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Someone Who Doesn’t Know Anything About 'The Hunger Games' Gets Interviewed About 'The Hunger Games'

Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks, left), Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson, center) and Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence, right) in THE HUNGER GAMES.

Unless you live under a rock, you’re probably aware that 1) The Hunger Games movie opens this weekend, and 2) it is based on a book by the same name, the first in a young adult trilogy by Suzanne Collins that has taken the nation by storm. Well, we looked under a rock in our office and found that our colleague, Research Editor Tay Wiles, was only barely aware of the phenomena (“Is there, like, a billboard with a medieval woman…a detective? There are detectives! Right?”), so we subjected her to the Hunger Games Literacy Challenge.

 

Q: What do you think the Hunger Games are?

 

A: I don’t know what they are. It sounds like...I know this is like a tween thing, so it’s probably not hunger strikes, which is what it sounds like to me. Also, judging from what’s popular in the teen market, I would guess it has something to do with vampires and werewolves.

 

Correct answer: The Hunger Games is an extreme survival game in which children from different districts of a dystopian society are pitted against each other and the last one living wins.

 

Q: I’m gonna say some words now, and you give me your best guess as to what the words might mean: Peeta, Katniss, Haymitch.

 

A: Peeta…it’s a good thing you spelled it, or I would have said the animal rights activists… It’s also not the bread from the Mediterranean… I have no idea. What do I think Katniss is? I think it’s like a place. Haymitch… that’s maybe one of the teams.

 


Q: Of the vampires and werewolves?

 

A: Well, I don’t know… It could also be a group of people, or a family, or one of the sides...

 

Q: You think Haymitch is a faction.

 

A: Yes.

 

Correct answer: Peeta Mellark is a 16-year-old contestant in the games, Katniss Everdeen is the 16-year old girl narrator of the novel, and Haymitch Abernathy is the alcoholic adviser to Katniss and Peeta.

 

Q: OK, so those were all characters. Which of these is the protagonist: Peeta, Katniss, Gale, or Rue?

 

A: Gale, I think. It’s a strong, one-syllable, bold name. It sounds like a main character.

 

Q: Do you think Gale is male or female?

 

A: Neither.

 

Correct answer: Katniss is the protagonist and Gale is her male friend from her hometown.

 

Q: What is a tracker jacker?

 

A: It’s something like a bug that you put on someone to track them.

 

Correct answer: A tracker jacker is a specially bred wasp that hunts down and kills whatever disturbs the nest.

 

Q: What is a mockingjay?

 

A: Well, it’s a bird. I think it imitates people.

 

Correct answer: A mockingjay is the result of breeding jacker jays and mockingbirds; it’s known for imitating people.

 

Q: What do you think your training score would be?

 

A: My training score? I think it would be… I think it would be 1,000.

 

Q: Wow.

 

Correct answer: Training scores are given to Hunger Games contestants and range from 1 (bad) to 12 (good).

 

Q: Where is the Capitol? I’ll tell you that it’s somewhere in North America.

 

A: I think it is in the Montreal area.

 

Correct answer: The Capitol is located somewhere in the Rocky Mountains.

 

Q: If a tribute is given a donation, how does it arrive?

 

A: Fully clothed.

 

Correct answer: Donations arrive via parachute.

 

Q: Would 16-year-old Tay have been willing to fake a romance in order to secure food and supplies and survive?

 

A: That’s an intense question! Would I sleep with someone? Um…

 

Q: Just fake a romance, not necessarily sleep with someone. I mean you’re only 16, this is young adult fiction.

 

A: Um, yes. Yes, I would.

 

Q: What is the purpose behind the Hunger Games?

 

A: If you win the game, you get to eat food. Everyone else is starving.

 

Correct answer: The purpose of the hunger games is to remind the district citizens that they are under complete governmental control.

 

Q: What happens if you step off your platform too early?

 

A: Wow, I kinda want to see the movie now! It sounds really cool. Um, if you step off your platform too early, you fall to your death.

 

Correct answer: If contestants step off of their platform too early, it sets off a landmine and they get blown to bits.