The Hunger Games emerged during the massive boom in YA literature and film adaptations. Surrounded by other book-to-movie franchises like Harry Potter, Twilight, and Divergent, it was easy to dismiss the trilogy as yet another love triangle trapped within a sci-fi/fantasy setting.
However, The Hunger Games deserves to be acknowledged as a major work in the dystopian fiction genre as well. While marketing teams might have highlighted Katniss's choice between Peeta and Gale, many fans celebrated the detailed examination of propaganda, violence against children, and the moral ambiguity of revolutions.
Now that its prequel film, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, is out in theaters, it's worth exploring the foundation the franchise is built on. Read on for more information about what a dystopia is, the major types and periods of dystopian literature, and what works have stood the test of time.