Global Resistance: Pop Culture Review
Warning: Spoiler Alert for any of the three books in the Hunger Games trilogy.
While you may or may not have been a fan of the books or now major motion picture, there is no denying that the Hunger Games series has some heavy metaphors about our society today.
By the end of this blog series, I’ll bet that even if you dislike the Hunger Games you’ll agree with me about a few things.
HUNGER GAMES SERIES BACKGROUND
Divided into 13 districts, the country of Panem exists post-modern North America. People of the Capitol, who makes all decisions for the people of Panem without consideration of the citizens, also relies on the districts to survive. Each district provides something of life-sustaining importance to the capitol, for example District 12, the home of the main character, mines coal which is sent to the Capitol and all its people.
The people of the districts had enough of the communistic rule of the Capitol, and they started an uprising. The Capitol ended the uprising after destroying District 13. As a reminder to all of Panem not to repeat the “Dark Days”, the Hunger Games were inaugurated.
Each district is required to provide one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to play in the Hunger Games, where they are paraded in front of the Capitol, thrown in an arena, forced to fight to the death until only one tribute remains alive, and the people of Panem are forced by law to watch the Games and all the proceedings. All the while, voicing concern or disproval of the Capitol or the Games is punishable by death.
Katniss Everdeen, the heroine of the story, volunteers to take her 12 year old sister’s place in the Games. At just 16 years old herself, Katniss promises her younger sister, Prim that she will try to win. And win she does.
Of course along the way, a love interest in thrown into the mix. The male tribute from District 12, Peetah, has been in love with Katniss for most of his life. He and Katniss develop a relationship, and Katniss vows to save them both. Just when the two are about to eat poisonous berries, the man in charge of the Hunger Games allows them both to stay alive and be proclaimed the winners. That man is never heard of again.
This sparks another uprising amongst the people of the districts because of the blatant defiance Katniss showed toward the Capitol. The leader of Panem, President Snow, even pays Katniss a visit in lowly old District 12 to warn her of her actions. He threatens to kill her family and loved ones if she cannot put of the fire of revolt that the people of the districts are beginning to get
Katniss struggles to please President Snow and protect her friends and family. She and Peetah are thrown back into the Hunger Games once again, under sketchy circumstances. Just when Katniss thinks she will die, she is rescued by a secret society of Soldiers. They bring Katniss and a few others to District 13, which has in fact survived underground from the Capitol’s attacks 75 years prior.
Peetah was not saved in time, and was captured by President Snow’s people. He was brutally abused and brainwashed to hate Katniss and the revolt. He is later rescued by the rebels, but not with out consequences which affect he and Katniss for the rest of their lives.
Here Katniss trains with other to fight the capitol. She accepts the role as the figurehead of the revolution and the rebels, the Mockingjay. District 13 sends videos out to all of Panem called Propos (short for propaganda) to encourage and further fuel the uprising against the Capitol that has begun in each of the districts. Little by little, more and more people fight for freedom against the Capitol.
Finally, after many have suffered and sacrificed their lives for the cause, the Capitol is stormed and taken over by the rebels. Katniss watches her little sister, her world, blown to pieces before her very eyes. It doesn’t take her long to realize the President of District 13, Coin, was behind it; President Coin staged a bombing of young children to rally any remaining Capitol loayals to the rebel cause.
Granted the honor of assassinating President Snow, Katniss aims her weapon of choice at President Coin and releases the arrow. Instantly Coin is dead. Katniss knew that a true republic, the goal of the rebels, was never possible with a leader who could kill their children.
At last, a republic is formed, the Hunger Games are no more, and they all live as happily ever after as you can after you’ve witnessed genocide and war.
Starting to see some similarities with the Kony movement, yet?