The Hunger Games Moral Issues
(100 points) Write a paper (4-5 pages). Select some of the moral issues presented in The Hunger Games saga (three to four issues would be a good range, depending on how fully you intend to talk about them).
You may use any of the installments in the trilogy of novels by Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay) or the movies based on them. Begin your paper with a statement about which book(s)/film(s) you are working with (some moral issues change over the course of the saga). Make direct references to situations or dialogue within these stories. a
Analyze the moral issues you have chosen, using your own logic and feelings along with references to philosophers covered in the class (this can include material from the student summaries about contemporary moral problems). Ask what kind of moral theory best helps you answer the moral dilemmas in this story? Virtue theory? Kant’s categorical imperative? Utilitarianism? Something else, or some combination?
Here are some examples of moral issues that are obvious in these stories, though you certainly do not need to limit yourself to the examples listed here:
Killing: When is it justified, if ever?
Civil disobedience (when is it right to resist authority, and by what means—nonviolent? Violent?)
Altruism and self-sacrifice. Why do people do good? Why do they sacrifice themselves for others or for a greater purpose than themselves?
How should children be treated, including using them as means to an end? (The Capitol uses children as a means of punishing the districts for rebelling, and as a way to keep them afraid of ever rebelling again.)
Poverty—the hoarding of resources by a privileged few, while the many work to make that possible.
The use of torture.
Lying—the protagonists lie frequently. Is this justified? (Peeta, the hands-down “best” person in the story, lies skillfully to protect others, especially Katniss. Katniss also becomes adept at lying, and sometimes struggles more with being dishonest than with the rather obvious issue of killing.)
Genetic engineering—the Capitol’s “muttations” (“mutts”), genetically enhanced animals used as weapons.