Agency in The Hunger Games

Desire, Intent and Action in the Novels

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About the Book

For 21st-century young adults struggling for personal autonomy in a society that often demands compliance, the bestselling trilogy, The Hunger Games remains palpably relevant despite its futuristic setting. For Suzanne Collins’ characters, personal agency involves not only the physical battle of controlling one’s body but also one’s response to such influences as morality, trauma, power and hope.
The author explores personal agency through in-depth examinations of the lives of Katniss, Peeta, Gale, Haymitch, Cinna, Primrose, and others, and through an analysis of themes like the overabundance of bodily imagery, social expectations in the Capitol, and problem parental figures. Readers will discover their own “dandelion of hope” through the examples set out by Collins’ characters, who prove over and over that human agency is always attainable.

About the Author(s)

Kayla Ann has taught composition courses at California Baptist University (CBU) in Riverside, California.

Bibliographic Details

Kayla Ann
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 210
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7416-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3914-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Preface 1
Introduction: “Here’s some advice. Stay alive” 5
One. “I’m not naked”: Agency and the Body 17
Two. “When the time comes, I’m sure I’ll kill just like everybody else”: Agency and Morality 37
Three. “A mental Avox”: Agency and the Traumatized Mind 56
Four. “More than just a piece in their games”: Agency and Identity 69
Five. “Bring on the avalanches”: Agency and Power 86
Six. “Why don’t you just be yourself”: Shared Agency and Social Expectations Within the Capitol 98
Seven. “It’s all a big show”: Agency, Intentionality and Reality 110
Eight. “You will try, won’t you? Really, really try”: Agency and Hope 121
Nine. “You can’t put everyone in here”: Agency and Those That Should Not Be Forgotten 130
Ten. “I took over as head of the family”: Agency and Problematic Parental/Surrogate Figures 142
Eleven. “The promise that life can go on…. That it can be good again”: Agency and 21st Century Readers 154
Appendix A: Character List and Terminology 163
Appendix B: Recommended Reading 181
Chapter Notes 185
Bibliography 195
Index 199

Book Reviews & Awards

“Skillfully dissects…difficult topics in a manner that will prove thought-provoking to academics as well as engaging to non-scholarly readers”—Children’s Literature Association Quarterly