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The Hunger Games
Transcript of The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games
symbols and their meaning
District 12 is the poorest district in the nation of Panem and is divided in four different areas: the Seam, the Merchant Section, the Victors' Village, and the Hob. In these areas are living people from different classes, but all of them, some more some less, are suffering from hunger. They have to starve, not only in District 12, but in all the other districts too, while people in the Capitol live to their fullest.
The population of Panem is unhappy, angry, frighted, sick, dying and scared. The day Katniss Everdeen volunteered for her sister, she unknowingly "provided a spark, that left unattended, may grow in an inferno that [could] destroy[...] Panem" (Catching Fire p. 31, l. 20 - 23).
"Prim!" The strangled cry comes out of my throat, and my muscles begin to move again. "Prim!" I don't need to shove through the crowd. The other kids make way immediately allowing me a straight path to the stage. I reach her just as she is about to mount the steps. With one sweep of my arm, I push her behind me. "I volunteer!" I gasp. "I volunteer as tribute!" (The Hunger Games p. 5, l. 14 - 20)
At the end of Games: Peeta and Katniss are the only ones left. Katniss feels like this is their only solution: eating the Nightlocks, but before their were able to kill themselves, they are announced as the winners of the 74th Hunger Games.
Katniss is the first voluteer District 12 has ever seen. It is not common, because the chance to survive the Hunger Games are slim. Only one tribute (in District 12) before survived this, Haymitch Abernathy. When Katniss volunteered she expresses her unconditional love for her younger sister and excepts her fate. This act, so pure and selfless, stirs an emotion in District 12.
“Then something unexpected happens. At least, I don't expect it because I don't think of District 12 as a place that cares about me. But a shift has occurred since I stepped up to take Prim's place, and now it seems I have become someone precious. At first one, then another, then almost every member of the crowd touches the three middle fingers of their left hand to their lips and holds it out to me. It is an old and rarely used gesture of our district, occasionally seen at funerals. It means thanks, it means admiration, it means good-bye to someone you love.” (The Hunger Games p. 29, l. 3 - 13)
World beyond District 12
Katniss - "The girl on fire"
Revolutionary symbol in our society
At the beginning of the Games there is always a parade, in which each district has to be represented by the districts tributes. In Katniss case, it's the industry of coal mining. But this year, the stylists wanted to do something different. By putting Katniss in outfits which are set in flames and glows like fire, Katniss got her name "The girl on fire".
For an outsider it represents only fire, but for the people in the Districts, it means so much more. It symbolize the spark of the rebellion, the power of Katniss and her fearlessness of the Capitol.
... represents survival, the world beyond District 12, danger and rebellion.
When Katniss was a young girl, her dad thought her how to hunt and survive in the forest. After he died, Katniss was responsible for her younger sister and mother. So only because of her knowledge and her skills, she was able to feed her family and survive the Hunger Games.
World beyond District 12
As a kid Katniss spend a lot of time in the woods, its a place where she allows herself to feel happiness and content. It's the place where she spend lot of time with her dad and still feels, after his death, connected with him.
Danger - District 12
District 12 is surrounded by a fence, so every time Katniss goes in the forest, she risks her life.
Danger - Hunger Games
This years Hunger Games are in the woods. Katniss safe place becomes her living hell.
Katniss illegally hunts in the forest, an act of rebellion.
... represents defiance in the novel.
The mockingjay was a result of a failed project by the Capitol to spy on the rebellious districts and since then the bird has served as a reminder of this failure and the districts’ recalcitrance. Katniss once describes them as “[...] funny birds and something of a slap in the face to the Capitol." (The Hunger Games p. 51 , l. 24 - 25)
After the reaping Mags, a friend of Katniss, gives her a mockinjay pin. At first it is an emblem of that resistance. Later in the novel, however, the birds come to symbolize a different sort of defiance.
Rue - Mockingjay
Rue, also an tribute, had formed an alliance with Katniss Everdeen in the Games. Rue decided to trust Katniss partly because of the pin she wore over her heart, the famous mockingjay pin.
After the two of them became ally, the Mockingjays become a link between Katniss and Rue, with the two using the birds to communicate. When Rue dies, Katniss decorates her body with flowers as a means of memorializing Rue, but also to defy the Capitol. When Katniss later sees mockingjays, they remind her of Rue and that memory inevitably stirs her hatred of the Capitol and her wish to rebel, and take revenge, against it.
The mockingjay consequently takes on an additional layer of symbolism, representing not only a general rebellion against the Capitol, but also Katniss’s specific desire to defy it.
Salute - Mockingjay - Rebellion
Her attempt to eat the Nightlocks and therefore killing themselves are another act of rebellion. Katniss made a fool out of the Capitol, the rules and President Snow, but she also shows the districts that there is hope, that you can fight.
"the girl on fire"
Katniss is the symbol of rebellion. She symbolize hope, braveness and the future. She was the one brave enough to go against the Capitol and set a rebellion in motion.
Katniss is the mockingjay.
Collins, S. (2008): The Hunger Games (= The Hunger Games trilogy). United States. 5.
Collins, S. (2008): The Hunger Games (= The Hunger Games trilogy). United States. 29.
Collins, S. (2008): The Hunger Games (= The Hunger Games trilogy). United States. 51.
Collins, S. (2009): Catching Fire. (= The Hunger Games trilogy). United States. 31.
Oxford Advanced Learner´s Dictionary, 8th edition (2010).
The Hunger Games (2012). G. Ross. United States. (youtube clips)
The Hunger Games: catching Fire (2013). F. Lawrence. United States. (youtube clips)
Revolutionary symbol in our society
The raised fist is a symbol of solidarity and support. It is also used as a salute to express unity, strength, defiance, or resistance.
... represent unity or solidarity, generally with oppressed peoples.
The black fist (= Black Power fist) is a logo generally associated with black nationalism and sometimes socialism.
The white fist (= White Power fist ) is a logo generally associated with white nationalism.
The meaning can vary based on context.
Example: At the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, medal winners John Carlos and Tommie Smith gave the raised fist salute during the American national anthem as a sign of black power, and as a protest on behalf of the Olympic Project for Human Rights. For this, they were banned from further Olympic activities. The event was one of the most overtly political statements in the history of the modern Olympic Games. Tommie Smith stated in his autobiography, "Silent Gesture", that the salute was not a Black Power salute, but in fact a human rights salute.
John Carlos and Tommie Smith (1968, Summer Olymips)
a human rights salute
"Anders Behring Breivik gives white-power salute, smiles in court as he is convicted in bomb and gun attacks that killed 77 people in Norway." (Daily News, 2012)
After being sentenced to life imprisonment in the Rivonia trial, Mandela and seven other men leave the Palace of Justice in Pretoria 16 June 1964 with their fists raised in defiance through the barred windows of the prison car.
Years later, Nelson Mandela and his wife still raises their fists. After being in prison for 27 years, he is still fighting.