MissRepresentation in Hunger Games Catching Fire

In Catching Fire we see the predicted future of Katniss as a leader of a revolution; a prediction that is greeted with backlash and rejection from elite males. Motivated by fear, the elite class attempts to manipulate Katniss’ image using the public eye. President Snow and the Gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee, discuss how to manipulate the already controlled media to focus on Katniss’ wedding and romance. Their choices were intended to destruct her District 12 identity, to eliminate her as a symbol of hope and to construct her as “one of them” by producing abundant images of her shopping for expensive dresses and attending higher District events.

President and Plutarch Heavensbee’s discussion of how to use the media deeply resembles the nature of contemporary media. The characters of Effie Trinket and Caesar Flickerman embody familiar figures of contemporary media: Ceasar and Plutarch Heavensbee could easily host Entertainment Tonight, and Effie could the publicist of young and desired artist. I also read the role of the media in Catching Fire as resembling America’s hesitation to have female political leaders, and how the media so often serves as a tool to promote this hesitation.

The very deliberate content of how President Snow wanted to change Katniss’ image resembles the way Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, and Sarah Palin’s images have been twisted in the media. The way Hillary Clinton’s paint suits, Sharah Palin’s rumored breast implants and accusations of Condoleeza Rice’s being a dominantrix have taken precedence over their political beliefs and goals. When trivial subjects as paints suits and breast implants are ingrained into the identity of female politicians, the idea of a successful female politician as president becomes dismissive.

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Unfortunately, liberal views toward women in political positions has steadily declined since 1994, and in parallel, the number of women in state positions has also declined. We’ve discussed how women are portrayed in images of the media quite a lot, but the discourse around women in politics is just as horrifying and influential. The trailer for the documentary Miss Representation highlights these problems in the media:

Hunger games as a whole has been argued to resemble modern class systems and inequality, the video The Hunger Games Are Real demonstrates some of the other similarities:

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One thought on “MissRepresentation in Hunger Games Catching Fire

  1. Regarding your mention of how the images of Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, and Sarah Palin are represented (or misrepresented) in the media, I am reminded of how Princess Kate has been portrayed as a beacon of properness, poise, and fashion. How easy it is to distract the public with the prospects of a royal wedding as it was with the engagement of Katniss and Peeta.

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