On the Hunger Games trilogy

Family Life in Panem

By V. Arrow

The most important things in Katniss’ life are survival and family, perhaps not in that order. The entire journey of the Hunger Games series begins because of Katniss’ devotion to Prim and her sense of duty to (and love for) family. However, as she tells the reader, “family devotion only goes so far for most people [in Panem] on reaping day.”THG31

A total of 1,776 children (73 Games — 24 tributes each, plus an additional 24 tributes in the Fiftieth Hunger Games) have been a part of the Hunger Games before Katniss volunteers in Prim’s place, and from the way Katniss tells it, very few–if any–have been spared their fate by family members before. Indeed, most of the nuclear families that we as readers encounter through the series are deeply dysfunctional and unhappy, and it’s hard to imagine them sacrificing so much for each other. What do we know about what other families in Panem are like? How have they adapted to the threat of the Hunger Games? What do other families value, and what does Panem value in its families?

As we saw in chapter four, family structure in District 12–and, by extrapolation, in Panem as a whole–seems to be related to socioeconomic class, with the specialty-class families more likely to be single-parent households and merchant-class families more likely to include two parenting units. (We are shown no examples of Capitol families, and know very little save that Snow has a granddaughter and, per Finnick’s secrets, many high-ranking Capitol families commit  …

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