The Analysis of Plot in Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games

The Analysis of Plot in Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games

Albertus Krisna
STBA Technocrat Tangerang


This research is aimed to find the kinds of plot analysis in the novel of Suzanne Collin, The Hunger Games and the arrangement of plot described in the novel using a formalistic approach. To gain a deeper understanding of the results, the writer formulates the problem by making the following questions: (1) What kind of plot is used in The Hunger Games novel? (2) How does the author arrange the plot in The Hunger Games novel?. In the process of study and analysis of the plot analysis in the novel, the writer uses a formalistic approach to analyze, examine and understand some kinds of plot and their arrangements elaborated in a novel. The writer also conducts library research in completing this analysis. The theory is used in analyzing the plot analysis until finally finds how a plot in the storyline is arranged. This story has a structure of plot from exposition, rising action, climax, and resolution by Subhan’s Theory of kinds of plot. Meanwhile the most arrangement plot depicted in The Hunger Games novel is chronologically progressive plot.

Keywords: plot, storyline, novel



 In the novel, there are so many parts that would be analyzed such as; plot, setting, character, point of view, theme, figurative language, and every parts support each other to create the novel, Every part in the novel is interesting to be analyzed. The writer takes plot to be analyzed. A plot is all about establishing connections, suggesting causes, and showing relationship. According to  Di Yanni (2004:43).

Progressive Plot is a plot starting with the introduction or exposition then followed by rising action, climax, falling action and finished by conclusion or resolution. The writer found Progressive plot as a kind of plot in the novel of The Hunger Games. Exposition is an introduction of the setting and the character of the story. The writer tries to analyze the introduction of The Hunger Games novel.

The writer analyzed the novel, particularly the Plot in Suzanne Collin’s Novel “The Hunger Games., where the story lines are described using different kinds of plot development. As indicated in the background, this study attempts to find out kinds of plot used in The Hunger Games novel and also to find out how the author arrange the plot in this novel.



Plot can be defined as the necessary choosen order of a fiction. This definition is based on the fact that the story in a novel consist of many events that sould be  arranged in such way that the story becomes coherent, meaningful, amd interesting. Events in the novel are arranged based on the cause and effect relationship. The relationship among the events is not based on causal relationship but it is based on sequence of time. according Di Yanni in his book  “Plot is the arrangement of the events that makes up a story. A story’s plot keeps us turning pages: we read to find out what will happen next”.( Literature, 2004:43). According to Yudhi Sumarto in his book entitled Introduction of Drama, he devises that plot is a series of incident that (1) put his characters into conflict, (2) lead them to change either themselves or their life situation, or both, (3) lead them and us to a greater understanding of human condition. The plot makes clear what the character life is like before, during, and after this major change. Subhan describes that there are two kinds of plot: the progressive plot and regressive plot. The progressive plot usually employs foreshadowing whereas the regressive plot employs flashback The Regressive Plot. The Regressive plot does not happen chronologically, the story is not started from the beginning, it may start from the middle or even from the end. It usually starts from rising action then back to the introduction; continue with the crisis, falling action and conlusion. The plot that reveals the raising conflict at the beginning of the story is called in medias res. Or the story started from the conclusion or falling action. After that the story comes to introduction, rising action, crisis, and falling action. It is the unique of plot in the novel.

The formalistic approach studies in literary work intrinsically by analyzing the elements of literary work. Formalist criticsm regards literature as a unique form of human knowledge that needs to be examined on its own terms. There are five element of literary work; character and characterization, theme setting, plot and point of view.

Di Yanni (2004) in Literature said that the formalists emphasize the form of a literary work to determine its meaning, focusing on literary element such as plot, character, setting, diction, imagery, structure, and point of view.



The writer analyzed the novel, particularly the Plot in Suzanne Collin’s Novel “The Hunger Games., where the story lines are described using different kinds of plot development. Thus the plot analysis in this novel will be analyzed using the formalistic approach.

Randomly, each chapter of the novel is analyzed and find the related part with the object of analysis. The writer used formalistic approach. After getting the data, the writer will analyze the data such as Classifing the data of plot in the novel, analyzing the data to answer the problem formulation, making the conclusions of the uniqueness found in the plot of The Hunger Games by Suzzane Collins.

The first approach that the writer is going to use in analyzing this research is Formalistic Approach. It means this approach study of a text without taking into account any outside influence. Abrams also said that formalism approach emphasize the form of a literary work to determine its meaning, focus on the formal pattterns and technical devices of literature to the exclusion of its subject matter and social values. (1999, 102-103)


  1. Kinds of Plot
  2. Exposition

Exposition is an introduction of the setting and the character of the story. The writer tries to analyze the introduction of The Hunger Games novel.

Katniss Everdeen is the main character and she was sixteen years old. She lived with her sister sister Primrose Everdeen and her mother, her father was died. The Novel begins when the main character wakes up on the day of the reaping.

My little sister, Prim, curled up on her side, cocooned in my mother’s body. In sleep, my mother looks younger, still worn but not so beaten-down. Prim’s face is a fresh as raindrop, as lovely as the primrose for which she was named. My mother was very beautiful once, too (p. 3)

According to the data, the author used narrator point of view. The writer concludes from statement “My”, it means that the speech occurs by the narrator herself.

Rising Action is the stage of rising conflict in which the conflict appears in the previous stage is developing.Hunger Games is an event that is live on TV, everything that happens in the Hunger Games is a direct regulation of the Capitol as Hunger Games host in this event. Haymitch as a mentor of Distrik 12 takes the advantage of this opportunity with the intention to make a romance drama for a tribute of districts 12 to get a sponsor in this fight hunger games.

One last thing. In public, i want you by each other’s side every minute,” says Haymitch. We both start to object, but Haymitch slams his hand on the table. “ Every minutes! It’s not open for discussion! You agreed to do as I said!You will be together, you will appear amiable to each other. (p.92)

Based on statement above “I” sometimes not only as the main character it can be another character but it would be different. In this page the main character have a conflict with her mentor because she must play drama to get the sponsor for the game.

  1. Climax

Climax is point of the highest emotion, turning point. Katniss Everdeen happy get the chance to back to her district with Peeta, with this occasion she did everything to save Peeta who are injured, but that all changed when Claudius notify all rules have changed again.

Greetings to the final contestant of the Seventy-fourth Hunger Games. The earlier revision has been revoked. Closer examination of the rule book has disclosed that only one winner may be allowed,” he says. Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor. (p. 342)

Katniss got stresed and angry when hears that the rule of hunger games chance again, all the struggle after the rule one chance is vain.

  1. Falling Action

Falling action is the part of turning point of or has been reaching.

Katniss Everdeen who got shock and hopeless to be able to go home along with Peeta had decided to commit suicide by eaten poisonous berries were obtained when she was hunting.

I loosen the top of the pouch and pour a few spoonfuls of berries into his palm. Then i fill my own. “On the count of three?” (p.344)

According to the data, this statement is falling action because the tension in the last chapter is falling down.

  1. Resolution

In this stage, solution is given to the conflict that has come to the highest level.

The courage of the main character Katniss Everdeen to attempt suicide by eaten poisonous berries is a good idea because she successful make the heart of  judges is melted and it made Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark crowned as the winner of the hunger games for seventy fourth.

The frantic voice of Cladius Templesmith shouts above them. “Stop! Stop! Ladies and Gentlement, I am pleased to present the victors of the Seventy-fourth Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark! I give you- the tributes of Districts Twelve!. (p.345)

According to the data, the author as a narrator point of view told story to the reader. This chapter is not the last chapter but this statement is the last conclusion, Katniss Everdeen as the main character finally won the hunger games for 74 along with Peeta Mellark as friends of the same district, District 12.

  1. Arrangement of plot 
  1. Plausibility

Plausibility refers to something reasonable, according to the logic of the story.

District 12 is a district farthest and most distant from the Capitol, District 12 is only part of the poorest district of each of its citizens is very difficult to get food to live, is not uncommon in this district you can die of starvation in a safe state, meaning that no one knows if we die in a state of hunger without food.

most citizens Seam or better known as district 12 are very rarely eat delicious food especially meat.

Even though trespassing in the woods is illegal and poaching carries the severest

of penalties, more people would risk it if they had weapons”. (p.5).

  1. Suspense

Suspense is state of uncertainly, anticipation, and curiosity.

The day when the reaping is begin, the reader has expectation that the name which taken first and will be a participant in the Hunger Games is Katniss Everdeen as the main character.

It’s time for the drawing, Effie Trinket says as she always does, “Ladies First”and crosses to the glass ball with the girl’s name. She reaches in, digs her hand deep intothe ball. (p.18)

  1. Surprise

Surprise is something that the reader can not suggest what happen in the next.

Name of Primrose Everdeen only one slip, one slip in thousand. The odds had been  entirely in her favor, the writer suggest if the name of Primrose Everdeen may not pulls out a slip of paper. But it happen, Effie Trinket reaches in, digs her hand deep into the ball and she reads out the name in a clear voice.

It’s time for drawing (…) hoping that it’s not me, that is not me. That it’s not me (…) it’s Primrose Everdeen. (p.20)

The first name who called is not Katniss Everdeen it is Primrose Everdeen.

  1. Unity

Katniss Everdeen is a 16-years old girl who lived with her mother and younger sister Primrose Everdeen, her father was died in a mine explosion since she was 10 years old. Katniss Everdeen becomes the backbone of her family since her father’s death. In the beginning of the story Katniss Everdeen wakes up on the day of the reaping than she goes hunting in the woods outside her district, District 12, with Gale, her best friend. The reaping inventions in the square at two o’clock but at one o’clock, they must head for the square.

When the reaping ceremony the mayor did the same things every year, the mayor tells the story of Panem, Panem is the country that rose up out of the ashes of a place that was once called North America. Panem or Capitol ringed by thirtheen districts, which brought peace and prosperity to its citizen. Then came the Dark Days, the uprising of the districts against the Capitol. Twelve were defeated, the thirteen obliterated. The Treaty of Treason gave us the new laws to guarantee peace and, as our yearly reminder that the Dark Days must never be repeated, it gave us the Hunger Games. The rules of The Hunger Games are simple, each of twelve districts must provide one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate. Taking the kids from our districts, forcing them to kill one another while we watch, this is the Capitol’s way of reminding us how totally we are at their mercy. Katniss felt Hunger Games is not a punishment that is proportional to the uprising in the previous period, it maked Katniss felt extremely disgusted to the Capitol and she hated the Capitol.

Katniss hatred continued until the time of private assessment, Katniss who hated the Capitol because of its action in archery not respond by the judges, she finally shoot the arrow to the judges’ table.The time is coming, now they were on a flat, open stretch of ground. A plain of hard packed dirt. For a moment, Katniss eyes are dazzled by the bright sunlight. Hunger Games is begin, Cornucopia is first stage before the tributes put as much distance as the tributes can between the others but in the Cornucopia there are spilling over with the things that will give us life here in the arena. In the Cornucopia blooshed is happen, eleven tributes was died.

One … two … three … on and on until they reach eleven. Eleven dead in all. Thirteen left to play. (p.153)

Night has just come, when Katniss hear the anthem that proceeds the death recap. Katnis decided to rest, Katniss pick the tree carefully.

Collins develops the plot in progressive plot because in this novel the author used the chronological story. In the beginning of the story Katniss Everdeen wakes up on the day of the reaping, when the tributes are chosen who will take part in the Hunger Games . Her mother and little sister, Prim, sleep nearby. Her father died in a mine explosion years earlier. She goes hunting in the woods outside her district, District 12, with Gale, her best friend. That night, at the reaping ceremony, the mayor gives a speech describing how the governments of North America collapsed and the country of Panem rose up in their place. A war ensued between the Capitol and the districts. The Capitol won, and as a reminder of their defeat, the Capitol holds the Hunger Games every year. Katniss is very fond of her sister up, Katniss prove it until when her sister should be chosen to be a participant in the hunger games, Katniss replace for her.



In analyzing the plot, the writer also finds out the laws of plot, is that Plausibility, Suspense, Surprise and Unity. Collins as the author arranges the events an incidents suitable with the laws of plot, in this novel Collins made the story is like the story in real life or called plausibility, for example, about the famine that occurred in the poor people who lived within the limits and always rely on those in power.

Good story must have a high degree of suspense to the reader because the suspense will make the reader curious about what happens in the future, Collins did it in her novel The Hunger Games, the reader felt curiously,who will be the winner in The Hunger Games? Will Katniss return to her District as the winner?

The writer also finds out the surprise. A good plot must be able to create surprise to the readers. In the chapter 25, as the reader guess before, the winner will be Katniss Everdeen but in the end there would be two winners.

In a good arrangement of the novel, it must has beginning, middle and end. The unity and conflicts in the story must be related each other and make a whole.



Abrams, M.H. (1999). A glossary of literary terms/ Seventh Edition. United States of America: Tomsom Learning, Inc

Abrams, M.H. (2003). Glossary literary of term. United States of America: Tomsom Learning, Inc

Bennet, A. & Nicholas, R. (2004). Introduction to literature, criticism and theory. Great Britain: Pearson Education Limited.

Childs, P.& Roger, F. (2006). The routledge dictionary. New York: Taylor & Francis e-Library.

Culler, J. (1997). Literary theory: a very short introduction, New York: Oxford University Press

DiYanni, R. (2004). Literature, approaches to fiction, poetry, and drama. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Kenney, W. (1966). How to analyze fiction. New York

Subhan, B. (2003). A Guide to literary criticism. Yogyakarta: Debut Press.

Rene, W. & Austin, W. (1949). Theory of literature. USA: Penguin Books Ltd.

Thornley, G.C, and Roberts G.(2004). An outline of english literature. China: Longman.