Suzanne Collins´ The Hunger Games

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In essence, Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games is a myth about the heroism of integrity and loyalty to others in the face of brutality, exploitation, and oppression. Katniss Everdeen, the heroine, is launched on her trajectory when her sister Prim is selected for the brutal Hunger Games. Unwilling to watch her sister go off to certain death, Katniss opts to take her place, and is thrust into the superficial, affluent, cruel world of the Capitol, where she must compete in the Hunger Games, a violent competition staged as entertainment. Katniss must play a difficult game, but she prevails in the end thanks to her characteristics of loyalty and integrity.
Firstly, it falls to this analysis to demonstrate that The Hunger Games is indeed a myth, rather than a fairy tale. Both myths and fairy tales are stories that draw on the fantastic, but other than this they are very different indeed (Lombardi). A fairy tale is generally much simpler: where a myth may be concerned with a grand theme or central problem, the fairy tale is less demanding and more likely to have a reassuring bent to it (Bettelheim 26). Reassurance and hope for the future, according to Bettelheim, are major characteristics and functions of the fairy tale (26). Myths encompass myths of creation, myths of ethno-genesis, myths of events or cultural traditions, and more besides (Lombardi). Classical mythology includes such tales as The Odyssey, Jason and the Argonauts, The Iliad, the story of Perseus and Medusa, the story of Oedipus, etc. (Kirk 8). While myths are generally thought of as ‘sacred’, it would be a profound mistake (though unfortunately it is a common one) to hold that all myths are about gods. Indeed, myths may be heroic tales or even tragedies, as the aforem...

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...versus Seeming to Be in the Hunger Games Trilogy.” Dunn and Michaud 178-192.
Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. New York: Scholastic Press, 2008. Print.
Dunn, George A., and Nicolas Michaud, eds. The Hunger Games and Philosophy: A Critique of Pure Treason. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2012. Print.
Kirk, Geoffrey Stephen. Myth: Its Meaning and Functions in Ancient and Other Cultures. 1970. London: Cambridge University Press, 1973. Print.
Lombardi, Esther. “Defining Terms: Myth, Folklore, Legend, etc.” About.com Classic Literature. Classiclit.about.com, n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2013.
Margolis, Rick. "A Killer Story: An Interview with Suzanne Collins, Author of ‘The Hunger Games’." School Library Journal. N.p., 01 Sept. 2008. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.
McDonald, Brain. “’The Final Word on Entertainment’: Mimetic and Monstrous Art in the Hunger Games.” Dunn and Michaud 8-25.

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