Hunger Games IRJE #3 – The Less Fortunate

Like many dystopian novels, Hunger Games makes note of many issues which occur in several totalitarian countries. In the post-apocalyptic country known as Panem, people do not have the right to speak against the government as they have complete control over all twelve districts. As stated in the first book of the series, the most common punishment for speaking against the government is death, usually by firing squad. In the first chapter, Katniss is reminded by her mom to be mindful of what she says around other people and in the house so that she and her sister Prim would avoid facing the consequences.

When I was younger, I scared my mother to death, the things  I would blurt out about District 12, about the people who rule our country, Panem, from the far-off city called the Capitol. Eventually I understood this would only lead us to more trouble. So I learned to hold my tongue and to turn my features into an indifferent mask so that that no one could ever read my thoughts. Do my work quietly in school. Make only polite small talk in the public market. Discuss little more than trades in the Hob, which is the black market where I make most of my money. Even at home, where I am less pleasant, avoid discussing tricky topics. Like the reaping, or food shortages, or the Hunger Games. Prim might begin to repeat my words and then where would we be?

In certain countries, this is usually what certain people must go through when they speak against certain measures imposed on them. In countries such as North Korea, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, people are held captive in jail under inhumane conditions or are even executed. This only demonstrates how lucky and privileged we are to live in a country where we can speak against modern day injustices or even criticize the government publicly without facing the harsh consequences experienced in these certain less-fortunate countries.

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