Welcome to PanemEdit
To understand The Hunger Games, you need to understand the world in which the action unfolds.Like many great writers before her,Suzanne Collins has created a whole universe in her books-a nightmarish dystopian vision of what our society could become in the future.
Part of what makes Panem feel so real is the fact that it shares some similarities with our own world.However,there are still a lot of things in Collins' imaginary state that are diffrent and new to discover.
The Capitol doesn't let people speak their mind about what mind about what life is really like in Panem,but they can't keep everyone silent.Luckily,we've found anold resident of District 12 who's willing to share their knowledge of Panem-as long as you promise to keep it confidential and check there are no jabberjays around to report back!
'So you want to learn all about Panem?Ican't imagine why,but I'll fill you in.Be warned though-this won't be a Capitol-approved acount!And you didn't hear it from me,ok?
'I suppose I should start with the history of Panem was created.Well,it used North America,but it suffered many natural disasters.The sea creapt higher and higher,until it came to cover most of the earth.There was a fierce battle for the remaining land on the north-western side and what was left after that became our nation of Panem-a Capitol in the Rocky Mountains with 13 surrounding districts.We're told that everyone worked in harmony then, but that all changed 75 years ago,when what is now known as the Dark Days began.
'I guess everyone wan't quite as happy with the way Panem was run as the Capitol says now,because people in the districts started to rebel.It was a tough war and both sides had big losses,but in the end,the Capitol's greater numbers,suoerior resources and geographical advantage of the mountains separating them from the rest of Panem,meant that the rebels lost the battle.The Capitol claims that 2 rebels died for everyone of their citizens.12 of theirs districts were defeated and punished by the Capitol,but I suppose we got off lightly compared to District 13-that was completely destroyed by the Capitol's toxic bombs,which left the whole place nothing more than burnt rubble.
'Not that anyone in the other 12 districts feels particularly lucky now.You see,after we'd signed the Treaty of Treason stating the new laws to keep the peace,the Capitol proposed the Hunger games.It's promoted as nothing more than entertainment in the Capitol-the highlight of their TV viewing-but its real purpose os to remind us inthe districts of the Capitol's power over us and to stop us from ever challenging it again.The Hunger Games are a yearly event,in which two children from each district are "reaped" to fight in a arena to the death.Reaping days are terrible.The whole district must go to town centre to see whose son or daughter will become one of that year's "tributes".As well as punishing everyone in the districts,it's another way for the Capitol to keep an eye on the population there,you see.The tension is unbearible-especially when you're of reaping age,just waiting to see if you or one of your family of friends will be called.It's even worse if your older because your name is automatically entered in once more with every passing year,or if you're poor and had to exchange more entries for extra tessrae rations to feed your fanily.Although it's been years since I was entered,I still fel a chill down my spine when the piece of paper bearing someone's name is picked and I find out which of the town's children I've seen growing up will be going off to face his or her death.
'Even after the reaping we can't escape the Games.Cameras film the whole thing and broadcast it to the rest of Panem,where it is obligatory viewing.Every year the Gamemakers come up with new ways to keep the Games "interesting".For example,one year the only weapons avalible were spiked maces.Another time,the whole arena was flooded.If the action ever lulls,they have some new twist-like a fire or a wild beast-to throw in and keep the bloodthirsty audience happy.Every twenty-five years,they like to push the madness to the next level with a Qaurter Quell-an extra big Hunger Games marked with huge celebrations in the Capitol and an added obstacle for those in the arena.In the 25th Games,the districts had to choose which tributes they sent to their likly deaths and in the 50th,twice the amount of contestants were subjested to the carnage.I dread to think of what the Gamemakers will come up next one...However the game plays out,the ending is always the same:only one tribute survives.As punishment go,it's certainly stopped anyone I know from even thinking about standing up to the Capitol.