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IS30380: “The Hunger Games” is a 2008 dystopian novel by the American writer Suzanne Collins: Digital Storytelling “Transmedia Storyworlds” Essay, UCD, Ireland

University University College Dublin (UCD)
Subject IS30380: Digital Storytelling “Transmedia Storyworlds” Essay


Narrative Structure

“The Hunger Games” is a 2008 dystopian novel by the American writer Suzanne Collins. It is narrated by 16 year old Katniss Everdeen, who resides in the future, post-apocalyptic nation of Panem in North America. The Capitol, a highly advanced metropolis, wields political control over the rest of the nation. The Hunger Games is an annual event in which one boy and one girl aged 12-18 from each of the twelve districts surrounding the Capitol are selected by lottery to compete in a televised battle royale to the death.

Propp’s narrative theory, developed by Vladimir Propp, identifies recurring narrative elements and character roles within stories. According to Propp, all characters fall into 7 broad character types, which can be found in various types of media. In the context of “The Hunger Games,” Propp’s theory can be applied to analyse the structure and character dynamics.

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Katniss Everdeen, the protagonist, embodies the hero role. Her seemingly stable life in District 12 is disrupted when her younger sister, Prim, is chosen as tribute. Undertaking a perilous journey and facing numerous challenges, Katniss defies the oppressive Capitol regime and undergoes a transformative journey. President Snow serves as the archetype of the villain, the tyrannical leader of Panem who orchestrates the Hunger Games as a tool for control and oppression. His antagonistic presence serves as a catalyst for Katniss’s rebellion and quest for justice.

Additionally, Haymitch Abernathy fulfils the role of the donor, providing guidance, support, and crucial assistance to Katniss as she navigates the treacherous landscape of the Hunger Games arena and the Capitol. Effie Trinket, the flamboyant host, unwillingly fulfils the dispatcher role, overseeing the selection and preparation of tributes for the Hunger Games. Her role embodies the Capitol’s authority and detachment from the suffering of the districts.

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