Sunday, March 2, 2014

Music in The Hunger Games

Music and dance play an important role in The Hunger Games from the very beginning by giving the people something to be happy about, a medium to express their feelings through, and an opportunity to get closer to each other. Some of the first touching moments of the books are Katniss reminiscing about her fathers singing, and how he passed those songs onto her. Not only does this reflect the important role that singing played in Katniss's childhood, it also mirrors the traditions of Appalachia, where folk songs are passed by word of mouth through generations. Later in the first book Katniss sings a lullaby to Rue as she dies, comforting Rue in her final moments.
Video of Katniss Singing to Rue
Katniss(left) and Rue(right)

 This scene shows some of the song culture of Appalachia in the use of a lullaby, as this would probably be a song shared by the community, and learned at a young age by the children who it comforted. It also shows the way music can be both sweet, moving, and provocative by using it to comfort Rue, mourn her death, and protest the brutality of the capitol by highlighting the Rue's innocence, humanity, and the wrongness of ending her life. Katniss sings this song, and with it reminds thousands that Rue was a little girl, who did not deserve to be murdered. With such a simple gesture, Katniss speaks volumes, and begins her role as the Mockingjay.
Music has an amazing way of sparking feelings in people, which is why it is such an effective tool for the revolution in The Hunger Games. The song, the Hanging Tree, is banned by the capitol for raising too many difficult questions, but the revolution manages to get it back out in the open in a propos video. This is an effective tool because songs are a break from listening to song random guy tell you why he's right. Music is different, its not partial in the same way that statements are, and it stays on the mind, pulling up emotions for days to come.

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