The effects of propaganda and media in the novel The Hunger Games is key in the development of not only the story line but in the discussion of Panem as a dystopian society holistically. Throughout the novel, the differences in portrayal of the actual Hunger Games is evident between the Capitol and the different districts. Also, the way the Capitol shows the “backstory” behind the games, and how they are a good thing is propaganda in itself. To the Capitol, the games are viewed as “punishment” for the uprising that happened years ago, where the districts rebelled against the Capitol. Especially in the reaping, it is expressed that the games are a punishment to the districts and a way to keep “peace” in Panem. Using propaganda, the government has convinced the Capitol people that the games are a good thing. Most are oblivious to what is actually happening; Cinna is the main exception. The Hunger Games is expressed as a celebration and a holiday. This also shows the juxtaposition between the Capitol’s utopia versus the district’s dystopian world.
There is also a difference in the way the Capitol uses media to portray the games to the districts and the Capitol. To the capitol, the tributes are looked at like celebrities, like they aren’t even real people. This is to strengthen their ignorance to what the government is controlling behind the games. It is used a ploy to take the attention off of the cruelty behind the games and the Capitol’s manipulation, and turn it toward a reality, “entertaining” TV show. The districts are the ones who know that they are real children, especially in districts three through twelve. This is especially evident in Rue’s death, because it was the first time one of them was viewed as a real person and not a pawn in a game.