examine how suzanne collin’s novel represents a dystopian world
Dystopias are characterised by societal control enforced by a dominating bureaucracy and relentless regulations. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collin’s exemplifies the disunity between the presiding Capitol and the proletarian Districts through their overpowering authority and perpetual scrutiny over the citizens of Panem. The dystopian world is reinforced through the segregation of the Capitol and the Districts. Disparity between the distribution of resources highlights the social inequality that exists in Panem. It is further emphasised with the hypocrisy of the annual Games and the contrivances of the Capitol which implies that the citizens of the Districts are inferior and undeserving of luxury. The dystopian world displayed in The Hunger Games can only be entrenched solidly in society when there is a higher and omnipresent power controlling every minute detail of life.
The dystopian world has been extensively represented through the theme of surveillance. The idea of constant surveillance causes a huge sense of paranoia and fear and therefore, people behave differently and conform their attitudes to the likes of the Capitol. Katniss often censors her words and conceals her emotions. This is apparent when Katniss says “District Twelve. Where you can starve to death in safety.” Then she quickly glances over her shoulder because as she explains, even in the middle of nowhere, you worry someone might overhear you. It is incredibly ironic that Katniss believes you can starve to death quite peacefully in District Twelve. The fact that Katniss has to make sure that no one hears her, even in the middle of nowhere depicts how strongly the Capitol uses the control tactic of surveillance. This quote emphasises the hypocrisy of the Capitol as they offer safety and protection, all while subjecting its citizens to starvation. Another quote that reinforces this recurring theme of surveillance is “I feel certain I’m still holding the screen in the Capitol. So I’m careful to continue to hide my emotions.” The visual imagery we are directed towards of Katniss’s face on the large screens in Panem affirms how she consistently has to conceal her emotions even in states of weakness and vulnerability in order to avoid playing into the Capitol’s games. Katniss’s desire to conceal her emotions accentuates her need to rebel.
Developing this sense of paranoia in the citizens of a country prevents any sort of rebellious or free thinking that would dismember the facade of a utopia which is a key element in a dystopian world.
The societal division of the Capitol and the Districts remains rigid through the dehumanisation of the citizens of the Districts which renders the dystopian world in the Hunger Games stronger. By sowing division among Panem, the citizens are easier to control and manipulate. The biggest example of societal division and dehumanisation is that of the Hunger Games itself. By throwing two...