Digital Humanities: Mapping the Hunger Games

mockingjay

Our mapping project shows every District from Suzanne Collins’ popular series The Hunger Games and places it on a map of the continental United States. Throughout Collins’ series, she leaves clues as to where each district may fall by telling readers what each District is known for. For example, District 4 is known for fishing, and Collins’ main character Katniss Everdeen makes mention that District 4 is west of her native District 12, so the reader can infer that District 4 would be located on the west coast of the United States.

Throughout this project, we found a fantastic resource that helped us immensely with this project: the Hunger Games Wikipedia website. The website has a page dedicated to each District in the Hunger Games universe, and puts together all the clues that Suzanne Collins has mentioned about where they may be located. This includes information from the books themselves, as well as from a Hunger Games computer game that Collins helped develop, and from any interviews she has given.

This project can help readers get a better idea of the atmosphere of the story by putting it in the context of something that we know. It also helps the readers connect to the stories a bit more. On the surface, the Districts are over-the-top, fictional places. District 12 is the poorest of the poor, where people are starving and even thankful for the chance to eat muddy bread. Meanwhile, the Capitol is full of people with have multi-colored hair and undergo a surgery to change their skin color. By relating these fictional places to their locations in the continental US (The Capitol would be in the Rocky Mountains, while District 12 would be in New Jersey), it makes it much more real for the readers.

About the Authors

Chelsea Nelson and Alyssa Bourke are senior English majors at Westfield State University. Although both are avid readers of Young Adult literature, this is the first time that they have done a project of this nature. Chelsea, a dog lover, writes about her puppy love at her blog “Dog Crazy”, and on Twitter. Alyssa, a self-proclaimed “theatre nerd,” blogs about her theatre experiences at her blog “All the World’s a Stage” and on Twitter.

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