Recasting "The Hunger Games" as a Parable about Immigration Policy

When I drafted the column “Catching Ire: The Hunger Games is hardly our future—it’s already here,” I spelled out how the story could be modified into a parable about immigration policy in more detail than made it into the final version. 

The Capitol—with all of its abundance of food, advanced medical care, and gadgets—is surrounded by a giant high-tech WALL, well-stocked with booby-traps. The point of the Games is to burrow through the WALL to get to the material paradise of the Capitol without getting killed or caught and sent back to the Districts to starve. Here is the outline:

  • Book 1: Katniss and Peeta set off to try their luck against the WALL. By dint of wits, physical courage, and learning to trust each other, they make it through into the Capitol. Gale is left behind with the task of somehow trying to keep all of their families alive while Katniss and Peeta face the WALL.
  • Book 2: Katniss and Peeta go back to District 12 to show their families and friends how to get through the WALL. They win out and settle in the Capitol. There, they live in the shadows, are despised by many, but have enough to eat.
  • Book 3: Citizens of the Capitol who are disgusted with the inhumanity of the WALL work with Katniss, Peeta, Gale and others from the Districts to engineer a regime change.  At the end of the book, the WALL is torn down.