Hunger Games: A Global Perspective
Hunger Games: A Global Perspective
The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins is very insightful on the global happenings in modern society. Though aimed to raise the consciousness of US citizens on societal ills, it is applicable to the entire of humanity. Collins shows how economic and technological factors are used to enslave the global population. Similarly, it highlights the privilege bestowed upon the United States and its effects negative and positive on the rest of the world. The intention is not merely rebuke rather to help the respective stakeholders of societal decay to recognize their folly and take strategic steps to rectify said wrongs. The Hunger Games illustrates that the present world is informed by class struggles and its economic repercussions, media fallacies, technological advancement and military coercion.
Among the dominating themes in the Hunger Games are the class divisions between the Capitol and the various districts of Panem. All of the inhabitants of the districts work for further the prosperity of the Capitol at their own expense. The gap between the rich and the poor is very prominent that it cannot be ignored. In the global scenario, the book reflects the Neo-Imperialistic tendencies of the United States and the rest of the prominent countries in the West. Similar, to the colonization era where the imperial powers drew raw materials from their respective colonies to feed their industries, the same feat is being replicated in contemporary society. The subliminal nature of this colonial bondage is aimed to minimize resistance. The West using the various Multinational Corporations manipulates the economies of unwitting developing nations, districts, to sustain their luxurious lifestyles back at home. The free markets are only a façade to rob these countries of their resources legally, an extractive model that aims to keep the current social structure intact. Juxtaposing the book with reality, the similarities become enhanced. For instance, in the Capitol the food is excess during their frequent celebrations the attendants vomit when full to ensure they have a taste of each delicacy present. On the other hand, the people in the districts are dying of starvation. In modern United States, among the greatest problems is obesity while starvation remains prevalent in the third world countries. In the Marxist tradition, the book implies that the proletariat aware of their deprived situation will eventually revolt to against the ruling class creating a new social order. Similar to Katniss leading the revolt against oppressive Snow regime, the youth in the Middle East have been in the forefront in restructuring their governments from what they perceive to be tyrannical rule.
The esteemed residents of the Capitol represent the residents of the Western nations who feign ignorance of their role in the ongoing predicaments facing the various third world countries. Akin to the donations the tributes were given by sponsors during the games, majority of these exploitative multinational corporations give a small amount of their profits to charity. The former was meant to increase the longevity of their source of entertainment while the latter is often utilized to build infrastructure that will facilitate further exploitation. Globalization has elevated the United States and its Western contemporaries to sponsors and the rest of society to becoming tributes. It follows that akin to the way the Katniss had to have a fiery dress to draw the sponsor’s attention; countries in Africa undertake costly projects to attract investors. Correspondingly, Katniss’ impression management entailed suppressing her principles and weaknesses. Majority of the third world countries pretend to subscribe to the West’s value system in its entirety even aspects like homosexuality that contravenes its cultural norms.
Globalization has coincided with the emergence of the media. In the Capitol, the media is utilized by Snow’s government to spread its propaganda of unity and bliss. The Media personality, Caesar Flickman attempts to create a façade that the games are an enjoyable event as per the president’s dictates. The government broadcasts that the game is meant to survive the legacies of the citizens who died in a previous unsuccessful revolt by the Panem citizens. The media has become the premier tool of public relations and it often depicts the inverse of the actual happenings on the ground. North Korea integrated the media into the government to use it to spread its propaganda to its citizens, for instance, to create an illusion of normalcy in the midst of starvation. The media in today’s society is used to manipulate the perceptions of the people. The US bombing of the Doctors without Borders hospital in Afghanistan was managed by the media to prevent heightening already volatile emotions. The US can control its impression globally owing to its access to the largest media stations in the world. The entertainment dominating the media is used as a distraction by incumbent governments globally to distract its citizens from their transgressions. The games were aimed prevent another revolt from occurring by distracting them and instilling fear.
The Hunger Games illustrates the economic liability war brings to the world. Instead of the government of Panem perpetually mobilizing to maintain dominance the districts, it would have invested these resources. By uplifting, the economies of these target districts, the government would have made willing servants as providing labor for Panem would be mutually beneficial. In contemporary society, Suzanne Collins highlights the dire need to divert efforts and resources from supporting wars to creating sustainable economies in the marginalized areas of the world. For instance, a tenth of the US military budget is twice the economical worth of several third world countries. Collins does not downplay the importance of the security apparatus rather she aims to an alternative to the destruction characteristic of war. The financial and human capital can be deployed towards constructive undertakings.
Technology is the key to global dominance. The arrow of Katniss is a stark contrast to the sophisticated gadgets wielded by the peacekeepers. The technological superiority of the capital establishes it at the zenith of the social stratum. In modern society, the same rule applies. The technologically advanced nuclear weapon created by US scientists decided the fate of World War II. It also left two of Japan’s cities in a similar condition with the novel’s district 13. The US’s constant innovation in all spheres from mechanics to internet-based technology has cemented its place as the global leader. Collins highlights that technology though innately neutral can be used to build or destroy. The Panem government used it to subjugate the masses. This is similar to the use of technology by Russia and even the US to spy on its citizens. The Arab spring has used technology like the internet to create awareness and mobilize the youths to overthrow oppressive regimes.
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