Capitol’s Power through Isolation

In the dystopian society of Panem, the Capitol rules through the power of isolation. The Capitol isolates itself from the districts, the districts from each other, and even each citizen from other citizens through its Hunger Games. The Capitol separates itself by being an entirely different entity. The people of the Capitol dress, look, and act very differently from the citizens of the districts. The Capitol also does not have a tribute participate in the Games. Instead, the Games act as entertainment for the Capitol. Each district is isolated from the others as they all have their one industry maintaining their society. Therefore, the districts rarely interact with one another. The only time the districts interact is during the Hunger Games, when each district celebrates the deaths of the other districts’ tributes, as each death means a step closer to victory. Even citizens from the same district cannot trust one another because they are never certain of the person’s motives. For example, Katniss constantly questions the motives of Haymitch, who is her greatest chance to surviving the Games. Before the Games, she constantly questions Haymitch’s motives. Even during the Games, Katniss questions Haymitch’s intentions when she struggles to find water. By isolating each individual, the Capitol retains power because it eliminates all hopes for citizens joining together in rebellion. Instead, citizens forgo any loyalties in fear of death. Therefore, the break in unity creates isolation, which enables the Capitol to rule over the citizens completely.

Through the Hunger Games, the Capitol eliminates all sources of camaraderie among citizens. Instead, the fear of death trumps solidarity. Even family, the greatest source of unity, fails to overcome the Hunger Game, except in Katniss’s case. When Katniss volunteers as tribute to save Prim, her love for her sister conquers the fear of death. Her loyalty to her sister defies the isolation among citizens. From the beginning, Katniss shows she is different from the rest of the citizens of Panem. Although, she still battles issues of who to trust, she defies the Capitol’s control when her loyalty to her sister defies the isolation of citizens. Her love for her sister triumphs of her fear of death and her fear of the Capitol, showing that from the beginning, she is a force to be reckoned with.

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2 Responses to Capitol’s Power through Isolation

  1. mark says:

    Different totalitarian governments have different ways of controlling its citizens. Some use fear, some limit citizen’s awareness of their environments, and Panem uses isolation between its citizens. Citizens cannot rebel against the government if they are always fearful, or are unaware of their situations, or, like in Panem, cannot unite together. But in 1984, creating fear required a secret police force. As seen in Brave New World, controlling knowledge requires a load of drugs. Isolation requires a once-a-year event. Seems much more effective. But, both Big Brother and the World State of BNW could suppress love with ease. Panem does and will have much more trouble.

  2. palak says:

    The Capitol does a great job at creating distrust, animosity, and hate between the districts and even within the districts. They suppress any probable uprising through this by destroying the Districts unity. They have power over them through fear, but more so, their power comes from the citizens’ attitude towards one another. When there is no unity, their is no rebellion. Katniss however, may very well be the catalyst to spark a revolution because she is not characterized like the other citizens.

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