Suzanne Collins has not described a real place but she has a clear understanding of human societies and of how and why revolutions happen. She also captures the sort of classic trajectory of a revolution. I remember reading a book called Anatomy of a Revolution by Crane Brinton when I was in college. This is not a fiction book, it is an analysis by a historian of four revolutions in the real world: the British revolution of the 1640’s, the American Revolution, the French Revolution and the Russian Revolution. This is a fairly scholarly book with none of the easy readability or appeal of the Hunger Games trilogy, but the similarities are striking and might even strike a few chords with our current political situation (which we may need to get a grip on).
OK, that may be more than you wanted to know about revolutions, but the way Wikipedia summarizes the ideas of Crane Brinton is the way I remember the theory as we discussed it in those long ago days. Hunger Games is a story about revolution but the inhumane ways that Snow’s government keeps citizens under control by starving them, scaring them and exploiting them for entertainment adds a whole other level of organized wrongness to this particular culture, reminiscent of the short story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, that makes us cheer for Katniss and Peeta and all of the other heroes who actually revolt against the tyranny that others have accepted for decades. Katniss also has the presence of mind to kill the person that Katniss perceives wants to be next in line with her ambition to become the new Panem dictator, President Coin, and thereby breaks the cycle of poor lasting results that Mr. Brinton says usually follow a revolution. For now the revolution has a happy ending, although the image of the children of our characters dancing in the meadow on top of a mass grave, may foreshadow a time in the future when there could once again arise a tyrant. George Orwell’s Animal Farm also reflects Brinton’s revolutionary trajectory.