Today for Mockingjay March I'm pleased to welcome the lovely Michelle from Book Briefs!
The first time I read The Hunger Games was such a magical experience for me. I still remember it. That feeling that you just couldn’t stop turning pages, but at the same time you wanted to slow down so it wouldn’t end.
When you have a world as rich, complex and deliciously detailed as Panem, there are tons of things to talk about. But one of the things that immediately stood out and fascinated me the most were the arenas. They are so well thought out and detailed. On one hand, they are horrifying, but on the other hand they are captivating! It is a controlled environment, but it is also a living, breathing 25th competitor. And honestly, I think it is the fiercest competitor of all. To survive, you have to be able to understand and play the arenas. And figuring this out while I was reading the book, was so cool for me! Sometimes, I would read to see what the characters would do, and sometimes I found myself reading to see what the arena would hold next for them. It is such an integral part of the Hunger Games books.
My favorite arena was from Catching Fire. (Book 2) That is where I was really impressed with how well thought out a piece of landscape could be. When we learned that It was a giant clock, I was so impressed! How clever is that?? The arena in the first book intrigued me as well, but I saw it as more of a typical wooded landscape with a few twists up its’ sleeve. But no one could say that about the finely tuned arena in Catching Fire. That arena was a work of art. When I read the book for a second time, I focused most of my attention on the description of the arenas. The first time around I was so focused on Katniss and how she was reacting to everything, but the second reading I paid close attention to how big of a role the arenas played! And they are huge! I loved the idea of the arena being on a timer, so to speak. If you figured it out, you could really use that information to your advantage. The tributes were able to time all of the weather conditions and other hazards.
Honestly I thought the arenas were so brilliant that I was surprised that the government in Panem could come up with them. I guess they had inspiration strike between one of their many gorging sessions. The arenas took on their own life force for me, and they kind of became another competitor in my mind. I think if you are looking to re-read the Hunger Games trilogy, you should pay particular attention to the way the arenas are described and how they are made to almost react to the competitors. Each of the tributes not only have to look out for the other 23, but they also have to learn the lay of the land. I believe that If you don’t “know” the arena you are destined to die in the hunger games.
What do you think of the arenas? Which is your favorite? What do you like/dislike about them? I would love to hear your opinions in the comments below.
Thanks for the awesome guest post Michelle!