has taught her that. So she thinks Peeta is out for something, she just doesn’t know what.


3. How does the fact that the tributes are always on camera affect their behavior from the time they are chosen? Does it make it easier or harder for them to accept their fate? How are the "career tributes" different from the others?

I think they have to show a brave front as soon as they are chosen. The weak ones, those who cry or show fear, are the ones who get picked off by the other tributes first.

The career tributes are trained to be tributes. The last thing most people want is to be chosen to be part of the Hunger Games. The Hunger Games means death. The career tributes want to be part of it. They work their whole lives to be a part of the Hunger Games. Their goal is to win the Hunger Games. To the career tributes, the Hunger Games means glory.


4. Why are the "tributes" given stylists and dressed so elaborately for the opening ceremony? Does this ceremony remind you of events in our world, either past or present? Compare those ceremonies in real life to the one in the story.

I think the tributes are given stylists to put them in the best light so that the audience will root for them and to help them garner sponsors. The sponsors seem to be the difference between survival and victory. I guess, in light of the Olympics, the opening ceremony makes me think of the Olympics Opening Ceremony, but only in the sense of introducing the members participating.

5. When Peeta declares his love for Katniss in the interview, does he really mean it or did Haymitch create the "star-crossed lovers" story? What does Haymitch mean when he says, "It's all a big show. It's all how you're perceived." Why do they need to impress sponsors and what are those sponsors looking for when they are watching the Games?

I think Peeta meant his declaration of love but that also Haymitch made it a marketing scheme. I don’t think that Peeta would have wanted to broadcast and cheapen his crush like that.

I think the sponsors are looking for winners and they are only going to support those who have a chance at winning.


6. Before the Games start, Peeta tells Katniss, " . . . I want to die as myself . . . I don't want them to change me in there. Turn me into some kind of monster that I'm not." What does this tell you about Peeta? What does he fear more than death? Is he able to stay true to himself during the Games?

I think it shows that Peeta has integrity. He doesn’t want the Hunger Games to make him into a person he’s not. The Hunger Games is full of violence and every man for himself or herself, and Peeta is not that kind of person at all. I think he does stay true to himself during the games. He does what he must to survive without resorting to violence for the sake of violence.

7. Why does Katniss ignore Haymitch's advice to head directly away from the Cornucopia? Did she do the right thing to fight for equipment? What are the most important skills she has for staying alive - her knowledge of nature? - her skill with bow and arrow? - her trapping ability? What qualities of her personality keep her going - her capacity for love? - her intelligence? - her self-control?

When Katniss sees items that she believes are vital to her survival during the Hunger Games, she makes the haste decision to go for them. I think she did do the right thing because the things she picked up were very helpful to her.

I think her most important skills for staying alive was her knowledge of nature and survival skills that helped her when she was home in District 12. I think that the qualities that help keep her going are her capacity for love and her intelligence.


8. Why does Peeta join with the Career Tributes in the beginning of the Games? What does he hope to gain? Why do they accept him when they start hunting as a group? Why do groups form in the beginning when they know only one of them will be able to survive?

You know, I wondered about this. I wondered how he was able to pull it off. I thought that the Career Tributes would have killed him off right away when they got a hold of him. But I think that Peeta joined them because he knew that Katniss was a huge threat to the Career Tributes and wanted to keep tabs on them. I think that Peeta thought that he could keep the Career Tributes from getting at Katniss by turning them off the scent. And I think that Career Tributes take Peeta in to get info on Katniss.

Don’t they form alliances in reality shows like Survivor? It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense since only one can survive. But I guess as a group, you can survive better than you can alone?
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  #4  
February 18th, 2010, 02:54 AM
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Grr. I answered these ?s a minute ago.. apparently my posts are disappearing...

Anyway.. I finished this book last night! I can't wait to read the second one!


?s 9-12

9. What makes Katniss and Rue trust each other to become partners? What does Katniss gain from this friendship besides companionship? Is Katniss and Rue's partnership formed for different reasons than the other group's?

Katniss trusted Rue because she warned her of the tracker jackers nest instead of letting her get stung. Plus Rue reminds her of Prim.

Katniss gains knowledge from Rue. I.e. the leaves that heal the tracker jacker stings.

Katniss and Rue's partnership is based on trust and loyality, while the others are only together for defense in the moment. If they had to choose themselves over another they'd stab the others in the back in an instant.

10. Discuss the ways in which the Gamemakers control the environment and "entertainment" value of the Games. How does it affect the tributes to know they are being manipulated to make the Games more exciting for the gamblers and viewers? Does knowing that she is on live TV make Katniss behave differently than she would otherwise?

The gamemakers throw crap in there when the tributes are just hiding out trying to survive and not trying to kill each other.

Im not sure how the others feel, but Katniss hates being manipulated and used and it disgusts her.

Katniss seems to hide her emotions when shes down from the viewers, yet when she's outsmarting others, she says things she normally wouldn't just to gain some love/support/etc... from the viewers.

11. When does Katniss first realize that Peeta does care for her and is trying to keep her alive? When does she realize her own feelings for him? Did Haymitch think all along that he could keep them both alive by stressing the love story? Are they actually in love?

I think she realizes it when he jumps in and fights Cato and tells her to run. I think his name was cato.. I could be off.. lol.

I dont think she's realized her true feeling for him, least not fully. At this time she loves him and cares for him alot.

Who knows what Haymitch was thinking. The love story seems to have kept them alive thought. obviously the viewers requested a team to be able to win, just for Katniss and Peeta. And the way it ended, leads me to believe the capitol didn't want to be held accountable for losing them both.

I think Peeta is in love with katniss but her feelings arn't the same at the moment.

12. What do you think is the cruelest part of the Hunger Games? What kind of people would devise this spectacle for the entertainment of their populace? Can you see parallels between these Games and the society that condones them, and other related events and cultures in the history of the world?

The cruelest part to me is how everyone is so brutal in attacking and not having one ounce of heart.

I have no idea what type of people would want to watch such a sport.

It reminds me of the Romans and their gladiotor games.
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  #5  
February 18th, 2010, 08:27 PM
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Phew! I finally finished answering the questions. I had them opened up in another window trying to jot down an answer whenever I could.

9. What makes Katniss and Rue trust each other to become partners? What does Katniss gain from this friendship besides companionship? Is Katniss and Rue's partnership formed for different reasons than the other group's?

I think Katniss and Rue trust each other because they’ve observed each other and see that there is no viciousness in each other. They can see they are much alike. Besides companionship, Katniss gains a complement to her survival skills. Rue, from the Agriculture district, has a definite advantage of knowing what is edible. She is much more knowledgeable than Katniss in this aspect.

I think Katniss’ and Rue’s partnership is definitely different from the other group. I think the Career Tributes grouped together because they believed that they were the best, the elite. And they banded together to get the rest of them, the “weaklings.” Katniss and Rue bonded because they were alike and it would be nice to have someone to watch each other’s back.


10. Discuss the ways in which the Gamemakers control the environment and "entertainment" value of the Games. How does it affect the tributes to know they are being manipulated to make the Games more exciting for the gamblers and viewers? Does knowing that she is on live TV make Katniss behave differently than she would otherwise?

The Gamemakers controlled the weather and the landscape. The Gamemakers tried to make it more “exciting” for the viewers by forcing the tributes to interact.

I think the tributes were affected differently. I think the career tributes probably welcomed the manipulation because they could get at their fellow tributes sooner. I know that Katniss did not like and dreaded the changes caused by the Gamemakers and I’m sure the other “weaker” tributes felt the same way.

Katniss definitely behaved differently for live TV. She had to put on a brave front in order not to look weak, to garner more sponsors. She thought that the star crossed lover story was what was going to bring in the supplies that she and Peeta needed.


11. When does Katniss first realize that Peeta does care for her and is trying to keep her alive? When does she realize her own feelings for him? Did Haymitch think all along that he could keep them both alive by stressing the love story? Are they actually in love?

I think it was when he told her to run when he could have easily killed her trying to get the bow and arrow. I’m not too sure when she realized that she had feelings for Peeta. It seemed to me that she was fighting to feelings and not admitting that she had them.

I don’t think Haymitch really had the foresight to think that he could keep them both alive by stressing their love story. He didn’t strike me as being that smart.

I don’t think Katniss and Peeta are actually in love. Not yet anyway.

12. What do you think is the cruelest part of the Hunger Games? What kind of people would devise this spectacle for the entertainment of their populace? Can you see parallels between these Games and the society that condones them, and other related events and cultures in the history of the world?

I think the cruelest part of the Hunger Games is that you actually have to kill everyone in order to survive. Some very sick minded people had to have devised such a game to be considered entertainment.

13. In 1848, Karl Marx wrote in The Communist Manifesto, "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." Discuss this statement as it applies to the society and government of Panem. Do you believe there is any chance to eradicate class struggles in the future?

I think that Panem does remind me of the communist countries where supposedly the people are all equal and they work toward benefitting the government. For some reason, everyone being equal equates to everyone being poor which is how it appears to be in Panem. I just don’t understand how it is eradicating class struggles when all they are doing to squashing their lives and spirits.

14. Reality TV has been a part of the entertainment world since the early days of television (with shows such as Candid Camera and the Miss America Pageant), but in the 21st century there has been a tremendous growth of competitive shows and survival shows. Discuss this phenomenon with respect to The Hunger Games. What other aspects of our popular culture do you see reflected in this story?

Years ago there was a movie called Edtv which, if I recall correctly, was about a camera following this guy. So basically a reality show. My reaction to that movie was “who would want to see anything like that?” Well, obviously I was wrong. Reality shows are everywhere now. It is a huge phenomenon. I think people love people watching and that is one of the many big draws of reality shows.
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