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The Hunger Games Vocabulary Words

Instructor: Elisha Madison

Elisha is a writer, editor, and aspiring novelist. She has a Master's degree in Ancient Celtic History & Mythology and another Masters in Museum Studies.

''The Hunger Games'' is a popular novel about a country that, in order to control its citizens, holds a yearly event in which children must fight until there's only one left standing. This lesson reviews some of the vocabulary in the novel.

Story Summary

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins, is the first novel in a trilogy that recalls the story of Katniss Everdeen and her fight to survive the Hunger Games. Katniss lives in the country of Panem, which is divided into 13 districts ruled by the Capitol. The Capitol governs all aspects of citizens' lives, claiming that this total rule is necessary to avoid another war like one that almost wiped out humanity.

As part of this oppression, each year, the Capitol picks two children - one boy and one girl - from each district (except District 13, from which it's believed there are no survivors) to fight in a nationally televised event, the Hunger Games. These games don't end until there is only one survivor. Katniss, however, puts everyone on their heels by tricking the Capitol into not only allowing her to survive, but also the boy from her district, Peeta Mellark. Although this novel is for young adults, it has a large selection of vocabulary for all ages.

Vocabulary: Chapters 1-9

The beginning chapters of The Hunger Games are the build-up of learning about this society of people experiencing challenges and being slaves to the Capitol. The vocabulary really shows the people's struggles and challenges as they try to survive not only daily life, but also the terror of the Capitol and the Hunger Games.

Cocoon - A covering that protects a person or thing.

Scrawny - Very thin.

Entrails - The internal organs of an animal or person.

Supple - Easy to bend and move.

Apothecary - A person who knows how to prepare and work with medication.

Dystopia - A place that is usually dark and unfair to the people living there.

Tessera - A small piece of material used to make a mosaic.

Racketeer - A person who commits crimes to earn money.

Synonomous - Similar or identical to something else.

Plait - A braid.

Insurmountable - Something that is impossible to overcome.

Cornucopia - A horn that is usually filled with fruit and grains.

Tribute - Something given to show respect or pay homage to someone.

Deluge - To bombard or overwhelm with a large amount of something.

Gossamer - Something very light and delicate.

Vocabulary: Chapters 10-18

These chapters focus on the actual games and how the 24 tributes are all trying to survive by slaughtering their peers. The war-like manner these games take on relates to how the vocabulary lays out.

Entourage - Group of people who surround an important person.

Equidistant - Equally the same distance.

Perplexed - Confused.

Precarious - Dangerous.

Eradicate - Eliminate.

Putrid - Decaying and repulsive.

Befuddled - Another adjective for confused.

Evasion - Escaping a place or event.

Patronizing - To look down on someone or something; to act superior to others.

Mayhem - Chaos.

Brutish - Large, angry, and violent.

Rendezvous - A meeting in a certain place and time, agreed upon by two or more people.

Copse - A group of trees or bushes.

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