The Hunger Games: Designing the Girl As a Spectacle


Since Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games was published, much attention has been given to the bravery of the young heroine. Overlooked, however, is the subjection of Katniss Everdeen to the image-obsessed Capitol. In the televised world of Hunger Games, Katniss is commodified by the Capitol to be stripped of her young innocence and changed into a spectacle. She must mask her natural beauty under makeup and flamboyant dress, inadvertently suffer starvation for the anorexic appeal, and ultimately lose her innocence by sacrificing her body and emotion for a boy to titillate the audience. By scrutinizing Katniss’s mental and physical transformation, The Hunger Games reveals modern society’s abuse and manipulation of young girls as an object of the gaze. Hence, I argue that The Hunger Games can be interpreted as a socio-cultural phenomenon of girls in popular culture today that have fallen victim to the idealized image of beauty set by the entertainment industry.

Author Information
Jihyun Hong, Yonsei University, Republic of Korea

Paper Information
Conference: ECCS2014
Stream: Cultural Studies

This paper is part of the ECCS2014 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon