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Survival Through Harship – The Hunger Games Essay

One inspiring idea in ‘The Hunger Games’ by Suzanne Collins is survival through hardship. In the novel, this idea is shown when Katniss survives the Hunger Games. It is inspiring because we learn that, even though there may be obstacles in our way, if we overcome hardships greatness can follow.

The idea of surviving through hardship is shown throughout Katniss’ life in the novel. She lives in the Seam, the poorest area of her district and since her father died at an early age, has been struggling to provide for her mother and younger sister. After barely surviving her childhood, Katniss participates in The Hunger Games, an annual event that involves twenty four participants who kill each other until there is a sole victor- she survives the ordeal. During the Games, Katniss says to her new ally “I’m going to win for the both of us now”. By telling Rue this, it shows not only Rue, but also the readers that there can be hope even though there seem to be hardships on the horizon. I think that Katniss’ attitude and success shown when she overcomes the Games encourages strength and perseverance, inspiring the reader so they can see that even when times are tough, there is a way through it all.

Collins wanted to teach us that it is possible to overcome such hardships if we hold on to hope and try our very best to get through the events we are faced with. In Nazi Germany, amongst the loss, there was survival and freedom that came to some, such as the families that managed to escape or avoid Hitler’s concentration camps. These people, like Katniss Everdeen, overcame their hardships and brought hope to themselves and other people. This idea from the text inspires the readers because we want ‘proof’ that it is possible to get through hardships, and Collins gives it to us.

In ‘The Hunger Games’, the idea of survival through hardship is inspiring because in our world, many events and people can get in the way of success. Many times throughout the novel, the odds seem to be against Katniss, especially during the Games- she is in an arena with bloodthirsty adolescents, traps, and Game Makers who promote and encourage violence. Before she enters the arena, she muses- “A desert, a swamp, a frigid wasteland..” Katniss is showing us what she is afraid of, what she thinks the coming events might involve- of course it would be harder to survive in a desert than an arena with plentiful food and water. However, the arena turns out to be a forest, which I think gives Katniss hope because of her familiarity with the woods. She has been in forests often throughout her life so she is more comfortable in the arena , which gives her an advantage over the other tributes.

When obstacles like this appear to us, generally we push ourselves harder to overcome the challenge, especially if our prior knowledge can give us a ‘head start’. Collins wants us to see Katniss as a hero once we see her hardship. She helps us into that mindset by inserting various references from Ancient Rome and the gladiators- when they won and became victors, they were seen as true heroes. Suzanne Collins wants us to think about Katniss like that because she shows us the importance of overcoming fears and obstacles to survive. This is just one way to inspire us to get past our hardships- we will work harder to achieve and succeed because Katniss shows us it is possible.

In the novel, we also see that by overcoming hardships, we can be lead to greatness and success. By surviving the Games, Katniss shows us that one person alone can make a difference, even if it’s only by planting an idea in someone’s mind. She gives the districts – the poorer ones in particular- hope and happiness, and subconsciously shows them the confidence that rebellion can bring. When Katniss meets her mentor, he says “Did I actually get a pair of fighters this year?” Later in the novel we see that he did get a ‘pair of fighters’, which led him, and District Twelve, to greatness- Katniss and Peeta fought so hard to survive, they succeeded and became heroes throughout the districts.

I believe the more hardships we are faced with, the stronger we become, but it also comes down to your reaction to the obstacles. In comparison to Haymitch, who resorted to alcohol after his trauma- or perhaps Mrs. Everdeen who went into a silent depression after the death of her husband, Katniss seems strong because she faces her troubles and fears with bravery, simply ignoring her doubts and tries until she succeeds.

This makes us want to respect her and look up to her as a character. Collins gave Katniss a history of hardship to make her more likeable and respectable as a character, and also to relate her to other great historical figures. Nelson Mandela, for example, was faced with racial prejudice, but overcame those issues and soon brought faith and hope to manyaround the globe through his actions in South Africa. Showing us the greatness that survival can bring encourages us to be better people, and to inspire not only ourselves, but other people too.

In ‘The Hunger Games’ by Suzanne Collins, survival through hardship is an inspiring idea because it teaches us that even though people or events may try to get in our way, even though there may be no hope, success is always possible. We can always overcome the hardships we encounter and most of the time, our success will lead to greatness, happiness and hope.


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