Propaganda plays a big role in many dystopian novels and movies. Wherever there’s an authoritarian government or any kind of oppressive system, both of which are commonly seen in this genre, there’s an exchange of biased information between whoever’s in charge and those who are being controlled. However, throughout Suzanne Collins’ Mockingjay, this trading of persuasive campaigns comes from not one direction, but two: from the Capitol, who already has control, and the rebels, those who represent the people of the districts and are trying to take power. The differences in the type and style of propaganda that we see from either side give us a look into the goals of either side and to whom they’re trying to appeal.
Capitol propaganda is always very slick, clean, and designed to be visually pleasant. It often makes use of negative space, and the color white is common throughout. This gives the impression that they’ve got everything under control, and dissuades the idea of chaos. A government that’s got everything handled is one that’s easier for people to look up to, and it makes the idea of a rebellion seem out of place. They also never forget to remind the districts of the power differences between them, always showing certain districts as “better” than others.
Rebel propaganda, however, is most successful when it’s less clean, but more emotional and real. The leaders in 13 quickly realize that scripted and sculpted messages are the least formidable type for their cause. They’re trying to elicit a powerful reaction from the districts and show the capitol that they’re strong and aware of their corruption. They don’t have the means to produce widely broadcasted media, therefore they need to make a point with whatever time they get, however little it may be. This means they often show direct proof of the corruption and malice of the capitol, and take advantages of the symbols of the rebellion, such as Katniss, to help get their message across.