Hunger Games Essay plan
Using your notes write an introduction in which you:
Mention the title, director, year of release, where it was set. Clarify what the genre is, explaining exactly what this means. Name and briefly describe the main protagonist in a single sentence.
Provide a plot summary.
Do not write openings such as ‘I am going to talk about…’ Always write in the third person in a CEL
EXAMPLE: ‘The director, Gary Ross, uses many film techniques to convey the themes of…’(only write the themes in the introduction that you are analysing in your essay). ‘The Hunger Games’ is an American science fiction film set in the futuristic, dystopian society of Panem.
Theme: Oppression -To treat cruelly or unjustly. The Capitol people treat the people from the Districts in a cruel and unjust way. Using your notes the blog , describe in detail, using the PEAR structure how the setting, sound, symbolism, mannerisms, camera angles/shots, and costume help to convey the oppression suffered by the people in the districts . The opening scenes has good examples of the oppression suffered by the people of the Districts:
Scene 1: District 12
Scene 2: Happy Hunger Games (Katniss and Gale in the woods)
Scene 3: Check in (at ‘The Reaping’)
1.Aerial shot to emphasise their vulnerability. 2. Sound of bells tolling highlights their imminent death 3. Signify animals being herded – ‘Like lambs to the slaughter’
Using the PEAR structure, explain how the people of ‘The Capitol’ have a different life style to the people in the Districts. Contrast the Capitol with District 12 by looking at the mise-en-scene (costume, mannerism, movement, sound, objects, colour and setting).
In ’The Hunger Games’ the director employs sound to convey (try to use different words for each topic sentence) the theme of oppression to the audience. As the children walk towards ‘The Reaping’, there is an ominous, non-diegetic, sound in the background that echoes the sound of a bell tolling. The sound of a bell tolling is symbolic of death and is often heard when someone has died. The director uses an aerial shot showing the children walking to further convey the theme of oppression. An aerial shot makes the character look small therefore it makes them appear vulnerable. The ominous sound coupled with the aerial shot of the children, makes them appear like animals being herded which echoes the saying ‘lambs to the slaughter’. The fact that the people of the Capitol do not have to attend ‘The Reaping’ makes the treatment of the District people all the more unfair and unjust
Using the PEAR structure, further explain the theme of oppression by exploring how the Capitol people have so much more in terms of possessions and technology and how this changes how they live their lives. Contrast the costume, mannerisms, setting, colours.
The technology used in the games, computer generated animals, ‘magic medicine’, 200mph trains etc… Example:
What is of value in ‘The Hob’ (District 12’s illegal market place) would be laughed at in ‘The Capitol’ . The buttons are of little value but there is little else to sell. The mise-en-scene is in stark contrast to the social areas in the Capitol. Look at the colour, mannerisms – toy sword emulates the brutality of the games.
Theme: Power. Explain who has the power in Panem. President Snow is a Totalitarian ruler Totalitarianism: Is a political system where the state (Of which President Snow has total control over everything and everyone)holds total authority over society and seeks to control all aspects of public and private life.
Example: Think about the propaganda video shown during ‘The Reaping’. How is this similar to those shown in ‘1984’? How are the crowd reacting compared to Effie Trinket? What is being said at this point? Do the people of the districts feel the peace that President Snow proclaims. Look at the blog as there is some useful information about HOPE. Paragraph Five:
Theme: Power. Using the PEAR structure, discuss How Katniss begins to affect the power balance in ‘The Capitol’ ? There’s information on the blog about the theme of power and a video clip which will give you a better understanding of Katniss’s role in upsetting the balance.
Katniss’s relationship with Rue, and Peeta upsets the balance. The usual collaborations in the Hunger Games are about maximum power for killing the other tributes. Rue’s death scene and the way Katniss treats Rue with respect, and in turn District 11 that becomes the catalyst (somebody or someone that makes a change happen) for change.
The ‘berry’ scene at the end is very powerful.
Theme: Appearance versus reality (what is real? and what is only appearance?) Using the PEAR structure, look at how the director uses techniques to show us how Katniss has to change to stay alive in ‘Hunger Games’
Creation of ‘the Star-Crossed lovers’ to stay alive and receive sponsors Creation of ‘The Girl On Fire’ – Why did Cinna want to cause such a spectacle in the crowd? Paragraph seven
Theme: Appearance versus reality
Using the PEAR structure discuss how the Hunger Games appears as a Game show to the people of the Capitol, when in reality it is about the brutal murder of 23 children from the districts. It is not a game, it is real life. But, like Effie Trinkett, the people of the Capitol, with the exception of Cinna (Katniss’s designer), have no idea what the people go through and do not care, as long as they live in comfort and with an abundance of food, clothing and other such luxuries
The Camera shows us the gambling odds for the tributes focusing on Rue and Thresh from District 11. It then cuts to these pampered children of the Capitol, so we notice the difference between how they are treated. It cuts to a medium-close-up (MCU) of Haymitch watching them and we get his POV (point-of-view)shot of him watching them. His look is of total disdain at the unfairness of the situation. Mention that it is a reality TV show filmed both to control and punish (to keep them oppressed without any power) the districts, whilst entertaining ‘The Capitol’. They gamble because it is fun!
Once you have completed your introduction and analysis paragraphs, it is important that you write a conclusion to your critical essay. This is the final paragraph where you discuss how the director, Gary Ross, uses various film techniques to convey the themes in the film ‘The Hunger Games’ (list what techniques you have used in your essay overall. For example: sound, setting, camera angles/shots/movement, editing, colour etc).
The conclusion repeats some of the information from the introduction such as: the key words of the task, the director’s name, the title of the film and then go on to discuss how the film as a whole, conveys the themes you have discussed in your essay. You summarise your main arguments and say how they, as a whole, answer your question.