1. How does Suzanne Collins conceptualize the media as a system of exploitation and control within Panem?
The media is integral in maintaining control of the people of Panem in The Hunger Games. Katniss describe the power of the games early in the book when she states:
"Taking the kids from our districts, forcing them to kill one another while we watch- this is the Capitol's way of reminding us how totally we are at their mercy." (18)
The phrase "while we watch" deserves special attention in that quote. Camera crews were ever present during the reaping, there to capture every moment and emotion. Even as a teenager, Katniss is aware of how her actions will come across to the audience as she volunteers for tribute and constantly guards against signs of weakness. In the movie, giant screens are shown in the district centers that ensure all the people of Panem will be sharing in these emotions and events. Only twenty four sets of parents each had the agony of watching their child compete for their life in the games, but every parent had to go through the horror of the reaping. Exploiting the emotions of children being separated from their parents by broadcasting them to the nation is a powerful form of control.
The games themselves were expected to be watched by all. Katniss often comments about the lack of electricity in District 12, but she is quick to point out that national television broadcasts of the hunger games would be a time that everyone's power would be on. The role of the media will play a much stronger role in the future books and movies in the trilogy. In continuation of the previous quote Katniss later states "look how we take yoru children and sacrifice them and there's nothing you can do..." (19). Again, the people are being forced to watch but are powerless to change the situation- exploitation and control at its finest.
The Hunger Games is where one victor shall rise from 24 and within that time, those 23 other victors will die. The media uses this as entertainment and while those chosen from each district fights for the death, the media uses this as an excuse to sit back and watch them fight till the death. Children are sacrificed and nothing is possible to stop it, and the media has the greatest influence.