One of the most meaningful pieces of propaganda in both the book and movie adaptation of The Hunger Games, was the Treaty of Treason. It was orated in the book by the mayor of district 12, but shown in a video in the movie adaptation. However, in both instances the premise of the Treaty was identical, it “gave [the districts] new laws to guarantee peace and, [was their] yearly reminder that the Dark Days must never be repeated (Collins 18).
The effectiveness of the propaganda is due to the language and visuals provided by the Treaty. In the book the mayor “lists the disasters, the droughts, the storms, the fires, the encroaching seas that swallowed up so much of the land, [and] the brutal war for what little sustenance remained” (18). In accordance with the book, the video demonstrates visuals of violent war and helpless citizens. Using visual language, makes the Treaty a constant reminder of the terror of the Dark Days and is an effective scare tactic by the Capitol. Reminding the districts of such horrors of war and death creates an environment of fear and vulnerability, which allows the Capitol to control the people of Panem.
The most effective form of propaganda, as taught by my high school economics teacher, is one that provides a solution to the target audience’s problems. One of the examples he would bring up in class was the infamous Lyndon B. Johnson campaign ad featuring a little girl and an atomic bomb. The video is very similar to the Treaty of Treason video as each video utilizes children and the thought of war. Scare tactics are effective, but only when a solution or an “out” is provided to the viewer. In order to avoid nuclear war, the public was instructed to vote for President Johnson in the upcoming election cycle. In the same manner to avoid another Dark Days, “each of the twelve districts must provide one girl and one boy, called tributes, to participate [in the Hunger Games]” (18). As voting for President Johnson would provide a sense of hope for the people of Panem, there would be one victor of the Games. Using persuasive language and emotional stimulators, the Treaty of Treason is a very effective means of control for the Capitol.
Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. Scholastic Press, 2008.