A guide: ‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘Divergent’


The worlds of “Divergent” and “The Hunger Games” have both attracted and spawned fanatics.

“The Hunger Games” and “Divergent” trilogies are currently two wildly successful novels that are spreading like wildfire with “The Hunger Games” releasing the second film installment Nov. 22 and “Divergent” releasing the first film adaption Mar. 24. “Divergent,” having yet to release the film version, is not as well known as “The Hunger Games.” Despite this “Divergent” is quickly catching up in fame.

“The Hunger Games,” written by Suzanne Collins, is a dystopian story set in fictional society, Panem, where 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, is thrown into the Hunger Games and must fight to survive. “Divergent,” written by Veronica Roth, is set in a dystopian Chicago, where 16-year-old Beatrice “Tris” Prior must make a decision to stay in her faction or transfer to another. Her decision will ultimately change her life.

The two novels are often said to be similar due to both having a female protagonist, being a dystopian novel and groups of people in charge of specific aspects in society, but the similarities stop there.

Here’s a list of differences between the two in a compact form.

Districts and Faction

The Hunger Games: Every person is born into one of 12 districts in a fictional known as Panem. Each district is responsible for producing and obtaining goods in a particular industry for the Capitol i.e. luxury items, weapons, electronics, fishing and Katniss’ district – coal.

Divergent: Each person is born into five factions, each dedicated to a virtue: Erudite (the intelligent), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful) and Candor (the honest). The Erudite, being the intelligent, are constantly learning new subjects and interest simply to gain more knowledge. The people in Abnegation (who runs the government) live their lives enough to not live excessively. One can imagine them to be the volunteer workers. The Dauntless are the soldiers, who if ranked low will be stationed as foot soldiers. The Amity can be considered the hippy, chill and artsy people. The Candor always speak the truth. Candor wear black and white because that is how they see the truth.

The coming of age

The Hunger Games: At the ripe age of 12, children’s names can be called for the reaping, or the selection of tributes (contestants), for the annual Hunger Games.

Divergent: When children turn 16, they take an aptitude test that determines which of the five factions they belong to. These teens must then choose whether to stay in their faction or transfer to another.

Training for battle

The Hunger Games: From ages 12 to 18, one boy and girl from each district are selected to participate in the annual Hunger Games. They are brought to the Capitol to train in combat and basic survival skills. Before the games begin, they are rated on a scale from one to 12 – one being the lowest and 12 being the highest, determining who has the best chance of winning in the arena.

Divergent: Only Dauntless born and transfers initiates are required to learn to fight. The leaders have them fight each other to see whether the initiates have learned or not. Initiates are then scored based on their victories and losses when battling against each other. However, if one initiate angers another, they may risk getting injured or killed.

Consequences of rebelling

The Hunger Games: District 13 was a district before it rebelled against the Capitol, who destroyed it. During every Hunger Games, the people of Panem are reminded that if they fail to follow the rules of the Capitol, they could also end up destroyed.

Divergent: In the dystopian Chicago, a group known as the factionless is homeless and suffers from the worst jobs in Chicago. Those who are factionless either failed the initiation process for their chosen faction or did not agree with their chosen faction’s views and ideals. There are also the Divergent, who are people who have more than one faction choice. They either choose a faction or are unable to agree with the ideals and values of their faction and become factionless. Being Divergent is dangerous and if faction leaders know they will take action against these members.

Even though “Divergent” isn’t as well known as “The Hunger Games,” it’s a more captivating tale.  Just imagining the struggle Tris goes through with every situation. Trying to grasp the concept of “faction before blood” isn’t difficult but the idea of it being a reality is just a bit tragic. However, even with those struggles, seeing Tris overcome those struggles feels like a victory for not only herself but the reader as well.

For those who enjoyed “The Hunger Games,” pick up a copy of “Divergent” and start reading and become immersed the world of Tris Prior.