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Updated by Kendra Brea Cooper on Nov 20, 2014
Headline for Watching the Hunger Games: 10 Things We Can Learn From the Hunger Games Trilogy
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Watching the Hunger Games: 10 Things We Can Learn From the Hunger Games Trilogy

Mockingjay Part one is set to be released on Nov. 21, and it's one of the most anticipated films of the season. Within the story we have an opportunity to reflect on our own society.

1

The Power of an Event

The Power of an Event

Philosopher Slavoj Zizek has discussed how an event "shatters ordinary life", and even without big changes, nothing after the event is the same. Katniss took a created "event" like the Hunger Games and changed it forever with the option of double suicide for her and Peeta. It was a moment significant enough to spark the thoughts of a revolution.

3

An Idea

An Idea

There is a struggle between the poorer districts and the Capital, not over Katniss, but over the idea of Katniss. Snow wants to incorporate the idea of her by making her look like "one of us", while the other districts see her as the figurehead for resistance. The flood of historical memories of revolution came through her the moment she resisted the created outcome of the games, and the narrative of the Capitol. She brought hope. While the Capitol intends on killing her "the right way", they forget that you can kill a person, but you cannot kill an idea.

10

The Power of Narrative

The Power of Narrative

In the book Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution, narrative analysis is the "recognition that the currency of a story is not truth, but meaning". Within the story, there is an obvious control anxiety over the image of Katniss and Peeta to make sure the narrative stays a love story, rather than a story of resistance.

2

Speciesism

Speciesism

In the beginning of Catching Fire, Katniss and Gale are spending time in the woods together before she has to leave for a production. Gale complains about wild turkeys bravely crossing his path without caring, and with a seemingly sarcastic response, Katniss says "how rude of them". Struggling with her trauma of being hunted by others during the Hunger Games, Katniss knows what it feels like to be treated as less of a human for not only being part of the game, but also for being poor. During that moment in the woods, she connects with animals on a different level.

4

Public Punishment and Martyrdom

Public Punishment and Martyrdom

In Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, philosopher Foucault discusses how public punishments did little to maintain fear, and only led to more riots in support of the prisoner. In Catching Fire, the peacemakers attempt to use public punishment to scare any potential agitator only makes the crowd tighter and stronger.

5

A Fault in Every System

A Fault in Every System

If we're talking about social constructs here, and in the case of the Hunger Games we are, we know that what is constructed by humans can be torn down by them. For this story, the class system, the propaganda, and the fear rest upon a very fragile construct: Performance.

Feminism?

An article in "The Last Psychiatrist" blog brings up some interesting points about feminism, fairy tales, and agency. This book reflects much of what we struggle with in our own society, and this article gives us another angle of the story that suggests her "chief weapon isn't a bow, it's her appearance".

Hunger Games Fan Fiction

Fan fiction has this incredible way of reflecting what a story really means to its fan base. Characters and stories get remixed into new tales, but with the Hunger Games, the topic of revolution is usually on the table (computer screen). These stories might contain the hopes and dreams of a future for ourselves, and these stories also show us another world is possible.

Hunger Games used in the Classroom

In the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, an article was published about how the Hunger Games could be used to teach school children about real world issues like child labour and poverty. It might be a good attempt at bridging fiction and reality, and steering the influences of pop culture in a good direction.

Pop Culture Symbols and Real Life Social Action

The struggle is real and the three finger symbol is being used as a representation of resistance in Thailand. A symbol like this already carries its own meaning, but can be attached.