The student news site of Millbrook High School

Cat Talk

The student news site of Millbrook High School

Cat Talk

The student news site of Millbrook High School

Cat Talk

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Unravel The Pages: ‘The Hunger Games’

‘The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ provides new insight into original villain
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‘The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ movie’s upcoming release has renewed the fandom, introducing others to the beloved books.

 The upcoming release of “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” to theaters has brought about a renaissance of “The Hunger Games” fandom. Everywhere you look, someone is raving about these books, and for good reason.

“The Hunger Games,” written by Suzanne Collins, takes place in a dystopian world where North America is long gone, replaced by a country called Panem. Panem, led by President Coriolanus Snow, is made of a Capitol, home of the rich and powerful, and twelve districts. Each district specializes in their own industry and varies in wealth, but they are all under the control of the Capitol.

  Mrs. Scanlon, an avid reader despite being a math teacher, says, “I first fell in love with the ‘Hunger Games’ trilogy my junior year of college.  This was my first foray into YA dystopian novels, and I was a woman obsessed… ‘The Hunger Games’ has fully realized characters, but the premise was removed from my reality enough that I wasn’t internalizing the characters’ experiences.  This freed me to indulge my morbid curiosity about the premise of the books: a government that controlled the population with compulsory killing games involving children.”

  The original trilogy follows a 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen as she goes from a poor girl just trying to keep herself and her family alive, to the face of a rebellion that changes the very structure of her world.

  Long before the events of the original trilogy, the districts rebelled against the Capitol leading to a three-year-long war which the districts lost. As punishment for the rebellion, the ‘Hunger Games’ were created. 

  Every year, two children between the ages of 12 and 18 from each district, a boy and a girl, are chosen, or reaped, to participate in the Games; these children are known as tributes. The 24 tributes are then sent to the Capitol where they are fed, trained, and sensationalized before they are put into an arena where they must fight to the death until there is only one victor remaining.

  The Hunger Games are a spectacle adored by the people of the Capitol, but generally hated by the people of the districts. The Games are a way for the Capitol to further exert their power over the districts, to remind them that in the end, the Capitol chooses who lives or dies.

   “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” is a prequel to the original trilogy set 60 years before the events of the first book. It follows an 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow as he is still dealing with the after-effects of the first rebellion and mentors the female tribute from District 12, Lucy Gray Baird, for the 10th Hunger Games.

  English teacher Mrs. Callan says, “I really appreciate the attention to language, specifically of the Coriolanus Snow character. It is interesting how much attention his character pays to his own diction which the reader is privy to through his internal monologue.”

  We get to know Snow before he becomes the tyrannical ruler of Panem; we get to see him as the human being he was before he turns into the monster we originally met in the trilogy. This book doesn’t absolve President Snow by any means. It doesn’t justify his future actions or make him a lovable antagonist. But it allows us to understand Snow’s character beyond what we see in the trilogy, to understand why he becomes such a terrible person.

  All in all, “The Hunger Games” books portray an incredible story of love, sacrifice, and struggling to do what’s right in a world where everything is so wrong. With deep, flawed characters, a fascinatingly gruesome concept, and incredible world building, this new book in the series is definitely a must-read.

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About the Contributor
Hi! My name is Leah, I'm a sophomore and this is my first year being part of the Cat Talk. I really love to read and crochet and I'm very excited to be a part of this staff and to begin writing!

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  • A

    Anessa MyersNov 20, 2023 at 1:43 pm

    Yasss.

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  • S

    sadieNov 17, 2023 at 12:35 pm

    Beautifully written Leah! You should get paid for this!

    Reply