The constant theme of propaganda within dystopian novels highlights the importance for democracies to have freedom of speech and access to reliable media. The lack thereof within dystopian novels such as The Hunger Games prove just how horrific the alternative is. Since the citizens have no reliable source of information within the districts, the capitol can manipulate the citizens to believe whatever benefits their agenda. In the first novel, there is nobody there to disprove the Capitol’s propaganda, and thus they seem impregnable, unfaltering in their absolute control. This can be seen through their ridiculous reaping video, where they assert themselves as magnanimous leaders who have saved the citizens from the horrible war from before.
However, this can also be observed through their advertisements, which are hauntingly similar to the advertisements we might see in the mall today.
These advertisements help establish the citizens of the capitol to be other worldly. In comparison to the dirt and threadbare clothes of the districts, Caesar Flickerman and Seneca Crane seem to literally come from another world. This helps instill the idea that any attempt at a revolution is futile, because the capitol and its citizens are so far removed from the districts such as 11 and 12 that they are practically untouchable.
In later books, such as Mockingjay, the indestructible wall that is the capitols propaganda begins to show cracks. Namely, the rebels of district 13 begin propaganda reels of their own.
Because the capitol had previously declared 13 to be decimated as a warning to others who might be inclined to revolt, the sudden appearance of district 13 shows that the capitols control has its limits. However, it is important not to be fooled by 13, while their television advertisements are not lies, they are propaganda as well. Propaganda is any sort of information or media used to sway audiences to one point of view or opinion. District 13 is no better than the capitol in trying to manipulate their audience’s understanding of the war. Whether it be through assertion of power seen in this video:
Or a passionate message as seen in this video:
Everything District 13, as well as the capitol, publishes is meticulously planned with the intention of swaying people to their side of the war.