A while back, I wrote about the differences between Percy Jackson and Harry Potter. I’m going to go ahead and say that this post is extremely different.
This post isn’t about differences in writing style or deadlines. This about the biggest difference between Divergent and The Hunger Games: The underlining theme.
Both trilogies are seriously alike. A sixteen-year-old girl from an overlooked faction/district in a dystopian society gets put in a competition with a limited number of winners and high stakes. At the end of the book, she becomes a major part of the rebellion. However, the undercurrents of these two books are extremely different.
The biggest thing about The Hunger Games is the theme of the dangers of media. The media dehumanizes the people in the districts, making their deaths out to be entertainment. They dress the tributes up like fashion models, highlight the “emotional” parts of the game, give money to their favorite tributes, and other things that sound…. highly familiar. They even give reality-show type interviews to family members of tributes that live long in the games.
When the revolution gains power, a major part of its tactics are “propos”, short for propaganda. Both the revolution and the Capitol use people as items to gain support, popularity, and spread their message.
All in all, the power of the media in Panem is a major theme and is one that seems to mirror our own society.
“Faction before blood” is the theme in this dystopia, and it also reflects some major problems in our society. The underlying them in Divergent is about how dangerous trying to “fit in” can be.
The government does it’s best to rid the world of divergents, people who don’t fit nicely into any of the factions. Tris, the main character, attracts attention for having traits of three of the factions – Abnegation (selflessness), Erudite (intelligence), and Dauntless (bravery) – instead of just one. She’s too unpredictable for the government’s liking, and this makes her dangerous.
Another thing is that Collins and Roth take their inspiration from different places that fit better in the story. The world of The Hunger Games is highly inspired by Roman society (you know, the one with gladiator fights). The factions in Divergent can all be traced into real-life groups, shown in their beliefs, dress, and overall culture.
Image from Pinterest