Analysis of Latin in 'The Hunger Games'

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Throughout the novel, names have significant roles in identifying both people and places by matching their characteristics with their definitions. In the beginning, on page 21, there is an introduction to districts, and later on page 80, it begins to describe how each district is characterized by something different from the rest. For example; District 12 is coal miners, District 11 is agriculture, and District 4 is fishing. A district is defined as an area of a country or city, especially one characterized by a particular feature or activity, which reflects the districts in the novel.

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As mentioned on page 63, ‘Small bluish tubers that don’t look like much but boiled or baked are as good as any potato. “Katniss,” I said out loud. It’s the plant I was named for.’ This Katniss plant, scientifically known as Sagittaria, is derived from Sagittarius, the archer. The name Sagittarius, in Latin, means ‘he that throws arrows’ which can directly link reasoning as to why Katniss’ preferred choice of weapon when hunting, and in the games, is the bow and arrow.

Even Panem, the dystopian country in which all districts and the Capitol are situated has a symbolic meaning. Meaning bread in Latin, Panem relates to the gladiatorial games of Rome which recalls ‘Panem et Circuses,’ or ‘Bread and Circuses.’ In Rome, it was known to be the sustenance and entertainment provided by the government to appease public discontent. Two gladiator tributes would fight to the death, and before one won by killing the other, the crowd would decide the fate of the loser. If they believed the loser had put up a good fight and had entertained them enough, they would spare the loser's life. If they believed the loser did not fight well enough and did not bring enough entertainment, they would let the winning gladiator kill them. Similarly to the gladiatorial games in which the general public of Rome could watch in the amphitheaters, in The Hunger Games, the Capitol televised the games for their entertainment and for people in the districts to watch. Not only this, but when the people of the Capitol believe the tributes of the districts have done well enough and were in need of something to support them, they would sponsor the tribute and donate money for gifts to them for survival, and when they do not agree with the levels of effort by the tributes, they would instead, not sponsor them and allow them to die or be killed later.

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Analysis of Latin in ‘The Hunger Games’. (2023, February 24). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 15, 2024, from
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