The hunger Games took the world by storm with the theatrical release of the first installment in 2012. While Suzanne Collins’ dystopian novels were already popular, the new film brought the series even more fame and attention. Likewise, the sequences Catching Fire, Mockingjay Part 1, and Part 2 all performed well at the box office. The hunger Games set the standard for a new generation of dystopian sci-fi YA films, and following its success, Hollywood adapted similar dystopian sci-fi books like Divergent and The maze Runner in movies.
Like the first hunger games was released in 2012, it’s been 10 years since Katniss Everdeen first appeared on the big screen. Today, the books and movies continue to be popular, as evidenced by the success of Suzanne Collins’ 2020 prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Serpents, which is confirmed for a film adaptation as production ramps up on the prequel. Although there were dozens of YA fiction films before the film’s release and many after, The hunger Games differs from them for several reasons.
Symbolism of flowers in The Hunger Games
Perhaps the most interesting elements of The hunger Games The novels and movies that set this series apart from other YA series is the use of symbols. Throughout the series, there are frequent references to flowers, bread, and mockingjay. First, let’s look at the importance of flowers. For starters, there are several key characters named after flowers: Katniss, Primrose, and Rue.
Katniss, the story’s protagonist and heroine, is portrayed as small but well fed due to her ability to feed herself and her family. The Katniss plant has many names, including duck potato, swan potato, arrowhead, and Sagittaria, its Latin name, which refers to an archer in the signs of the zodiac. Archery happens to be Katniss’ specialty. In the wild, the katniss plant typically grows in moist areas but is an adaptable survivor, much like Katniss. Its leaves are edible, although it is especially appreciated for its roots which are nutritious and whose taste is comparable to that of a sweet potato.
Katniss’ younger sister, Primrose, is described as sweet and delicate, blonde, and blue-eyed. Evening primrose, or Oenothera biennis, is a medicinal plant, often referred to as “the king’s panacea”, and is a softening agent. This reflects Primrose’s personality, as she has a knack for healing, unlike Katniss who has a knack for hunting.
During the games, Katniss meets Rue, a 12-year-old female tribute from District 11. The pair form an alliance, but Rue does not make it out of the games alive. Rue grass, Ruta graveolens, is often referred to as the “grass grass”, as it is a plant of purity used in many cultural and religious ceremonies. The street is also presented in literature as a symbol of both freedom and regret. Rue’s death serves as a pivotal moment in the games for Katniss, who vows to avenge Rue’s death and earn her freedom by winning the games and surviving.
Besides the character names, other flowers appear throughout the series. First, there are the water lilies that Katniss uses to feed her hunger. There are also references to dandelions and honeysuckles in the books, though the movies gloss over them. Finally, there’s the deadly, poisonous Nightlock, which is fictional but is likely a combination of two other poisonous species: deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna) and poison hemlock (Conium maculatum). These berries are eaten by a competitor who is unaware of their deadly nature.
The Importance of Bread in Panem
Bread appears in the books as well as the movies. The story takes place in the fictional world of Panem, which means bread in Latin. Bread is used to symbolize many things. On harvest day, Gale offers Katniss expensive bakery bread, giving her a sense of friendship and security. Bread is also the connecting factor between Katniss and Peeta, who deliberately burns bread from his family’s bakery so he can “throw it away” and give it to Katniss.
After Rue’s death, the people of District 11 send Katniss a small loaf of bread, in gratitude for her friendship with Rue. Finally, we must not forget that each district has its own special bread, unique to that region. Perhaps the idea of bread that “rises” due to fermentation is akin to the revolutions depicted in movies, in which people “rise up” against totalitarian government.
The mockingjay: a symbol of rebellion
The Mockingjay is used as a political weapon. In the books, it is explained that the capital created jabberjays, which were genetically modified birds created to spy on neighborhoods for any hint of rebel activity. Their purpose was to repeat any useful information to the Capitol. However, neighborhood rebels soon discovered the plan and used them against the capital to spread false information.
The capital soon stopped using them and released the jabbers into the wild, where they mated with mockingbirds, creating mockingjays. Their very existence is a slap in the face to the capital, as they serve as a reminder of their failure. Katniss wears a mockingjay pin to protest against the capital and later the mockingjay is used as a symbol of rebellion against the government.
Katniss is driven by family love
Before the harvest, Katniss fears that her name will be called, or the name of her best friend, Gale. However, she is completely unprepared when Effie Trinket calls out her sister’s name, Primrose, instead. Motivated by love for her sister, Katniss does the unthinkable and volunteers as a tribute to take her sister’s place. As Katniss was the main provider of food and money for her sister and mother, Katniss worries about her family’s conditions while she is away. All along The hunger GamesKatniss is driven by love for her sister, as she swore to Primrose to win the games and return home safely.
Most YA fiction novels contain love story subplots, with romantic love driving the characters’ actions. While it’s true that Katniss eventually develops feelings for fellow District 12 tribute Peeta, that romantic love isn’t her main driving force, but rather the familial love for her sister that drives her to fight for her. his life.
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