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The Hunger Games and Philosophy: A Critique of Pure Treason

Yes, I’m obsessed with The Hunger Games, just like everyone else. I do not get hooked on books very easily, and I can honestly say that I was hooked after about ten pages of the first book. I read the first one on my flight out to Utah, bought the second one when I got into the airport, and read the second book on the ride back. Since then I have seen the movie twice and I am not ashamed to say that it has taken over much of my life.

The book I found relates The Hunger Games to many different philosophical theories. It is an example of how philosophy can be applied to the pop culture of today. As I flipped through a few of the pages, I saw that the author had made connections between specific scenes of the series with particular theories. The characters’ attitudes are related to certain philosophers because the authors believed that their actions were exemplary of these theories. For example, it says that Peeta’s attitude closely resembles the views of Kant, who believed that morality imposes obligations and duties on us that will guide us in our conduct. If you read the

I flipped through the appendix and found a section that was all about the politics of gender- sounds familiar right? This section described how Katniss, the main character and also a female, is a provider for her family as she takes care of her younger sister and mother by hunting and providing the food to put on the table. Her father died when she was younger, but he took the time to teach her basic skills of survival, which would later benefit her in the hunger games. Therefore, Katniss is not the stereotypical woman we see so often portrayed in film and literature.books, you may agree with this argument, though I think his attitude evolves throughout the series.
I thought this discussion of gender politics related to our class very well, especially with a lot of Dana’s writings about feminism. One of the quotes from the book is, “She has no idea. The effect she can have.” (207) I think that women today often have the upper hand in certain businesses that are predominately male because they bring something different to the table. I think women nowadays are becoming more powerful and starting to have an effect that we will see portrayed in history.

If anyone has not read The Hunger Games, I simply cannot say enough that it is amazing. You will be hooked, instantly! And for anyone that is interested in philosophy I definitely recommend taking a look at this book because it is really interesting how the authors are able to make so many detailed connections between several philosophers and this specific book.


About alyssakinell

I am a senior Management and Spanish major at Bucknell University. I am originally from East Lyme, Connecticut and I hope to live in a big city after I graduate. If I could be anywhere, I would be on a mountain with fresh powder and hot chocolate. I am incapable of eating a meal without finishing it off with something sweet (generally ice cream).


6 thoughts on “The Hunger Games and Philosophy: A Critique of Pure Treason

  1. Wooo, I love the Hunger Games! I went through all three books in two days – I literally could not put them down. The books also definitely have a huge opinion on the power of government, and how to best mix the power of society and government… Whew. Heavy stuff.

    I can’t believe they already have the book on the philosophy out. It makes me wonder if Suzanne Collins meant to incorporate any of those philosophies in her writing, or if she even knows about them. One more question – team gale, or team peeta?

    Posted by Caitlin H. | April 12, 2012, 11:30 pm
  2. I am OBSESSED with Hunger Games.. I have only read the first two and I am trying to get my hands on the third… if the library can find it!There is definitely an element of gender politics in the novels. I find it fascinating how the “hunger games” itself is a masculine event. I think this is a reflection of Panem being a hyper masculine society. Everything is based off of sacrifice, blood and death… all predominately male oriented characteristics. I think the fact that Katniss has to adapt to her situation after the death of her father prepares her for the hunger games in the sense that she understands how to assume the role of a man.

    Posted by Dana Silverstein | April 13, 2012, 12:13 pm
  3. I have yet to see Hunger Games but have heard very good things about it thus far. From your post it seems like an excellent read ans though I am not much of a reader butI may have to add this one to the list. It sounds like its a great tie into our BGS class which doesn’t hurt either. What exactly is it about?

    Posted by Patrick | April 13, 2012, 1:43 pm
  4. I read the quote about how she does understand her effect on others as more about the single-mindedness of her purpose than her gender. I can see why you interpreted that in the light of gender politics. Part of her usefulness as a pawn for the Capitol and for the rebels is her lack of self-awareness. SO, I woudl argue, in that way she is yet again unlike many images of women, especially powerful ones.

    Posted by Jordi | April 20, 2012, 1:03 pm


  1. Pingback: Katniss Everdeen: Local(ist) Hero « UKIAH BLOG - April 19, 2012

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Blog 5 before session 6 What (interest) or Who (person) Inspires You? For this week’s prompt, the Blog Council wants you to examine how this class relates to your own interests. So, please write about how this class relates to some of your own intellectual or other learning interests. We are NOT interested in how it relates to a specific career goal. Plan B: same idea, but based on a person. See whole post for details.

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