The Film The Hunger Games Essay

1856 words - 8 pages

The film The Hunger Games, released in 2012 and based off the first book of a literary trilogy, has become a source of entertainment and intrigue among many Americans. Featuring a futuristic and dystopian United States, it has captured the imagination for some and kindled a intense obsession for others. While on the surface this movie might seem to simply be a story with a riveting plot line about young love, vicious combat, and survival, it is much more than that. As most films do, if one takes a closer look, The Hunger Games gives rise to multiple sociological patterns and themes. If one observes with an informed and critical eye, sociological issues that are embedded in the film are ...view middle of the document...

As they go back and forth about their dreary futures, Katniss proclaims, "I'm never having kids." This challenges the social norm of a "typical" female's desire to grow up, have a family, and have kids. Although this could be seen as a result of the context in which these characters find themselves, this proclamation by Katniss sheds light on the possibility that she thinks there could be more to life than just having kids. However, this statement could also be enforcing social norms. Katniss, who is presumably supposed to want kids as a woman in this story's society, might be stating that, although she wants to have kids, cannot do so. This could be a result of the fact that she does not feel that she could properly care for them, or that her world in which she lives is not fit to be the home of her potential offspring.
Another instance in which Katniss's character challenges gender roles is when Katniss finds the wounded, suffering Peeta and saves his life. This goes against the typical concept of a male being the stronger, more protective of the two sexes. When Peeta suggests that Katniss needs to look out for herself, Katniss utterly dismisses the thought: "No, I'm not gonna leave you. I'm not gonna do that." Instead of Peeta riding in on a horse in shining knight's armor, he is portrayed to be weak and vulnerable, dependent on Katniss's cunning and skill to save him. Within this situation, female gender roles are also enforced. Along with coming to Peeta's rescue, Katniss nurses him back to health by tending to his wounds. In order to achieve that, however, she must risk her life to retrieve the badly needed medicine from the Cornucopia which is an example of her strength and fortitude. This is yet another example of her character's defiance of gender roles.
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A comparison can be made regarding gender roles in this movie and in contemporary society in the sense that there is a undoubted presence of a male hierarchy in The Hunger Games. Besides the fact that the main character Katniss is female, males occupy multiple positions of power and importance in this film and in its social structure. The following roles are filled by male individuals: President Snow, the game maker Seneca Crane, Katniss's mentors Haymitch and Cinna, and the leader of the first alliance in the hunger games, Cato. President Snow represents and maintains ultimate control of this futuristic society, just as men have ultimate control over contemporary society. Seneca Crane plays the role of game maker and carries out the "dirty work" for the president, just as many corrupted male businessmen do so in today's society. Haymitch and Cinna both act as wise males who gives Katniss the knowledge she needs to survive just as predominately men in society are expected to have all the answers to the current problems. Cato is the ultimate example of a jock, an equivalent of a stereotypical buff, overbearing football player in high school that maintains his status through...

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