CO2520W – 4/9/2014
03_01; Perception and Societal Factors
The major motion picture, The Hunger Games is about a futuristic society that has been broken into districts resulting in competition and fear. The society has created its own culture and social structure which is impacted by their historical events, the role of power, social comparison, and the different social roles that the people have taken on as their culture changed.
The film is based in the future where twelve districts attempted to change the social hierarchy of power and failed. The capitol (the highest societal group) annually remembers the defeat of the districts rebellion by forcing members of each district to fight to the death in a gladiatorial combat which is aired for all to see, dubbed “The Hunger Games.” This was initially started as a punishment for the districts. Just as the authors of Human Communication in Society state about the events of September 11th changing the perceptions of Americans the people of the districts are affected by the oppression that came from the defeat of the rebellion (Alberts, Nakayama, & Martin, 2010). The people of the districts, particularly district 12, question and are apprehensive of the people in the capitol. This not only represents the role of time period but also impacts that role of power.
The established hierarchy of power presents the capitol as higher and the districts as working class and lower into poverty. Those in the districts have very little power and many feel that they have no power at all. In the early scenes of the film Katniss, the female lead, expresses the desire to leave and not be governed by the capitol but feels that she does not have the ability to leave without being persecuted. Katniss’ perception of the capitol is that they are restrictive and that they allow her no freedom. The capitol controls all of the food and materials that flow throughout the districts. The capitol’s perception is that they know what the districts need and control it so that the districts are not able to rebel again. The people of the capitol have a higher perceived self-worth than those in the districts.
Multiple times in the film someone from the capital says “Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor.” (Ross, 2012) establishing their interest in the games as one of enjoyment for them and generosity towards the districts. The people of the capitol are very ethnocentric, “viewing one’s own group as the standard against which all other groups are judged” (Alberts, Nakayama, & Martin, 2010), pushing their beliefs and rules onto the people of the districts as the only proper way to live. The districts have developed their own prejudices of the districts in relation to their occupation. Each district has an economical focus and that is the trade occupations of each district making the districts rely on the capitol to provide them with the other necessary goods for survival. District one, the closest to the capitol, is luxury and the second district is masons which are the most recognizes portions of the society within the capital. Due to the