Below you will find four outstanding thesis statements / paper topics for “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins that can be used as essay starters. All four incorporate at least one of the themes found in “The Hunger Games” and are broad enough so that it will be easy to find textual support, yet narrow enough to provide a focused clear thesis statement. These thesis statements offer a short summary of “The Hunger Games” in terms of different elements that could be important in an essay. You are, of course, free to add your own analysis and understanding of the plot or themes to them. Using the essay topics below in conjunction with the list of important quotes from “The Hunger Games” on our quotes page, you should have no trouble connecting with the text and writing an excellent essay.
Topic #1: Morality in The Hunger Games
In the novel, there is a very clear sense of right and wrong. The Capital killing children and growing rich of the toil of the people is obviously wrong. Katniss does what she must to survive and does kill other competitors. Morality is defined as personal or cultural values, codes of conduct or social mores; it has neither a good or bad connotation on its own. For this essay argue the role that morality plays in the novel. How does Katniss’ sense of morality affect the way that she plays the game? Is there a clear representation of Good and Evil in the novel?
Topic #2: Setting in The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games is set in a dystopian future for North America, a world called Panem. The use of setting is used to not only give a sense of the dismal world that Katniss finds herself but also to give history into how North America became so vastly different from the world we know today. Give examples of how descriptions of the setting set the tone for the novel. What are we told about the history of Panem that gives a sense of North America’s dystopian future? A dystopia is a repressive and controlled state. In what ways is Panem a dystopia? Are there any ways that Panem is not a dystopia? Use examples from the novel to support your assertions.
Topic #3: The Hunger Games and Beauty
There are two different perceptions of beauty presented in the novel, those of the people of Seam and those of the people in the Capitol. The Capitol prides the beauty that people tend to pride today, youth, a lean figure and facial beauty. Seam finds attractiveness in what shows survival and wealth, such as a large belly showing an abundance of food or old age showing strength and longevity. What do you think the novel is trying to say about today’s perceptions of beauty? Do you think the novel favors one version of beauty over the other? Use examples from the novel to support your conclusions.
Topic #4: The Hunger Games and Relationships
In the novel, Katniss forms strong relationships with Gale and Peeta. Gale is a symbol of strength that is born out of a lifetime in poverty. Peeta is an example of selfless kindness. Throughout the novel, Katniss finds herself confused about her feelings for both of them. What do Gale and Peeta signify for Katniss? What do they have in common with Katniss? How do Gale and Peeta shape Katniss’ participation in the games? Does the novel stress one quality or relationship over the other? Why? Use examples from the novel to support your conclusions.
At the end of the day, The Hunger Games is about, um, the Hunger Games, and the Hunger Games are all about survival. You'll have to fight off psychotic rivals, VR wildfires, poisonous insects, genetically engineered dogs, and other fun stuff that the Capitol dreams up to try to kill the contestants. With the deck stacked that high against you, how can you possibly come out alive? Unless you're a Career, professionally trained and insanely confident, you can't like your odds.
Even outside of the Games, there's a battle for survival going on. The Games are just an extreme version of the daily struggle in the poor Districts of Panem, where death by starvation or mine explosion is always a distinct possibility. And it's just not physical survival that's at stake. As Peeta suggests, he'd rather die on his feet than live on his knees. When the two of them finally make it out alive, it's their psychological and spiritual survival that's almost more thrilling than the fact that they're both still in one piece.
Meanwhile, even the last, strongest Career has been voted off the island by a pack of mutant dogmonsters. Even Jeff Probst couldn't think up a challenge like that.
Take a peek at these thesis statements. Agree or disagree?
Survival here is literal life-or-death.
The film's really about psychological survival in the face of oppression.