To this day, we still use propaganda to influence the public in every political race and war. While widely accepted as a shameful and distrustful thing to do, this negative stigma is not enough to bring down such a powerful institution. The fact of the matter is that the public can be thought of as a mass, and by targeting the dominant opinion of this mass, you can persuade (or strike fear into) the heart of a society.
In most dystopian worlds controlled by a totalitarian government, propaganda plays a central role in keeping said government in power. In novels about overthrowing this government, propaganda is also used to inspire the oppressed society into a rebellion. This is especially prominent in Mockingjay where the Capitol and District 13 are both fighting to control the nation of Panem. District 13 uses Katniss to inspire the districts to rebel while the Capitol continues to scare them into submission. But President Snow fails to follow his principle of “controlling the hope” when he underestimates the willpower of a nation too long oppressed. Slowly but surely, the rebels win over every district, cutting off the Capitol’s supplies and winning the war. However, while District 13 and the Capitol use textbook perfect examples of propaganda in Mockingjay, the Hunger Games themselves are also a work of he Capitol’s propaganda. “Whatever words they use, the real message is clear. “Look how we take your children and sacrifice them and there’s nothing you can do.”” (Hunger 19). The fact that the family, friends and district of the tributes are forced to watch as they are slaughtered just drives home the point that Capitol is making. Don’t cross us. Like this, the Districts are kept in line, under Capitol rule. That is until the hope inspired by the Mockingjay prompts them to rise up.
Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. Scholastic, 2008. Print.
Collins, Suzanne. Mockingjay. Scholastic, 2010. Print.