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11 September 2010

Hunger Games Book Club Discussion #2

Yay! It's the second round of questions for the Hunger Games book club, held by Jamie at The Book Junkie's Bookshelf!!!

The 2nd Discussion Link: Questions!
The Book:

Blurb from Goodreads:
Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with every one out to make sure you don't live to see the morning?
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

The Questions and Answers:
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?
--Katniss is disgusted with Panem. She resents their rules, and disobeys the ones she needs to survive so she can keep her family alive. She has to keep her face an “indifferent mask” to stay under the radar of the Capitol and it's “Peacekeepers”. If she gets taken away, no one else will keep her family alive.
2. Describe the relationships of Katniss with Gale, with Prim, with her mother. How do these 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 and Gale are obviously close, first out of necessity, but now out of a fondness for eachother. Katniss says there has never been anything romantic between her and Gale, but I can sense the tension between them. She describes his physique and personality and how he would make a good husband for any woman – so she must have thought about him for herself at least once. :)

--Katniss and Prim are very sisterly, sharing life happily together, with regular sibling tiffs in between. But Katniss also has to mother Prim, since her own mother won't support anyone or anything. Not even her own children. It is very telling how much love Katniss has for Prim when she takes her place as a tribute. She didn't even for one second think about letting Prim take that fate. She didn't even let her get to the stage.

--Katniss and her mother have a very strained relationship since Katniss' father died. Her mother gave up living for a very long time, forcing Katniss to grow up over night and support not only her mother, but her young sister. This created resentment and confusion for Katniss, not understanding completely how her mother could just stop caring about her children. Though it isn't right, it toughened Katniss, and I think that plays an important part in her volunteering to be a tribute.
--Katniss feels like she owes Peeta because he showed her kindness once where no one else would.  He was the catalyst for her finding the resolve to keep going.  She feels like she never got to thank him or repay him.  This has cast a shadow on their current relationship, as Katniss keeps receiving help in some way from Peeta, and continues to feel in his debt where she normally wouldn't. 
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 to accept their fate? How are the “career tributes” different from the others?
--Imagine if you were always on camera. You would be someone you weren't, especially all dressed up in weird clothes, people always fussing with your hair, everyone watching every single breath you take. You wouldn't have a chance to be yourself, especially with all the mess about needing sponsors and having to be strong. Would you cry in front of the world? Facing their own death cannot, obviously, be easy, and being watched while dealing with that kind of absolute is, in my opinion, makes things much more difficult.
As for the “career tributes”, they are literally a different breed. They have been raised with more food, more training, and more overall support than any other kids in Panem. They are ready to fight. However, they also do not understand going without things as trivial as hot water, or important things like eating more than once a day (sometimes even less). So they may have strong bodies and trained minds, but they don't have the resolve to stick out the tough times like others such as Katniss might.
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 these ceremonies in real life to the one in the story.
--The “tributes” are given stylists and elaborate costumes simply for showing off sake. The bigger bang they make at the ceremony, the more they are remembered, and the more people might want to sponsor them. Hence the fire for Katniss and Peeta. It really set them apart from the others.
This ceremony reminds me of beauty pageants. Young girl get dressed up in their best dress with loads of makeup and hairspray, looking completely like someone else, just to flaunt their newness for some judges in hopes someone will notice them above the rest of the shiny, hairsprayed mess on the stage. And to compare that to the Games, to the beauty pageant girls winning is sort of like life and death to them, just like winning over a potential sponsor can mean life or death for a “tribute”.
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 it's a little bit of both. It was his idea originally, but Haymitch pushed it right along. And when he says “It's all a big show” he means exactly that – it's a show. You have to give the people what they want to see – give the perception they want.
The tributes need to impress the sponsors because the sponsors are the ones who get them stuff in the arena. The sponsors are looking for an interesting and exciting tribute, one who keeps the game going.
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?
--Peeta has a lot of secret pride he holds inside. He fears being perceived as something he's not; a killer, a mindless puppet to the Capitol. He wants to be seen as just himself and keep his pride intact. And I think he did stay true to himself as much as possible.
I apologize for the long answers, I have a lot to say about this book! :)  Happy Reading to you all!!


  1. Catching up with all the blogs I haven’t had a chance to visit in a while, it was good to hear all your latest news.

  2. I keep hearing about how marvelous this book is. I don't generally read much YA fiction, but I may have to put this one on the list!



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