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The Hunger Games Revolution and How it is Similar to History

Updated on June 16, 2020
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Threats, inequality, violence… Most revolutions are sparked by these factors acting towards the people. The French Revolution of 1787, the American Revolution in 1775, the Mexican Revolution in 1910… all primitive causes of these none-coordinated revolutions are disdain toward the regime and their jurisdictions. The people’s will of overthrowing these traditions can and often do lead to unstoppable and usually violent revolutions. With revolutions come symbolism, sacrifice, and loss. The Hunger Games is a good fictional illustration. District by district, people began to perceive the pressure among them and how the government devises divergence within the country. Like in a pool of water, once you exceeded the limit it can hold, the water spills, and there are no stopping it.

Imbalances In the Hunger Games

During Volume one of the Hunger Games, we get to see inequality through Panem. The Capitol, District one, and District two were flourishing. Having an endless source of food and entertainment, they had never endured poverty. The other districts, however, are suffering from diseases, starvation, and freezing. The people of the Capitol had special drinks that make you puke just so you can taste all the foods in a feast. In District twelve, Katniss seemed astonished to the big chunk of dry bread Gale gave her. Inequality plays a significant role in sparking the revolution. People are displeased with the Capitol—with huge resources, they still prefer watching their people die of starvation than sharing even an inconsiderate portion of food.

Real-life imbalances

Looking back in history, many revolutions are results of imbalances… The French Revolution of 1787 was the reaping of inequality throughout society. There were three groups of people in France—the ministry, the nobles, and the poor civilians that made up the majority of the nation. One equality was with tax-paying. The first two groups were unrequited to pay taxes, while the third group, with widows and poor peasants, paid an unbearable amount of taxes. Even within the third group, some regions were free from taxes, producing even more inequality. Just like District twelve, the poor and weak were required to give what little they have left to those that find such supplies inconspicuous


Symbolism--unity of the mind

In the second movie of the Hunger Games, we (spoiler alert) later find out that the new Game Maker and half the tributes attending the Quarter Quell were willing to risk their life for Katniss, who became the new spark of hope to the people. “We had to save you because you're the Mockingjay, Katniss. While you live, the revolution lives.” Those words, by Plutarch, was enough to show us how Katniss, who dared to stand up against the Capitol in the first Hunger Games, became an indispensable part of a revolution—hope. The Girl on Fire… the Mockingjay… No matter what she’s called or what she’s dressed in, Katniss became the center of the revolution, and the Capitol knows that. That’s why they never ceased trying to break her name or kill her. Not only Katniss but also the creature Mockingjay became a symbol of unity and hope. As a hybrid creature that broke free from the Capitol’s control, it symbolized how the Capitol has no right to control all living beings.

"Mockingjay" in history

In the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin created “the Snake” as a symbol of unity among the Colonies. According to a myth of that time, if you put the parts of a snake together after cutting them, they can grow back. Franklin’s symbol is eight pieces of a rattle-snake (eight colonies) placed near each other, about to grow back (unite). He also wrote in an article that this is the perfect symbol because:

1. A snake never attacks before warning.

2. A snake hides its deadliest weapon; a small bite can be lethal.

3. No eye-lids means it is always on the watch.

4. A snake never starts an attack, but once in battle, it doesn’t surrender.

Although the success of the revolution is not to be seen until a very long time, the snake did its job of uniting the people just like the Mockingjay gave hope to the districts.

Benjamin Franklin's snake

Unity in the destricts

Unity is a big part of people’s desire. With different desires, no revolutions can spark. In fact, it can cause chaos. It is important for something or someone to bring people to a common goal. In the Hunger Games, that is Katniss bringing unity among the districts, among the tributes, and unity with the government and the people. Before the Quarter Quell, Katniss, the Mockingjay, brought unity throughout the districts, giving them the hope for a rebellion. Since all tributes (ex-victors) were angry about the Quarter Quell, they united as a group, not as enemies. A common light bonded the people together, and even in the games, they sacrificed themselves for one another. People with very different personalities, hobbies, and histories all came together to work towards a common goal.

Together we make changes

We can see how a common will contributes to revolutions in history. The Egyptian Revolution is a clear example. It started with different groups, separated by their beliefs. But they have a common goal: to receive freedom, not dictatorship. This idea acted as the “Mockingjay” for Egypt. People started uniting, and their common desire led to the abdication of Mubārak, the dictator. The documentary “The Square” has shown us the unity of the Muslims, the Christians, and atheists. Despite their differences, their desire for freedom is more powerful than threats made by the dictator or guns pointed by the military. Like in the Hunger Games, they are bonded by a common desire that led them to victory.

© 2020 Gilmore Env


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