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As demonstrated in the film and novel, President Snow is seen to have ultimate power over Katniss. But does he? 2012 Hunger Games written by Suzanne Collins and directed by Gary Ross, highlights many visual and language techniques that express control and division. By comparing and analysing both the text and film three key scenes demonstrated this theme. The book highlights the difference between those that have wealth and power versus those of less fortune. Despite the Capitol’s intentions, the Games indicate how others are resisting the power of the Capitol. When Katniss unites with Rue and gives her grace or won’t carry on reasonably by murdering Peeta toward the end of the Games, she unpretentiously opposes the overruling might of the Capitol.

Throughout the Hunger Games film and novel, there are several examples of control and division and how they correlate to the overruling power of the Capitol. The forest fire in chapter 13 is a prime example of control, as there is a purposefully simulated wall of fire created by the game makers to draw the remaining tributes together to confront each other. Katniss is awoken by a wall of fire too uniformly spread to be natural. Katniss hurriedly grabs her supplies and runs, however, Katniss is unable to escape the fire and the fumes begin to overpower her. Fireballs begin to emerge from the flames aimed at Katniss under the command of Seneca Crane. This scene is made particularly tense by the use of tracking. They use this technique to allow the audience to feel the weight and pain Katniss is in. Keeping up with the pace of the film keeps the viewers engaged and gives a physical feeling to the audience. By using this technique the audience can see the ruthlessness of capital and the extent to which the game makers go to assert their power. The text particularly makes use of personification. This is seen when Katniss says “The flames that bear down on me have an unnatural height, a uniformity that marks them as human-made, machine-made, game maker made.” Suzanne uses the word bear to display the fire’s endurance and physical wrath and force of the game makers toward Katniss.

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The book continuously shows how the Capitol, more specifically the (game makers) controls the annual hunger games, essentially manipulating and controlling the participants’ very lives for their entertainment and enjoyment. A key example of this is shown in the book, where Katniss encounters multiple mutated wolf-like creatures that each are purposefully created to resemble a fallen tribute. Katniss realizes this when she shoots at a particular-looking wolf resembling Glimmer. This forces Katniss to shoot the mutants that she once knew in life, now viewing them as detrimental threats. The text uses these human-made creatures as a tactic to divide the tributes, in this case, Katniss from Peeta. The novel ensures that Katniss separates herself from Peeta to save her own life, as Peeta is said to be struggling with his wounded leg. The Capitol does this to ultimately demonstrate the Capitol’s power and control over the tributes, even after death. This particular scene is made intense through the use of several Exclamation marks. This is seen throughout chapter 25, most prominently when Peeta yells “Go, Katniss! Go!” Suzanne uses this to convey high emotion. Manipulating the audience to feel the stress and struggle Katniss and Peeta are enduring due to the actions of the Capitol. The film, however, doesn’t include this small yet very important aspect in the movie as in the film the mutant wolves are only used for the death of Cato and Thresh with no other significant importance. Instead of including this in the film, the film substitutes it by including high and low angle shots they use this particular shot to portray overruling authority and power. This particular shot is seen being used when Seneca Crane commands a lady in the control room to release the mutated creatures. During this course of action, the camera is facing up at Seneca in a low shot, this gives the audience a sense of power when they look up at Seneca portraying to the audience that Seneca has authority and power over those in the room and the arena. After releasing the beasts into the arena the camera is set on a high shot looking down on Katniss and Peeta. This again portrays power however in this shot it positions the audience to look down on Katniss and Peeta giving a sense of belittling and demonstrating the scale of power between Seneca and Katniss.

Chapter 25 is the clearest and best example of control and division. It contains the most powerful and key scene throughout the story, it’s when Katniss and Peeta plan suicide. In the scene, the Game makers choose to revoke their previous rule of having two victors, instead forcing Katniss to fight against her friend Peeta. Leaving no room for alliances or teams in the arena precisely how there’s no room for alliances between districts. This scene is made particularly devastating through the use of interior monologue. In the novel Ka,tniss’s thought of knowing “we have to have a victor” emphasizes to the audience how much these Hunger Games are really about being divided, every man for himself. Peeta insists on dying and mentions that there’s no other way than to give the Capitol a victor. This is a prime example of control as Peeta is conforming to the power of the capitol. However, Katniss retrieves poison berries from her pocket and shares them with Peeta following the words “Why should they”. They agree to eat the berries on a count of three. As the berries cross their lips, a frantic announcement engages, pleading them to stop. Crowning Katniss and Peeta are the winners of the 74th Hunger Games. The film captivates this moment by using a montage of shots predominantly close-up and low shots. Gary Ross uses these shots to capture the facial expressions of Katniss, Peeta, district 12, the Capitol, and Seneca. The low shots show Seneca, the capitol, and District 12 looking up at Katniss and Peeta. Portraying to the audience that the Capital has been overruled by Katniss and Peeta in this situation, positioning the audience to look up to Katniss and Peeta giving them a sense of power between Katniss and the Capitol.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and directed by Gary Ross is a cleverly put-together thrilling story about power. The book and film use many language features and film techniques to express the impact power has and how it influences society based on control and division. The film and book share many great examples of how control and division are used to manipulate individuals. The Hunger Games is a very real concept and is more realistic than meets the eye. Katniss lives in a dystopian society seen as the lowest of the low despite her origin coming out victorious. The Hunger Games share the belief to always stand up against corrupt power no matter what the circumstances are.

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