Why the Hunger Games make no sense

Disclaimer: I love the Hunger Games.

The Confusion 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.

The classics.

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!

Pointless murders

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.

WHY?!

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…)

Conclusion

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.

 

 

 

 

2 responses to “Why the Hunger Games make no sense”

  1. Great post! I loved reading it and I found it humorous.
    To your points about the unnecessary homework and speeding things up a bit, though, there are some kids who really wouldn’t understand the lesson without that extra practice. But if the students were categorized into classes based on how much support and instruction they needed, the vast majority of students would be able to learn material much more quickly.
    For instance, my senior-year astronomy class was the only class I had that year that gave no homework – and everyone understood the content just as well because we used videos and hands-on experiments to learn about concepts rather than loads of textbooks and reams of homework assignments. But my senior calculus BC class, which assigns homework every day from an online textbook, was just as fun. All the students understand the material enough that they could each teach the solution to one problem to their peers the next day.
    Neither point is a one-size-fit-all situation. Some students don’t need extra homework and can speed by, but others need extra lessons to drill the concept into their brains. Homework is unnecessary in most classes, true. But there’s also an element of interactivity that needs to be considered, such as encouraging students to present their knowledge of the topic to their classmates, or really anything that doesn’t involve droning on about one huge block of text or a few formidable worksheets with complex math notations on them.

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  2. I think the actual game in Hunger Games makes perfect sense. All of your political plot line comments, yeah not so much because it is an action movie, of course they are not going to focus on that. Have you read the book though? As far as the actual game goes, look at history. The Colosseum was created by the ruling class to entertain the people of Rome. The reasoning to have gladiators battle each other was based in religious customs, concepts determined by ruling class and intellectuals. But, on a simpler level, the masses just like being entertained, and the ruling class just realized it could make money off of this. Furthermore, think about the amount of jobs that the building of the Colosseum created for engineers, bricklayers, masons, carpenters, etc. I think every ruler realizes this at some point: you have to create growth in a nation in order to ensure economic stability. Whether it is declaring war on another nation or hosting the Olympics, the rulers find a way to mask economic growth with some sort of event. More than 50% of the engineers employed in America develop technology for military operations. As far as the division of the Districts goes, yeah it is a mechanism that was devised by the ruling class to pit the Districts against one another, instead of against the Capitol. And then, concerning the Peacekeepers: think about the Police wars going on in the South and West sides of Chicago right now. In summary, I think the Hunger Games is a slightly exaggerated reflection of our real life here on Earth right now, and it is set slightly in the future to make people think about how screwed up things could be for us if we continue to do what we are doing.

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