Compare and Contrast of Fahrenheit 451 and The Hunger Games

A compare and contrast of the two books Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins comparing the two different kinds of societies.

In this age people are becoming more and more concerned about the future and what
the fate of the world will be so they write books about what they think the world will look like and
some of those book that are produced become famous worldwide and are looked upon as
examples like Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. In
Fahrenheit 451 and The Hunger Games, society is being dismantled piece by piece and the
government has the biggest part in doing this. Fahrenheit 451’s society can simply be described
to be one where books are banned and burned and society has begun to tear itself apart.
Similarly, The Hunger Games’ society disintegrates because of the hand of government and the
brutal things that the Capitol does and labels entertainment. Fahrenheit 451 and The Hunger
Games are very much alike because of what they consider to be entertainment and the nonexistence
of religion yet they still have their differences in areas such as government.

Entertainment is very similar in The Hunger Games and Fahrenheit 451 because of how
the societies like gruesome and brutal activities as their form of enjoyment. Clarisse clearly
stated how the she did not like to hang out with people of her own age due to the sole fact of
what activities they did for fun and how dangerous they were. The norm for teenagers to do in
Clarisse’s society was to “break windowpanes in the Window Smasher place or wreck cars in
the Car Wrecker place with the giant steel ball” after school and this continued to be the lifestyle
of even the adults in her society who did dangerous things on an even more advanced scale
(Bradbury 30). The desire for a thrill and an adrenaline rush dominates the minds of all people
in the society of Fahrenheit 451 so it is very likely that people die from accidents all the time but
they can always be replaced by members of the parlor family. In the same way, The Hunger
Games consists of exactly what the title suggests – games which include starving and murder as
society’s primary source of entertainment even though it’s annual and most people dislike
watching it. The Capitol forces the districts to watch the annual hunger games because the
Capitol thinks its a good source of entertainment. Seeing how the hunger games are basically
murdering each other until the last child is standing, it relates closely with the kind of
entertainment that the society of Fahrenheit 451 provides with the adrenaline and thrill of the
same kind. The people of the districts in The Hunger Games do not like the hunger games but
on the contrary, the people in Fahrenheit 451 like their source of entertainment, so there is in
fact a difference between the two societies yet. Typically entertainment cannot even be sought
by adults in The Hunger Games because there simply is no time for entertainment because
you’re working or feeding your children or sleeping or working again while in Fahrenheit 451
entertainment is something that people can get everyday. The existence of adrenaline
entertainment is how the two societies are similar yet they differ in whether or not the people
actually like the entertainment or even have time to be entertained.

The form of government is another thing that is different in the societies as Fahrenheit
451 consists of a democracy whereas The Hunger Games’ government is corrupt and there is
nothing that resembles a democracy at all. In Fahrenheit 451 there is a democracy which is
shown clear because of how Mildred and her friends once discussed past elections for president
and who they thought was going to win. The community also takes active participation in the
elections as Mrs. Bowles said that “[she] voted last election” and all the other women agree with
her and who they voted for (Bradbury 97). Even though we may see the world of Fahrenheit
451 as strange and bad there still is a democracy which we consider to be fair the only problem
is that a person who can fix their society is never elected. On the other hand, there is no form of
democracy in The Hunger Games and instead it is ruled by a corrupt government that is ruled by
President Snow. He reigns all of the Capitol and the districts and seeing how there comes no
one else to take his position of authority it is assumed that the setting of The Hunger Games is
in a land where a form of government somewhere between dictatorship and communism exists.
It is this kind of a rule that drives the people of society to feel as if they could indeed have a
better life which leads them to rebel against the Capitol. A similarity between the two
government systems would be how they both suppress things that each government believes
could hurt the stability of society. For The Hunger Games the government suppresses
interaction between districts because they know that if there was interaction then there could be
a possible revolt and yet another attempt to overthrow the Capitol. In Fahrenheit 451 that
similarity is suppressing books because of their potential to be an item which could cause
unhappiness and take away from the level of cooperation between the people and the
government. The governments of the two societies may be different in whether or not they are
democracies but each attempt to keep society stable and united in its own way.

The non-existence of religion in both of these societies is obvious and is a reason why
both of the societies can be compared to each other for being similar. Religion does not exist in
the world of Fahrenheit 451 for the obvious reason of religion giving hope to people and giving
the strength that they might need to speak up and let their voices be heard. That freedom to
speak freely is something that this society is strongly against so the government made it so that
important religious figures such as Christ can be “one of the ‘family’ now” (Bradbury 81). If
anything, religion is used as a source of enterprise and entertainment in this society rather than
for any spiritual use at all. Similarly in The Hunger Games, religion does not exist and is not
even mentioned in the book. The non-existence of religion in The Hunger Games is probably
because of the author of the book, Suzanna Collins, not wanting religion to interfere with the
storyline as it might make the book biased and turn people away from it. If religion did exist it
would probably turn the book completely into a religious story as religion could give children
hope during the hunger games. If ever there is some form of faith in either of these societies it is
for the character Katniss and people like Montag. It is not really considered a religion but as a
form of salvation because some members of society believe that they can be saved by these
kinds of people. Katniss is the embodiment of hope for the districts in The Hunger Games and
similarily, Montag will help in restoring society in Fahrenheit 451 using books. Otherwise,
religion is non-existent in both of the societies because of how it could interfere and give people
hope which is something that government do not want.

Though the societies of The Hunger Games and Fahrenheit 451 maybe be different in
their forms of government they are still the same when it comes to thrilling entertainment and the
non-existence of religion and perhaps this is foreshadowing on what our own society will look
like in the future.

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2 Comments
  1. Posted November 17, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Amazing story

  2. Ned Gladstone
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 4:24 am

    Did you notice the number of the squad created for Katniss et al in “Mockingjay”? Could it have been a nod to Mr. Bradbury’s classic dystopia when Ms. Collins had them dubbed “451″.

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