Disclaimer: I love the Hunger Games.
There’s just one problem: it doesn’t make any sense.
There’s a 99.7% chance you’ve heard of the Hunger Games. You already know what it’s about. There’s a messed up game every year where 24 kids, one male and one female from each of 12 districts, fight to the death in an arena for the enjoyment of an oblivious aristocracy. And then, before you know it, there’s some rebellion going on, the foolish Capitol surrenders, and it’s over.
However, upon further examination, you soon begin to realize that the structure of the Hunger Games universe, from the country to the games to everything in between, makes absolutely no sense.
Let’s see why, shall we?
All references will be made to the films, and the events portrayed there.
The non-existent economy of Panem
There is a huge class disparity within Panem’s Capitol and districts. Generally speaking, the higher your district number, the poorer it is, with the Capitol being the richest of them all.
Already there are a couple of problems. Only the wealthiest citizens are granted Capitol citizenship, so how were the first Capitol dwellers chosen? Is it possible to come from one of the districts and become part of the Capitol aristocracy? These are all questions that are never answered.
The real problem, however, is Panem cannot function because there is no social construct. The districts exist to supply the Capitol with luxuries, with the leftovers being given to the districts to just barely keep them alive. This law is enforced through intimidation, fear, and Peacekeepers.
Furthermore, there is no evidence that Panem uses currency, as we never see it used in the films.
Waaaaaiiiit just a minute. How can District 1 and 2 be so wealthy if this is the case? The two districts don’t just deal with the Capitol, they LOVE the Capitol. The citizens are wealthy enough to send their children to Career Academies. How can there be such a mass of wealth in these two districts if all of their luxury items are seized by the Capitol? And how can there be amassed wealth if the Capitol does not dole out money? If the Capitol does give out money, why not to the other districts?
As I was saying, no sense.
The Games make no sense either
What’s the point of the Games? President Snow himself stated that he could just round up 24 people and execute them every year.
Apparently, the games give a little bit of hope to the citizens of Panem, but I respond by saying… How?
Perhaps by dividing the districts?
The districts are already divided by wealth, so I do not think this is necessary.
In the end, the Games are just a plot device to make the books stand out. Nothing wrong with that, per se, but just imagine for a moment how much of an administrative and economic nightmare this event is (especially with the dysfunctional economy that we’ve established.)
Every year, you need a council to decide on what arena to make, and then the Arena HAS TO BE BUILT, with all the traps, technology, force fields and what not the Capitol uses in the games. Imagine building the Catching Fire arena with its intricate clock system, time coordinated traps, and mechanisms. Not so easy, huh?
Then you need managers to organize the Tribute Parade, trains for the tributes, guards and Station Managers at the Training Center, and servants for the tributes. Not to mention paying the upkeep for a highly dedicated team of stylists and Gamemakers, which I’m sure comes with a hefty price tag. The management behind the Games is probably worse than the Games itself!
In the movies, there are several scenes of rebellion, most notably in District 7 where a mob of Peacekeepers is blown up by a coordinated rebel strike. As the rebels run away from the enforcers, they are shot at and killed.
This is the most foolish thing I can think of. If you want MORE production, why are you killing the people who will accomplish said production? There are better ways to handle such a situation, like tear gassing the whole group or torturing them. The irony is that before the scene, daily time quotas were announced to be extended by 2 hours.
So why are you killing the people who will be working 2 more hours for you?
I swear, President Snow is a damn fool.
A completely avoidable rebellion
Why couldn’t President Snow just kill Katniss?
A major plot hole, in my opinion. There was little to stop Snow from killing Katniss and ending the rebellion in one swift motion.
“But wait!” I hear you cry. “It’ll turn her into a martyr!”
Not one bit. Communication between the districts is severely limited, and with the Capitol’s technology, they can simply make Katniss disappear from the face of the Earth.
Poof! Just like that.
They can also craft more fake news about her to make it seem she’s alive. I mean, Photoshop has probably reached such a level in this time period that you can’t even tell if it’s real or not anymore. The Capitol is the master of propaganda, for crying out loud!
Did I say President Snow is a damn fool?
Katniss, god among the rebellion
Okay, this PROBABLY makes a little bit of sense.
But what perplexed me was the power Katniss had as a symbol. She never voluntarily wanted to fight the Capitol. It’s insane how much support her moves with Rue and the nightlock berries garnered. We went from a quasi-stable government to rebellion everywhere. Are you telling me something like this never happened before? Surely some tribute “rebelled” against the Capitol by accident before.
It’s just ridiculous.
Seeing Katniss go around in a bird suit and shoot propaganda films seemed even more odd. If Katniss is really such an influential figure, why wasn’t she ever granted more power within the rebellion? She was so powerful, but as SOON as her inspiring words were no longer needed, she was promptly trashed by President Coin. Suddenly, there was no need for Katniss. What?
(And why didn’t Snow just stop Seneca Crane from allowing two victors in the first place? I swear, Snow really IS a damn fool…)
The Hunger Games makes no sense. The End.
Tell me what you think. Was there something I missed? Are there coherent explanations for any of these? I am just being a damn fool instead of Snow?
Let me know what you think.