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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

What “The Hunger Games” can teach us about humanity 

How the popular series can play a role in analyzing current political events around the world 
Heroine Lucy Gray makes statements throughout the film regarding the need for love and compassion as opposed to evil. 

The hit series “The Hunger Games” recently released its prequel, “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” a film that shines a light on current moral and ethical dilemmas across the world. 

With the release of “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” viewers are given insight into the rise of the televised version of The Hunger Games and how President Snow came to reign over the country of Panem. 

Based on the novel by Suzanne Collins, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” follows Coriolanus Snow, otherwise known as President Snow, in the later parts of the series.  

Coriolanus aims to win the Plinth Prize scholarship to attend Capital University and restore his family’s honor. To do so, he must mentor a tribute participating in The Hunger Games who garners the most viewer attention.  

24 students, including Coriolanus, from the Capital Academy are chosen to mentor tributes of the tenth annual Hunger Games. Coriolanus is assigned to Lucy Gray Baird of District 12, a spitfire musician who wows the country of Panem with her original songs.  

The film follows the love story of Coriolanus and Lucy Gray, as well as how Coriolanus becomes the hated President Snow.  

Despite being written 15 years ago, “The Hunger Games” series remains successful in creating a conversation surrounding ethical and moral values in an authoritarian society.  

Members of the Districts of Panem are subject to being entered into a televised ceremony where they are forced to kill their peers or be killed. While innocent children are killing one another, the rich and powerful members of the Capital gather and place bets on which tributes will win the games.  

If a District member is to speak against the games, they will be hunted by soldiers from the Capital, referred to as the Peacemakers, and killed.  

From an ethical standpoint, the games are about teaching lesser members of society that it is better to fall into line than to stand up for what you believe is right.  

With the current war in Israel killing thousands of Gaza citizens in cold blood, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” could not seem to come at a more politically relevant time.  

Much like in “The Hunger Games,” higher political powers are turning the lives of citizens upside down. Millions are being subjected to the harshest conditions imaginable with no way of escaping the terrors.  

An ongoing battle between characters within “The Hunger Games” is the discussion of why the games are necessary. Characters such as Gamemaker Dr. Volumnia Gaul argue that the games are needed to maintain order among the citizens and to show them that they are not in control.  

Throughout the series, characters go against the idea of the games and press for the games to end, but to no avail. Despite backlash from the citizens of Panem, the games continue to thrive under the leadership of political members of the Capital.  

In a world riddled with war and crimes against humanity, it is important now more than ever for humans to analyze why we feel the need to have control over our peers. 

According to an article entitled “Born to Choose: The Origins and Value of the Need for Control” from the National Institute of Health, the perception of control may be adapted for survival, an adaptation adopted by humans to avoid being put into challenging situations.  

It is possible that organisms have adapted to find control rewarding – and its absence aversive – since the perception of control seems to play an important role in buffering an individual’s response to environmental stress,” the article stated.  

Humans strive to be able to control their environment to combat the unknown. But by doing so, humans struggle to release control, leading to hostile and dangerous situations. 

As time progresses, the attack on citizens in Gaza continues. Humans, more specifically humans in power, must learn how to relinquish control when necessary. 

Peace Pilgrim, a 1950s peace activist, was quoted saying, “Evil cannot be overcome by more evil. Evil can only be overcome by good. It is the lesson of the way of love”. This message is one that remains true until the end of time. 

Humans are capable of so much more than what is being displayed across the world. Let series such as “The Hunger Games” be a lesson to all that citizens will never back down against evil. 

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