Letter Essay #9 The Hunger Games


As a group we read The Hunger Games, a 374 page dystopian book. The Hunger Games have sold over 28 million copies since its publishing date in 2008. Although some of us have all read this book many times before this assignment, reading it again was just as exciting as the first time, if not more because we knew what to look for other than the general story line.  

What once was North America as it was today is now a futuristic country where a power hungry government rules over 12 districts. The government is located in the capital, an area away from the majority of the districts. They get to enjoy a happy life, freedom, full of food at the press of a button and endless entertainment. They are always trying to find new ways to show that they are in complete dominance over their districts. One district did not like the idea of being tied with capitol and they decided to rebel, leading into a big war with the capitol. District 13 was visually attracted by their own government  for disagreeing. Many lives were lost and the capitol still lost. So to ensure that the districts would never rebel again so they created the “Hunger Games”, a cruel game where a boy and a girl are chosen from each district and forced into an arena to fight with capitol selected weapons, just for the sake of showing power and plain entertainment.

Katniss Everdeen is a 16 year old girl living in the seam, in coal mining District 12. Katniss and her sister, Prim have to go to the reaping every year, where the capitol selects the two contestants. Prim with one of the lowest odds is selected. Katniss immediately cries her famous words “I volunteer as tribute,” putting her in the 74th Hunger Games. Katniss really wants to win the games and return home as soon as possible and being with her family.

If we were the author we would change the part in the games when Katniss dropped the Tracker Jacker nest on the careers and Peeta. It was too perfect of a situation and seem even more unreal than the rest of the book. Katniss would need a lot of luck in order to camp in the one tree with the Tracker Jacker nest. Removing the nest would have made a much more exciting scene if Katniss escaped in a more difficult way than how she did. Collins basically gave her a free pass out of the tree. We think Katniss should have got Rue to help her pick off a few careers and run, and possibly Peeta. That would have given Katniss more kills making her look like she has a larger chance of winning then she did and giving her a few more alli’s earlier on, making that team look deadly. It would keep the readers on edge because it would allow to skilled groups of kids fight (The Careers and Katniss’s group). That would be the fight that everyone reading the book is craving.

We were angry when the author decided to portray Peeta as a bad guy and a traitor about halfway through the book when the games had started. Collins made it look as if Peeta was helping the carriers search for Katniss and killing her when in reality this was not the case at all, Peeta was just trying to stay alive and meant no harm to Katniss whatsoever. This is why we got a bit frustrated with Collins at this point in the book because we did not know what to believe in at that given moment.

“‘Was she dead?’ asks the boy from district 2. ‘No. But she is now,’ says Peeta…, ’ready to move on?’”

This was an example of what Collins did to try and throw the reader’s off by portraying Peeta as a bad guy. What was happening in the scene was the carriers tried to kill a girl from district 6 but failed and Collins made it look as if Peeta went to go finish the job, and he did, but Collins showed it as something he was striving to do, something he really wanted to do but he hated it, he hated killing people and he had never been a bad guy in the first place.

We liked the way that the author used cliffhangers at the end of every chapter to add suspense. Sometimes readers in general say “one more chapter then I’ll stop reading,” but with this book it is very hard to do so. For example on page 130 Collins ends the chapter with Peeta in the interview with Caesar Flickerman talking about his crush. Peeta says, “Because . . . because . . . she came here with me,” ending the chapter. I believe that this is a very good method to keep readers interested in reading your books.  

Our quoted passage is when Katniss is desperately needing water near the start of the games. She is wondering why Haymitch or anyone is not sponsoring her with water. “What is Haymitch doing? Despite my anger, hatred, and suspicions, a small voice in the back of my head whispers an answer. Maybe he’s sending you a message, it says. A message. Saying what? Then I know. There’s only one good reason Haymitch could be withholding water from me. Because he knows I’ve almost found it.” (pg. 169 of The Hunger Games) We chose this passage because we really liked how Katniss and Haymitch could communicate without needing to talk. It shows how close they really are and it shows that Haymitch isn’t a worthless alcoholic.

We would rate this book a 10/10 because the writing is truly magnificent and everything is so well described. The characters are very complex and interesting to read about, we believe Suzanne Collins has written close to a perfect book.


Mason Wilk, Ben Carter, Ethan Horbury, and Jack Griffiths

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