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Apathy In The Hunger Games

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Contrary to the belief that feelings like fear and sorrow dominate the emotional atmosphere within a dystopian state, there exists an absence of feeling which competes for dominance. Suzanne Collins’ demonstrates this competing apathetic mood in her novel The Hunger Games, through the citizens of the divided dystopia of Panem. This essay’s purpose is to analyze the origins and influence of apathy on a people and an individual, in both a political and personal sense. Suzanne Collins’ main argument in her novel The Hunger Games, that those in a society dominated by governmental oppression can both be empowered or inhibited to advance their well-being depending on their utilization of apathy, is conveyed with contextual motivation for the protagonist’s…show more content…
Katniss Everdeen is introduced as having a prickly demeanor, but practical nature. Evidence towards this is shown on the first page of the novel when Katniss thinks back to when she attempted to drown a cat because “the last thing I needed was another mouse to feed.” (Collins 3). The significance of this statement arises from its reality, in the context of District 12’s condition, which provides insight into the overall condition within District 12. The grim condition within District 12 provides context for Katniss’ motivations and relatively apathetic mindset, considering she is stuck in a society where events like starvation are incredibly common. Collins’ uses context in both a broad and specific sense to explain her protagonist’s nature. The broader condition in Panem provides significance for her apathy because government oppression has forced her District to face challenges like starvation daily. Due to living in these conditions, her character would not experience the same emotions as those who “turn up their nose at a good leg of wild dog.” (Collins 11) because Katniss cannot afford this luxury. In specific context to Katniss, as the story progresses the reader learns the leading role for her absent emotions is the death of her father. In a society where handouts and support programs are nearly nonexistent, Katniss was forced into the role of primary caregiver for her family. Consequently, she had to do whatever it took for her remaining family to survive, meaning no room for emotions to distract or weaken her on this goal. The author shows that Katniss is not devoid of emotions but, rather, utilizes apathy to dull her emotions and to aid herself. Evidence that Katniss is purposefully hiding her emotions is shown at the reaping ceremony after
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