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The Comparison Between Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games” And Its Movie Adaptation

1578 words - 7 pages

"The Hunger Games" is a science fiction novel written by the American author Suzanne Collins that was published in 2008. A film adaptation directed by Gary Ross was released in 2012. Although some movie adaptations differ greatly from the original stories presented in the books, this adaptation follows the plot development in an unusually detailed manner. However, certain changes were made that influence our perception of the movie.
"The Hunger Games" exhibits a variety of sci-fi features that confirm her placement in this genre. The plot is set in the dystopian, post-apocalyptic society of Panem that "rose up out of the ashes of the place that was once called North America" (Collins). One can only speculate about the year because no exact reference is given apart from the fact that the seventy-fourth Hunger Games are about to begin. Another science fiction theme is the advancement of technology, which enables genetic engineering and mutation. There are many examples of such modifications "spawned in a lab" (Collins) which are usually used as weapons, like the tracker jacker or the mockingjay. The mutants are by far the deadliest and show just how far the Gamemakers are willing to go in order to turn the savage concept of the games into an entertaining show for the Capitol: “The audience in the Capitol will be getting bore, claiming that these Games are verging on dullness. This is the one thing the Games must not do” (Collins). Furthermore, a high level of science is necessary for the creation of a virtual reality, which the arena really is. This is explicitly demonstrated in the movie when a Gamemaker creates a hologram of a mutant dog and places it in the arena, where it instantly materialises.
The author found great inspiration in the ancient gladiator games, the basic idea of which served as a template for the plot: in a vast arena “the competitors must fight to the death. The last tribute standing wins” (Collins). But, the tributes are chosen among children from twelve to eighteen and not among adults, which is just another way of the Capitol “reminding [them] how totally [they] are at their mercy” (Collins). The Games fulfil their purpose of terrifying the people of the Districts and thus preventing them to rebel against the government as they once tried. If the consequence of the last rebellion were the Hunger Games, there is no way of knowing whether or not the Capitol would destroy every one of them were they to fail again: “How little chance we would stand of surviving another rebellion” (Collins). Panem is a truly totalitarian state, where dictatorship rules, with a tremendous difference between the rich, who live in the Capitol and the Districts nearest to it, and the poor, especially the outer Districts like Eleven or Twelve: “What it must be like, I wonder, to live in a world where food appears at the press of a button?”(Collins). In such a society the bonds between people outside one’s family are weak and trust does not come...

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