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1-Page Summary of The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games is a novel about Katniss Everdeen, who’s forced to fight other children in an arena. The book takes place in Panem, which was once North America and has limited resources. In order to keep the citizens under control, the government separates them into districts and reinforces class differences. However, their strongest tool for discouraging rebellion is the annual Hunger Games: a televised event where two tributes from each district must fight each other to death.
Katniss lives in District 12, the poorest of all the districts. Her father died, and she has been providing for her family by hunting illegally in the woods outside of their district with her friend Gale. On reaping day, Prim is selected as a tribute to represent District 12. Katniss volunteers to take her place and is allowed to be a part of the Hunger Games alongside Peeta Mellark from District 11.
The rest of the novel follows Katniss and Peeta as they are trained for the games and groomed to portray a certain image. The relationship between them becomes more difficult when Peeta admits that he has feelings for her during an interview, which makes it hard for both of them to focus on winning. Haymitch suggests that they present themselves as friends who have each other’s backs in order to get sponsorships from others.
The Games are held in a forest. Katniss is able to use her hunting skills and knowledge of the woods to develop a strategy for survival. She sleeps in trees and hunts game at night while avoiding the other tributes who have trained their whole lives for these games. Each night, she watches as faces of the dead are broadcast into the sky from previous years’ games.
Meanwhile, the Gamemakers continue to manipulate the surroundings in order to keep the Games entertaining. Katniss is injured during a firestorm and trapped in a tree above her opponents. She makes contact with Rue, who reminds her of Prim, and suggests she defeat her opponents by dropping a wasp nest on them. Katniss does so but gets stung herself and almost dies until Peeta helps save her life.
Katniss and Rue form an alliance to destroy the Careers’ supply of weapons by setting fire to them. They use landmines from a Gamemaker design to blow up their supplies, but Katniss is knocked out when she sets off one of these mines while trying to destroy the supplies. She returns in time to see Rue killed by another tribute who then becomes her first kill. As a small act against the Capitol, which expects tributes to dehumanize each other, Katniss sings a song for Rue before leaving her body as food for wild animals that roam the arena.
The Gamemakers announce that the rules have changed, and that two tributes from a district can serve as co-victors. Katniss then finds Peeta, who was cut badly after helping her escape the Careers. She does her best to help him recover but doesn’t understand why Haymitch sends her a gift until she kisses him.
In order to win the games, Katniss and Peeta spend days in a cave together getting closer. In the process, she learns that he has an infection which will kill him if not treated soon. The Gamemakers announce that there is going to be a feast where tributes can get supplies from sponsors. She figures out how to trick Peeta into thinking she’s staying behind while she goes and gets medicine for his wound. At the feast, however, one of her opponents almost kills her but another tribute saves her life because they heard about what Katniss did for Rue during training time when no one else would help her.
The medicine that Katniss gave Peeta worked, and they were able to spend more time together in the cave. However, when their water supply ran out, they had to get ready for the Gamemakers’ next challenge. It turned out not to be Cato but a group of wolf-like creatures that came from dead tributes’ bodies. Katniss and Peeta escaped by climbing up higher ground while another tribute fell and was killed by the creatures.