The Hunger Games & the Indian Caste System

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ENG 266 - 1001 Essay # 1: The Hunger Games April 3, 2013 In a story that has an underlying theme of class and poverty, The Hunger Games and their twelve districts can be compared to India’s caste system. Both are hierarchies based on social status. The districts in The Hunger Games include the Capitol being at the top of the chain, with districts one through twelve falling below in numerical order. Going down the order, each district gets more and more poor. Following along with that, the Indian caste system also categorizes each caste by career type. That is, if a family or person falls into a specific caste. Those who do not are considered outcasts. In The Hunger Games, a similar organizational system is used. Each district is…show more content…
Collins writes about training for the games, “the exceptions are the kids from the wealthier districts, the volunteers, the ones who have been fed and trained throughout their lives for this moment…we call them the Careers (Collins 94).” As previously stated, the Careers illegally train for the games and the Capitol pretends it is not happening. This makes these teens more educated the rest of the districts, much like the top, educated varna of the caste system. As a whole all of the districts perform some sort of servile labor. They are slaves to the Capitol and are not allowed to do anything that does not involve pleasing the leaders in the Capitol. District twelve could be considered to be one of the lowest castes of Panem. They are the poorest of all the districts and are seen to be the losers with no chance at all in the games each year. In a sense, they are nothing but a joke to the rest of the society. However, the special caste of the “untouchables” could be related to the Avoxes referenced in the novel. When asked in the novel what Avox is, Haymitch replies “someone who committed a crime. They cut her tongue so she can’t speak…she’s probably a traitor of some sort (Collins 77).” Andrea Hampton explains, “The Brahmans at the top of the caste were considered pure. However, they could be polluted if they were to come into contact with an untouchable or if they were to accept food or gifts from them (Hampton

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