Imagine living in a society where good anything is rare. Where people are afraid to smile and laugh, afraid to speak their mind, and afraid to take most any other action than to exist. It is here that there is no true freedom, where people wonder what independence means or stands for, and where personal choice is a luxury most all cannot fathom. It is here that the government seems to watch your every move, and instills a fear so deep in your bones that you could hardly think about rebellion.
This is a dystopia. They represent a specific society’s concept of a society-gone-wrong, and often the gradual degradation of society. A lot of novels contain elements from other genres. For example, science fiction deals with the impact of new technologies or scientific innovations, and in the case of dystopian science fictions, its the new technology gone wrong in some way that impacted the world or society. Furthermore, other genres such as romance can also be used to create a more interesting plot and also allow the author to appeal to a wider audience.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collin similarly incorporates elements of other genres to weave a more interesting story. It incorporates romance (between Katniss and Peeta, and also Katniss and Gale) and science fiction. Science fiction is shown in the incredible technological and scientific advances made by the Capitol; the mutts they can create (for example, the tracker jackers) and the machinery such as the hovercraft. It also hints at an apocalypse; the bombing of District Thirteen resembles a post-apocalyptic world, however in the first book, the reader only hears about the revolution from the Capitol’s point of view.
Dystopias are characterized by an aura of despondency that seeps into the corner of every page. The characters within the novels seem to always have a desperation following their every movement, and then when they’re presented with a “utopia,” similar to the Capitol in The Hunger Games, they cannot help but advertise their disgust and disbelief.