October 18, 2010

Hunger Games Essay Questions

Here are some essay or discussion questions we wrote to review some of the central themes found in The Hunger Games trilogy.

Pick one of the following themes of the Hunger Games Series and discuss it in a 1-3 page paper.

1)  The Hunger Games series shows how old habits die hard.  People will continue old traditions even though they know that they are unfair and unjust. Discuss how the people in the different districts and the capital felt about the hunger games.  Why did they continue to participate?

2)  The Hunger Games series shows that good people can be especially cruel and violent if the situation allows for it or even demands it.  The Hunger Games and then the civil war required some incredibly violent actions by people who were not "bad" people.  Discuss your thoughts on if and when violence and cruelty is OK.

3)  The Hunger Games shows that the ends justify the means and that if the final outcome is good, that makes the strategies, tools and actions getting there OK.  The final tactic that won the civil war was the dropping of bombs on the civilian shield around the presidential mansion.  We don't know who ordered the attack.  If it was the rebels, was this OK?  Was it worth the price of those who died to stop the war and even more kiling?

4)  The Hunger Games shows that good leadership often requires morally questionable decisions and actions.  Discuss 3 specific actions that the rebel president did or that Katniss did over the course of the books that was morally questionable.  How did these actions contribute to their leadership?

5)  The Hunger Games shows that television plays a very important role in society.  Discuss how the televised games were received in the Capital.  Discuss how the televised games were received in the Districts.  How did people's actions change because they were going to be on TV?  Did it make them try to be more "sensational" than they would otherwise have been?  If so, was it really "real" or was it a simulacrum?

6)  The Hunger Games Series shows that honor is sometimes assumed where it is not warranted and found where it is not expected.  Who was the most honorable in the book and why?  Who was the least honorable and why?  Who was assumed to have honor but demonstrated a moral and ethical ambiguity when it came time to act on that honor?  Who is more honorable at the beginning of the series Gale or Peeta or Haymitch?  How did this change by the end of the series?

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