Rebellion Against The Capitol In The Hunger Games

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Forbidden Rebellion
How is it possible that one force can rule over a group more than double its size? In Suzanne Collins’ novel, The Hunger Games, there are 12 districts of many people ruled by one force known as The Capitol. The country is run is a Marxist manner: The Capitol serves as the bourgeoisie of Panem, and the districts serve as the proletariat. The Capitol controls every move the districts make, punishes every act of rebellion, and kills off innocent people just to show their power and control. Many characters act as a symbol of rebellion against the Capitol. Katniss goes outside her district walls and hunts for food, Cinna makes the bold move of asking to makeover District 12, and District 12 as a whole uses symbols, not words, to express their rebellion. Through all of these characters, it is seen how the Capitol acts as a controlling power, and how the citizens are silently rebelling in a way the Capitol can see but do nothing about. The Capitol is all knowing, all seeing, and all hearing. They can sense rebellion and make no hesitation to act upon it. Katniss magnifies this concept when she says: “When I was little, I scared my mother to death, the things I would blurt out…about the people who rule our country…I understood this would only lead to more trouble…so I learned to hold my tongue,” (Collins 5). Katniss reveals to us that no matter how young or small, the Capitol will not hesitate to punish, or even kill any sign of rebellion. Her mother’s fear exemplifies how afraid the citizens of the districts of Panem are of their rulers in the Capitol. This can also be seen in Foucault’s writing, “Panopticism.” Just as the citizens fear the Capitol can see them even though they usually can’t, the prisoners within the panoptic mechanism think they are constantly being watched but can’t see who is watching or if they are watching, “he is seen, but he does not see” (Foucault 287). The citizens of District 12 think that the Capitol can see everything, but they can only see the Capitol to an extent. They cannot see if the Capitol is watching, but they know that they are being watched, just like within a panoptic mechanism. They can see the actions taken to keep them in line. This constant fear of being watched makes everyone paranoid and careful. One wrong word or statement could end their life. The reaping is an annual occurrence to keep tabs on the citizens, a way for the bourgeoisie to keep track of the proletariat. It is a time where two tributes from each district are chosen as sacrifice, to die for their home. Attendance at the reaping is mandatory. If unaccounted for the “Officials will come around and check to see if this is the case. If not, you’ll be imprisoned.” This is another example of how the citizens are controlled immensely by the Capitol (Collins 16). In a Marxist society, the Bourgeoisie keeps tabs on the Proletariat to ensure that no one is out missing. A missing person could mean rebellion because if they are missing from the square and then not in their home, then they must be trying to escape or are challenging authority in some way. The Capitol makes the citizens attend, even if they can’t be chosen as a way of “reminding us that we are at their mercy” (Collins 18). The reaping and the Hunger Games are designed to do remind everyone that they are weak and have no chance against the strong Capitol. The Reaping and the Hunger Games are designed to show that rebellion equals destruction of the entire district. They are designed to ensure that any thoughts of rebellion are erased by the fear instilled annually by the reaping and the Hunger Games. Just like in a panoptic mechanism, the prisoners are discouraged from rebelling by the fear grinded into their minds that they are always being watched by the guard. This constant fear keeps them in line, just like the districts fear the Capitol’s power brought on by the Hunger Games. The Hunger Games are not only...
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