How Does Katniss Use Debt In The Hunger Games

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“Money often costs too much, and power and pleasure are not cheap.” These words once uttered by Ralph Waldo Emerson have held true throughout all of history. It is constantly observed in the present day that power is not easy to come by and that world leaders will do anything to obtain the means to attain it – no matter what the cost. Suzanne Collins criticizes this in her novel The Hunger Games, set in a dystopian future where the preferred medium of exchange is debt rather than money. In this novel, the Capitol uses debt as currency in order to keep its power. This can be proven through analysis of how the Hunger Games are a disguised display of power and by examining Katniss’ internalization of the association between power and debt. Although…show more content…
Seventy-four years prior Katniss’ present day were “the Dark Days,” which were “the uprising of the districts against the Capitol” (18). The Treaty of Treason states that districts were then “[given] the Hunger Games. . . . [in] punishment for the uprising” (18). This demonstrates how according to the Capitol, the Dark Days are the reason for the Hunger Games, and the current citizens are still paying for the mistakes of those who lived seventy-four years earlier. The only citizens from that time who could still be alive are those who were infants during the Dark Days and were too young to participate in any rebellion. The punishment against the deceased continues in the present day, which demonstrates how this debt that never be repaid and that the Hunger Games will always exist. Because of this, it is unrealistic to believe that the Capitol is being truthful in telling the citizens that the Hunger Games exist in order to repay this debt. The reader therefore must further analyze the Games to conclude that they in reality exist as a means for the Capitol to subjugate its citizens. This can be proven in several

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