Hunger Games Roots: Greece and Rome

I have been posting on The Hunger Games. You will also find material at english@kkc reading challenges as well. Here is something from The League of Extraordinary Writers:

Watch out. I’m about to get my nerd on.

But in the case of reading HUNGER GAMES, my extreme nerdiness actually came in handy. See, Suzanne Collins clearly comes from the school of nerdy writing–there are tons of great historical allusions in HUNGER GAMES that gives the story a little something extra for fellow nerds.

I think the greatest influence comes from Ancient Greece and Rome. Some are obvious, some aren’t. Below, you’ll find some of my favourite references and influences of history in HUNGER GAMES.

Theseus & Tributes

The story of Theseus is most often associated with his epic battle with the Minotaur, the half-man, half-bull monster at the center of the Labyrinth. But before he did that, he had to deal with a tribute system that will remind HUNGER GAMES readers of how Katniss and Peeta became tributes.

King Aegeus was ordered to send seven of the most courageous young men and seven of the most beautiful young women of Athens to Crete as a tribute to King Minos every seventh year (there are various accounts of this; some use the number nine instead of seven). Crete had defeated Athens in battle; the tributes were to be a lasting reminder of Crete’s power and success.

Sound familiar? It should: Suzanne Collins definitely had this story in mind when she wrote. She said in an interview with School Library Journal:

Theseus and the Minotaur is the classical setup for where The Hunger Games begins, you know, with the tale of Minos in Crete….

Read more here.

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