The media affects people’s thinking patterns about the world. Whether music, television, books or music, people tend to believe the published or broadcasted materials. It challenges people’ belief system and causes them to divert their attention to a world of illusions. The illusions make them think that the actions depict reality. By watching reality television, viewers deem the world to be just as the characters in the production display it. Despite the entertainment and enlightenment, they provide to the viewers, reality television have notable negative aspects. Reality television focuses on conflicts rather than pacified lifestyles since it is produced to be entertaining. However, viewers perceive the world to be chaotic and full of conflicts as they watch the productions consistently. This also negatively affects how they act in their particular societies. In her book Hunger Games, Collins (2012) warns people about the dangers of popular media by showing how viewers are swayed by what they see. While other districts enjoy the reality broadcast of the tributes attempting to kill each other, District 12 engages in a riot to protest the killings.
People can be divided by race, territory, ethnicity, social class, gender, educational background, income status, religion and political dimension. Such factors make them identifiable in any given society. The world of Panem is divided into twelve districts subject to the government known as Capitol. This is similar in the real life situation where there are countries divided into cities and states and controlled by a superior authority or the government. According to Collins (2012), the districts have a past of rebelling against Capitol, the government of Panem and their present is characterized by a punishment of chosen children who are supposed to kill each other in the annual hunger games. Panem is under the dictatorship of President Snow. In a real life setting, the government controls the citizens by ensuring that they uphold the law. Failure to that invites penalties such as imprisonment or other penal rulings. Just as Panem, countries in the real world are led by presidents.
Throughout history of Panem’s Hunger Games, District 2 and 3 are normally victorious. District 12 might have one winner in history because not all previous tributes were successful to be victors in all the past Hunger Games. The advantage District 1, 2 and 3 have over District 12 is that the three districts have many resources therefore giving the tributes opportunities to train well and be fit for the fight. The three Districts were wealthier and they had more supplies than District 1, therefore, Collins (2012) shows the unequal distribution of resources in the society. The wealthy people progress while the poor continue to wallow in poverty yet they participate in the same activities.
Those competing in the Hunger Game are children who have no choice in their participation. Collins (2012) shows that children are obliged to follow the societal rules and culture despite the uncomfortable conditions they are subjected to in their lives. A child does not have a say in the community because he or she is regarded as an immature individual who cannot make the decisions for him or herself. Each family from each district must give up their child at the age of 13 for the selection process of tributes. Being an annual culture, children became accustomed to the requirement and process and they had no choice but to adhere to rules. Collins (2012) also shows how the welfare and desires of children are ignored by superior people in the society. It is very difficult for children to make their own decisions because of the culture they are accustomed to and the adverse circumstances that oblige them to participate in the stipulated activities.
The Capitol under President Snow is focused to punish the people of Panem because of a past rebellion. The children at stake are innocent, yet the government subjects them to a dangerous activity that is considered as ‘commemoration’. It sponsors the reality broadcast of the fighting tributes to serve as entertainment for the rich Districts. In addition, it in considerate of the frustrated families from poor districts who surrender their children for dangerous fighting that can lead to death. Collins (2012) seems to be satirical about such governmental practices. According to her, the government should develop all segments of its territory. Instead of favoring the higher social class, it should foster universal improvement and ensure that every individual is well catered for in every situation. District 12 is the poorest among the districts and is still underdeveloped. The president practices authoritarian rule that limits the free will of the subjects. Collins (2012) believes the government should be more concerned with improving the living standards of its citizens than practicing full control over them. Countries such as the United States apply democracy in the government allowing citizens to realize their freedom though with logical limitations.
As of April 2010, the unemployment rate in the United States was 9.5% and up to date, the rate of unemployment is disheartening. Nevertheless, America is still regarded as a place that offers opportunity. Unemployment rate is prevalent in the United States because the country is still experiencing a weak economy that resulted from the global recession. Fifty one percent of most Americans will live in poverty before the age of 65 years because the cost of living is higher than the wages paid to the workforce. Therefore, most families are put in the low-income category. In relation to Panem, in the past, District 13 rebelled because of high unemployment rates, exploitation and poor living conditions such as lack of food. Lac k of unemployment leads to poverty hence, rebellion and unlawful acts. District 13 was destroyed.
Collins (2012) tells us directly that a small girl in District 12, Katniss, has very limited chances of winning as compared to a strong boy from District 2. However, towards the end of the novel, Katniss becomes the first victor in the history of District 12. According to Collins (2012), Katniss possesses skills such perfect aiming with her bow and arrow, good fighting techniques, she was intelligent and brave. Collins (2012) children can perform unimaginable activities and put more effort to become great people despite their low status in the society. This story changes the perception of people in gender roles by asserting that girls and women also have the will power to be great people in the society.
Collins, S. (2012). The Hunger Games: Movie Tie-In Edition. Scholastic Inc.