Symbolism in the Hunger Games Essay

Published: 2021-06-29 01:54:57
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Category: Culture

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Films have many ways to show symbolism. Through those ways viewers can see the meaning of why or how aspects in movies are the way they are. The true meaning of symbolism is the use of other signs to represent or mean another idea or quality. One film that does a good job of using symbolism is the 2012 film The Hunger Games. In this film the director, Gary Ross, demonstrates and portrays symbolism throughout the whole film wisely. Identifying symbolism can be tricky task because viewers tend to get so caught up in the plot of the movie that the important aspects that make a film unique get taken for granted.
When coming down to film, only a couple of symbols should be quite rare and not so noticeable. But they are present and if identified, these symbols can be a big part of what a director is trying to get through the minds of his or her viewers. But, a huge aspect of a symbol at the beginning of a movie is that the symbol foreshadows something that appears later in the film towards the climax. When coming down to the Hunger Games, the games themselves are an allegory of government control and what is going on in the actual world today. The actual games show many ways that the government is only controlling the country.
Whether in the actual games or outside them. The capitol claims that selecting kids for a reaping of the games is a good thing, but ultimately, the reaping is not. The kids are thrown into an arena, for the satisfaction of the government capitol and are told to execute each other until only one is standing. This shows that the capitol is trying to get through to the citizens in the out lying and poor districts that they have a firm grasp on whatever they do. Therefore, controlling the districts. Clearly the main source of power in the world of Panem is the capitol.
The government controls the country because the government holds all the country’s wealth. Because of this, The Hunger Games are the biggest display of the government’s power and were designed to warn the world against rebellion that was in the present. Instead of realizing that they are the puppets of the capitol and rebelling, the government makes them hate each other and fight amongst themselves. The bad thing about the games is that the capitol broadcasts the event on television reinforcing the idea that all the tributes are is entertainment for the capitol people.
The games themselves are a symbol of government control because of how the capitol’s gamemaker controls what will happen in the games. Whether or not who dies and a certain time or how they will die. To solidify this, a scene towards the beginning of when the games starts shows Katniss, the main character, is straying too far from the other tributes. The capitol’s head gamemaker realizes this and forces her closer with a giant wall of fire resulting in a severe injury where Katniss could have easily been killed. If the capitol wanted her dead, they could easily do that.
This gives off the impression to the country of Panem that they can do anything with their power to anyone they want to. A scene towards the middle of the film, where while during the actual games, the President of Panem states “take care of the problem” reffering to Katniss as “the problem. ” But, the game maker cannot do this and replies with “not yet, just let it play out” because of the fact that the citizens of Panem are rooting for her. By the game maker doing this, he implies that by giving the world a fan favorite, this will essentially gives them hope.
And the idea of killing their Hope, Katniss, will send the impression of ultimate power the Capitol possesses. Ross makes this seem like the government has unlimited power and are capable of showing this power at any given time. The Hunger Games themselves are actually an allegory of government control with the use of the power they poses. A part of the film where Gary Ross makes the government seem like they can do anything they please. Directly after the Hunger Games are over, the capitol punishes Katniss for her intolerable actions in the games.
Usually, the winner of the Hunger Games can no longer enter the games again and shall remain wealthy for the remainder of their lives. But, because of their power, the government twists this rule and has the winner of past games be re-entered into the reaping. Knowing that Katniss is the only girl to ever win from her district, the capitol knows she has to be picked to go back into the games. The capitol is pretty much implying that they can control a person no matter what the circumstances are.
With thirteen separate districts in the world of Panem and all of them having a certain resource that the Capitol government entitles them to make the districts may have the idea and feeling of freedom, but in all reality the people are being watched at every moment. By telling the districts to supply these resources for other districts, the government is giving them the impression that they are contributing to the country but they aren’t at in fact. They are just contributing to the capitol essentially making them poorer.
By putting this aspect in the film Gary Ross is giving off the impression that even though people do not know they are being controlled by the capitol, they actually are. Usually, the government is present to protect citizens from what is bad in the world but in the Hunger Games, this is not the case. The government in the Hunger Games strikes fear into the citizens. Ultimately, The Hunger Games themselves are an allegory of government control that the surrounding districts have no power over. And by utilizing this symbol, the citizens surely have no reaction towards this fact or so they know.
The Hunger Games. Gary Ross. 2012. Lionsgate. 2012. DVD

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