The Lord of the Hunger Games It may come as a surprise that a novel taught in a tenth grade english class is strikingly similar to a currently popular book of the teenage population. A common theme relates William Golding’s classic novel, The Lord of the Flies, and the very popular teen heart-throb, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. The unifying motif is the underlying savagery and desperation to live that stands out within each person when survival mode is activated.
Peeta, the love interest in The Hunger Games, and Ralph, the leader in The Lord of the Flies, both strive to remain sane and logical despite their chaotic surroundings.
The alliance made during the Games as well as the nightly pig activities show how the nagging desire to kill can soon become an amusing game. Cato and Jack, the two more savage characters in each story, learn to embrace their primitive instincts and accept their imminent success or failure.
Peeta and Ralph act as complementing characters of the two books that represent the logical, logos part of the brain. Peeta is eager to stay pure as he enters the world of his impending death by telling Katniss, “I don’t want them to change me in there.
Turn me into some kind of monster that I’m not. ” Peeta’s true fear is not of death, but of becoming something that is only a part of a game. He knows that he risks the prominent symptoms of trying to survive and hopes that maybe order can be restored. Ralph tries to gain order by using a conch shell during meetings between the boys on the island. The conch represents power and organization that is held for a short period of time before the boys loose complete control of everything they have ever had by being under the rule of a new leader, Jack.
Jack and Cato are two boys who have accepted the fact that if they do not take control of the situation themselves, their lives will be at risk. They have accepted their fate and try to make the best of it, given their extreme circumstances. Jack forms a tribe when he determines that Ralph is ‘unfit for duty’ and wanders off with his own loyalists. He becomes barbaric and develops systems of attacking the other innocent boys. Cato also experiments with makeshift traps and impulsive murder during his time in the
Games. Both boys show the brutal and merciless symptoms of the effects that solitude and the thought of forthcoming murder can have on a young boy. As soon as the probability of fast approaching death sits in, everything becomes a game. The alliance formed between four characters of different districts in the Games soon presents instability within the rudimentary structure of the purpose of the Hunger Games. These four people form a pack that quickly eliminates other tributes unnaturally and unnecessarily.
They actually enjoy slaughtering the other innocents who were forced to participate, taking them back to their primal instincts. Jack and his followers also participate in ‘pig games’ that involve one unlucky boy being chased by the others because he is the ‘pig’ that needs to be killed. Without notice however, the boys forget that he is indeed still a boy and killing him will not accomplish their goals of having a dead pig. Boys are killed, games are played, and the amusement of it all is just that, amusing.
When forced to fend for oneself, the intuition of savage and uncivilized takes over the body and reverts it back to the caveman era. While some insist on participating in the entreating violence of murder due to ancient urges, few are persistent in staying calm and keeping order order among their own groups. The Hunger Games and The Lord of the Flies both share a common idea that relates all human beings to one another, albeit in quite disturbing and nearly unimaginable ways. They remind us of the few things that really do matter in life and that everyone can be so much different when stripped of their normality.
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