The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games
This paper is to be a discussion of The Hunger Games. It is mostly going to include a discussion of the main themes of the movie and how the director presents these themes in forms of characters, the environment, etc. The Hunger Games is about a girl called Katniss Everdeen, a girl from district 12 who voluntarily takes her younger sister? s place as tribute in the Hunger Games, a televised fight to the death in which two teenagers from each of the twelve Districts of Panem are chosen at random to compete until death.
There is more than one main theme in this movie; some examples of these are the inequality between rich and poor, suffering as entertainment and the importance of appearances. Some questions that need to be analyzed are; why Katniss starts to love Peeta when she didn? t just a day before? Poor people often have their name on more than one paper, why is that? Why did not the dogs kill Cato immediately when he fell down? In Panem, wealth is heavily concentrated in the hands of the rich, it? s so concentrated that there is nothing left for the ordinary people.
The people living in the Capitol is the and certain of the districts, and the result is a huge disparity between their lives and the lives of the poor, a lot like in South Africa today. In South Africa the disparity between different groups of people is huge. This disparity reveals itself in numerous ways throughout the movie, but among the notable is food. In the poor districts, many of the residents do not even have enough to eat. In district 12 were Katniss lives starvation is very common, and she has to hunt illegally in the woods beyond the district’s borders to feed her family.
Although, not every family have the ability to hunt like Katniss has, this means that that the majority of the other families have even less food then Katniss? s family has. Perhaps the best example of the inequality between rich and poor can be seen in the tessera system and the way the tributes are selected for the Games. In theory, the lottery by which tributes are chosen, called the reaping, is random and anyone can be picked. However, in reality the poor are much more likely than the rich to end up as tributes.
In exchange for extra rations of food, called tesserae, those children eligible for the Hunger Games can enter their names into the reaping additional times. Most children of poor families have to take tesserae to survive, or they have to steal food, and if they do so they get punished and have to enter their names several times anyway. So the children of poor families have more entries in the reaping than children of wealthy families who need no tesserae or does not need to steal. They’re more likely to be picked as a result.
Moreover, the rich who become tributes tend to have an additional advantage, because they are often trained to take part in the Games and volunteer to do so. Cato from district 2 is an example of a tribute that has volunteered to participate in the hunger games. These trained tributes are generally bigger, stronger, and better prepared for the Hunger Games than those poor tributes selected by chance. They are consequently more likely to survive. For these rich tributes, it is an honor to compete in the Games, while for the poor tributes it is essentially a death sentence.
The Hunger Games present the tributes suffering as mass entertainment, and the more the tributes suffer, ideally in battle with one another, the more entertaining the Games become. In various points in the movie they talk about the past games and what made them successful or unsuccessful, and the recurring motif is that the viewers want to see the tributes battling one another and not dying too quickly (because then the entertainment is over). The principle is best exemplified in Cato’s slow death at the end of the movie.
Once the dogs have defeated Cato, they don’t kill him immediately, and Katniss realizes that the Gamemakers want Cato to remain alive because it creates an exceedingly gruesome spectacle. It is the finale of the Games, and so they want to deliver prolonged suffering the audience at home won’t be able to turn away from. The suffering, however, doesn’t have to be purely physical. It can be psychological as well. Katniss’s and Peeta’s romance, for instance, is the subject of so much fascination because it is presumed to be doomed.
The Gamemakers changed the rules of the game just so they could get closer to each other, and in the end they changed it back so they had to kill each other in order to win. They always try to create as much suffering as possible for the tributes. Throughout the movie, Katniss and her team use her external appearance, including what she says and how she behaves, to control how other people perceive her. At the reaping ceremony, for instance, she won’t allow herself to cry in front of the cameras because she doesn’t want to give the impression of being weak (and therefore an easy target).
Furthermore, at the opening ceremony of the Games, the novel emphasizes how important appearances are by focusing a great deal on Katniss’s preparations. The main feature of this focus is the dress Cinna creates for her. It is covered in synthetic flames, earning Katniss the epithet “the girl who’s on fire,” and it makes Katniss stand out among the tributes. Drawing attention is more than just vanity in the Games. The tributes that are most memorable tend to attract sponsors, who can provide gifts that may prove critical during the Games. It works just like in reality.
For example, if you become really good at something, you get to sign a deal with a sponsor, and you get “gifts” from the sponsors. Katniss hides her tears during the Games for a similar reason, as self-pitying tributes are unattractive to sponsors. A tribute’s appearance and behavior can therefore serve as a significant part of their survival strategy. Perhaps the most notable part of Katniss’s strategy involves her romance with Peeta. This romance is not entirely genuine on Katniss’s end. She cares about Peeta and develops a romantic interest in him, but her feelings don’t have nearly the same intensity as his.
For the cameras, however, Katniss plays up her feelings for Peeta and works to convince the viewers, and especially the Capitol, that she’s deeply in love with him. The act is one Haymitch devised for strategic reasons: Katniss’s and Peeta’s love story elicits more gifts from sponsors than if they’re simply friends, and it seems even to influence the Capitol’s decision to allow two tributes to be declared winners rather than the customary one. Consequently, the act Katniss puts on has a significant effect on both her and Peeta’s survival.
The intension of this essay was to reveal and discuss some of the main themes in this movie. The questions in the introduction were; Why Katniss starts to love Peeta when she didn? t just a day before? Some people have their name on more than one paper, why is that? Why did not the dogs kill Cato immediately when he fell down? Katniss starts to love Peeta because the romance attracts sponsors and gives her and Peeta more gifts than if they were only friends. Furthermore, it seems that the romance affects the Gamemakers to change the rules of the game to allow two tributes from the same district to win.
The poor people often have more entries in the reaping because the poor people can? t afford enough food to survive. So they have to take tesserae. In that way they get enough food to survive, but the children that are eligible for the hunger games have to enter their names several times. Cato? s slow death is a good example of how the Gamemakers want the hunger games to be like. They want Cato to suffer a horrific death because it creates an exceedingly gruesome spectacle, and the more suffering the tributes get, the more entertaining the hunger games get.
Subject: The Hunger Games,
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 17 December 2016
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