Is Katniss a Modern-Day Spartacus?
Literature and legend often reflect their culture. Some themes, like that of rulers imposing coercive power, or of individuals rising up against tyrants, are as relevant today as they were in antiquity. Suzanne Collins drew on Greek mythology’s story of the Minotaur and on the legend of Spartacus in ancient Rome as she created the Hunger Games series. Her hero, like the heroes in these stories, does not seek her own power or profit but is standing up against a violent and tyrannical government. “People everywhere yearn for the freedom to pursue their own goals and dreams,” says Prof. Amy Sturgis. Even though the themes are ancient, stories like the Hunger Games resonate with readers because the anxieties and fears they portray are real and relevant. “These stories aren’t just entertainment,” Sturgis says. “They are reflections of who and what we are.” Do the themes in these stories resonate with you? Why?
The Story of Theseus [webpage]: John Dryden translates Plutarch’s ancient story of the Greek hero Theseus
The Story of Spartacus [webpage]: Jona Lendering tells the tale of Spartacus the Roman gladiator turned revolutionary
Suzanne Collins weighs in on Katniss and the Capitol [article]: Rick Margolis sits down with Suzanne Collins to talk about Mockingjay, Philosophy, the world of Panem, and the overall meaning of The Hunger Games
Our Cages and Labyrinths [article]: Jeffrey Tucker explores the many themes and ideas in The Hunger Games and other pop culture and how these themes can reflect a change in thought
Liberty, Commerce, and Literature [articles]: A series of essays on liberty in literature
An Interview with Suzanne Collins [article]: Rick Margolis sits down with Suzanne Collins to talk about her motivations in writing The Hunger Games
Young Adult Dystopias [resource]: A list of Young Adult dystopias and secondary sources compiled by Prof. Amy Sturgis
The Girl Who Was on Fire [resource]: The Girl Who Was on Fire: Your Favorite Authors on Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games Trilogy
The Hunger Games and Philosophy [resource]: The Hunger Games and Philosophy: A Critique of Pure Treason
The Panem Companion [resource]: An unofficial guide to Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games