• Thu. May 30th, 2024

The Book that Defined our Generation

ByValerie Creasy

Nov 12, 2023
stack of hunger games books

Generation Z has been raised on many books, but perhaps the most prevalent genre to this generation is Young Adult Dystopian Literature. More specifically, The Hunger Games trilogy. Now, why did we all collectively become obsessed with the idea of our society on the brink of collapse? Hard to say. However, I think the result of this obsession has become more obvious to our generation as we’ve grown up. 

The Hunger Games, if you were in a coma from the years 2012-2015, is set in a dystopian post-war America. Annually, children would be randomly selected to fight to the death until only one was left, to remind citizens of life during the war. When Katniss Everdeen volunteered to fight in the games, so that her younger sister didn’t have to, everything changed. She outsmarted the system and thus became the heroine of Generation Z. 

Although a lot of activism on social media is not always authentic, there is an authentic drive in Generation Z to stand up for what we believe in. Our generation might not agree on everything, but I think we can majoritively agree on one thing: we are suspicious of authority. I believe this was embedded in us by Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games. It may not have been her intention to create a generation of non-conformers, yet here we are. 

Many older generations think of us as sensitive or weak. While ‘cancel culture’ can be taken too far sometimes, the heart of Generation Z typically is well intentioned. Katniss was depicted as an effortless leader who led because she had to, not because she wanted to. Like Katniss, we want to be leaders without actually seeming like we want to be. We all want to be a part of some sort of movement, we all want to disrupt the norm, but we don’t want to look insincere doing it. As Katniss’ leadership came from a place of genuineness, we want our passions to be genuine as well. 

The Hunger Games taught our generation that we could have voices as teenagers. We decided to use ours: whether that be in protests, online or in class talking back to a teacher. These books instilled a desire in us to question what we are told, and to find our own answers rather than waiting for someone to answer them for us. 

As the iconic line, said by President Snow’s character, goes: “Hope is the only thing stronger than fear.” The Hunger Games series implemented a strong sense of hope in our generation. Although we may come across as a bit pessimistic at times, we all want the same thing for

this place that we call home. I’d like to think most of us want to leave this world a better place than we found it. Generation Z isn’t afraid to argue, stand up and share opinions, because without individual expression and thought, what are we? We understand that individuality equates to freedom, and that respect given to authority should be earned.

One thing that I think our generation still needs to learn from these books, however, is that we all have chips on our shoulders of varying sizes. Take a moment, before stepping on your soapbox, to make sure that those who need it more have the platform to be heard as well. Perhaps, take a moment to listen before it’s your turn. Let’s use these books as a reminder that we are stronger together than alone.

Hunger Games Book Collection” by ajay_suresh is licensed under CC BY 2.0