The Hunger Games, based on the series of novels by Suzanne Collin’s, is about a televised competition in which two teenagers are chosen at random to fight to the death. The film is “directed by Gary Ross, with a screenplay by Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins and Billy Ray, and produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik” (Hunger Games). The story follows the struggle of one girl, Katness Everdeen, who graciously takes the place of her younger sibling in the games. Thus, The Hunger Games is extraordinarily packed with deep sociological concepts and ideas within ‘hunger’, and can be better understood by applying these concepts and ideas within a sociological analysis of capitalism and economy, poverty, family, social control and cultural media.
CAPITALISM AND ECONOMY
Why is this film so rich in capitalism and economy? The ‘hunger’ of a society to flourish, to become rich, often leaves some behind. There will always be an uprising of those affected by this poverty of being left behind. Emily Gould of the New York Daily News suggests, “The Hunger Games is, at its core, a critique of winner-take-all capitalism — a writ-large version of the same struggle that’s given us the Occupy movement and the idea that America’s top 1% is ruling badly and unjustly, with disastrous consequences. Again and again, the books contrast Katniss’s poor but noble hometown, full of dying miners and starving children, with her country’s corrupt Capitol, a fortress city where overdressed aristocrats vomit during banquets in order to stuff themselves again” (3).
The economic status can explain a lot about the psychology behind the mind games; it is focused around a coal mine, the sort of service where unskilled labour could be highly effective in light of the worth of the underlying product. But rather the Capitol imposes just one customer of mine job and offers subsistence wages. Emigration to additional areas in research of better options is prohibited, as is exploitation of the seemingly bountiful assets of the encircling woods. Using the bulk of Seam workers struggling to get a good salary, even comparatively privileged townsfolk have small living requirements. If mineworkers made more cash, the Mellark family bakery might have more clients and much more motivation to purchase enlarged businesses. A developing service market would grow up round the mine. Nevertheless, the institutions maintain the whole Area in circumstances of poverty, regardless of the access to complex technologies in the Capitol. Thus, the economic status builds on the concept of ‘hunger’ within the poverty of this rich/poor economy.
Poverty in The Hunger Games can be analyzed by sheer survival. Hunger is both physical and psychological. While it is most commonly defined as a physical need to eat, it can also be a psychological desire to survive, meaning one must fight to survive and nourish their body. ‘Food’ and ‘fighting’ both stand out in the sociological concepts of poverty. For instance, the poor areas of residents don't have even enough to food to consume. Katniss notes that hunger is typical in the area she lives, and she's got to hunt illegally beyond the district's edges to nourish her family. The film implies that almost all of-the district's residents are unable to or do not understand the way to look, meaning even Katniss's family is still stricken with poverty. Moreover, all-but the most essential meals are luxuries. In comparison, when Katniss arrives in-the Capitol, she's dazzled by the magnificent feasts and elaborately prepared meals—she has never even had hot chocolate. The food in the Captiol area is ample and wealthy, while the outer districts suffer.
In fighting, the lottery by which people are selected to fight, is arbitrary yet the poor are most likely candidates. They're more prone to get picked as an effect—they are more likely to have the psychological drive to stay alive and will fight for it. Furthermore, since they're frequently trained to offer to indulge in The Hunger Games, the wealthy who do become tributes often have an added edge. They're hence more likely to endure, since they are well-nourished and fed. The wealthy are honored to compete, while the poor are malnourished could be walking to their death.
Family is essential for survival within The Hunger Games. From sisterhood to adopted tribute family, the games are just that—a game of survival and one must have family in order to do so in this film. The film build on the theme of Katniss taking Prim's position to save her existence, because she cannot imagine losing her sister. The sense of family in The Hunger Games, also lies in the simple non-abandonment of Prim. Katniss refused to leave her, to let her fight. The sense that family always has your back in a massive motive and sociological theme in this film as family can often be seen as the one true constant in many people’s lives—whether on screen or in life. The sociological concept is that family is there for you, simply because you are family. Therefore, the concept is wildly evident and a fire starter for the motive behind the whole film. Katniss’ ‘hunger’ grows with the thought of protecting her loved ones and makes her that much stronger in the Games.
Through physical appearance we can examine the concept of social control. Through the entire film, her group and Katniss use her outward look, including how she acts and what she claims, to manage how others see her. At the service, for example, she will not weep or be emotional, because she does not need to provide the impression of being poor. Katniss conceals her tears all through the Games for the same purpose, as self-pitying tributes are unappealing to supporters. A homage's look and behaviour can hence function as a considerable portion in their survival technique. Furthermore, at the opening service in the Games, the film highlights how important looks are by concentrating a good deal on Katniss's preparations--attracting interest is more than simply conceit within the Games, it is a way to have social control.
Cultural Media plays a very big part in the sociological impact of The Hunger Games, because the actual Games depict suffering and anguish as mass entertainment, and the more the tributes endure, ideally in conflict together, the more enjoyable the Games become. The primary pull within the Hunger Games is its voyeurism; in this case it is seeing the tributes, who are obviously kids, combating and dying. Katniss focuses on previous Games and what made them effective or not so much, this drives her ‘hunger’ to survive. Thus, a repeating theme develops within ‘hunger’ being that the audience must see this anguish and mutilation to provide a lengthy suffering to keep the audience entertained. The suffering must be physical and emotional, too.
In conclusion, we examine education. Not in the sense that it was represented sociologically in the film, but in the sense that the film itself can have a sociological and psychological impact on the education of young people today. Often films and books are “important tools that propel thematic questions about identity, sacrifice, survival and, ironically enough, the decivilizing effect of violence” (Rosenthall). They are used in education to help understand, for instance, the capitalism that is evident in today’s economy.
However, some disagree with the use of some media, due to its violent nature. “Jeanne Brockmyer, a psychologist and professor at the University of Toledo, said the educational benefit of controversial books and movies depends on how they are used in the classroom” (Rosenthall). Using The Hunger Games as a teaching tool can help young people understand concepts that can often surpass their knowledge, because it is not taught in a visual form. Thus, it is in my opinion that The Hunger Games is an extraordinary way to teach young people about deep sociological concepts and ideas, and how these concepts of capitalism and economy, poverty, family, social control and cultural media affect us today.
Gould, Emily. The real target of ‘The Hunger Games’: Why Americans
young and old are so hungry for this story. New York Daily News. 25
March 2012. Web. 15 June. 2013. <http://www.nydailynews.com>
The Hunger Games Film Official Website. The Hunger Games Network.
Lionsgate Entertainment 2012. Web. 15 June. 2013.
Rosenthall, Brian M. Schools debate educational value of 'The Hunger
Games'. The Seattle Times. 20 March 2012. Web. 15 June. 2013.