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    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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    How high do you think your chances of survival would be if you were placed in an arena full of tributes ready to kill you? In Suzanne Collins’ book The Hunger Games, District 12’s tribute, Katniss Everdeen, has to fight for survival in a deadly game known as the Hunger Games. The skills and experiences Katniss has such as knowing how to hunt, living in poverty, and learning skills from her friends and family, turns out to be what kept her alive throughout the games.

    Katniss’ family members and friends have helped her in many ways, contributing to her survival in the games. Gale, Katniss’ best friend taught her how to set snares. Setting snares is a useful way of catching animals, and in the arena Katniss placed some around her as an alternate to hunting before she got her hands on a bow and arrow as a way of survival to feed herself. Katniss’ sister Prim, and her mother taught her how to heal others; even though she only observed.

    Katniss had a general idea as to what to do when she got severely burned. She went into the lake and her first thought was “Isn’t that what my mother always says? The first treatment for a burn is cold water?” (Collins 178) If she had not observed on her mother and Prim, there would have been a greater chance of her injury getting worse and eventually killing herself. Most importantly, Katniss learned how to hunt from her dad before his death in a mine explosion. If Katniss did not know how to hunt, she most likely would have died the first few days in the arena due to starvation. Therefore, if Katniss had not learned these skills from her family and friends, she would have died in the arena due to starvation or her burn injury.

    Since Katniss lives in a district where starvation is common, managing hunger and knowing how to feed herself by looking for food in the forest, helped her have a better chance of survival. When Katniss was looking for food, she would know what types of plants were edible or poisonous. Katniss’ knowledge of plants saved her life when she was in the arena with Peeta, and he picked up a handful of nightlock berries which made her remember what her father said “Not these Katniss. Never these. They’re nightlock. You’ll be dead before they reach your stomach.” (318) Without this knowledge, Peeta and Katniss may have eventually eaten the berries later on in the games.

    Katniss spent a lot of time hunting for food in the woods, and it increased her ability as to how to hunt. Back home, the Career tributes always had everything given to them, so needing basic knowledge about hunting was not essential for them in terms of survival; unlike Katniss who had to work for her meals, so during the games it payed off because she did not have to rely on the cornucopia as her only source of food like the Careers did.

    During the games, another big advantage Katniss had because she lived in District 12 was that her body was able to manage hunger better than to those accustomed to luxury. In the beginning of the games when she had barely anything to eat and was dying of thirst, anyone who was not used to starvation in her situation would have died of hunger. Hence, if Katniss did not have the daily challenges of living in poverty, it would have been very difficult for her to survive in the arena.

    Learning how to hunt using a bow and arrow was an enormous advantage for Katniss in the games. A bow and arrow was Katniss’ strongest weapon and her skill of hunting animals helped her by killing Cato and the boy from District 1. Before Katniss went off to the games, she was telling Gale how she only kills animals and not people and he said “You know how to kill […] How different can it be really?” (40) This made Katniss feel uneasy since she knew he was right because she had the same instincts and reflexes when killing people, as she did when hunting animals. Knowing how to use a bow and arrow also played an extensive role in getting an eleven in training, which contributed vastly in Katniss’ survival.

    Since Katniss had a high score in training, it definitely gained her sponsors, and getting sponsors can mean the difference between life and death in the arena. When Katniss’ leg was burned, her sponsors sent her burn medicine which made the burn go away, so in her case, Katniss’ sponsors helped with her survival in the games. Using a bow also helped accomplish tasks only that particular weapon could do. One of these tasks was when Katniss destroyed the Careers food supply by sending an arrow through a sack of apples, making all the supplies explode. Thus, if Katniss never knew how to use a bow, she would not have a weapon in the arena, and would not have been able to win the games.

    Evidently, the skills and life experiences Katniss developed including her ability to hunt, daily challenges of living in poverty, and learning survival skills from the people she loves, is what contributed to her survival in the arena. If Katniss had not observed on her mother and Prim, she would have died from her burn. Without her knowledge of plants, Katniss would have eventually eaten the nightlock berries. If she had not known her father or Gale, she would not know basic hunting skills and would have died due to starvation. If she did not know how to use a bow, there would be an extremely low possibility that she could have won. Even Katniss’ sponsors helped her survive. All of these skills had contributed to her success and without using these experiences she may not have come out alive.

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    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. (2023, Mar 24). Retrieved from

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