I’ve been on a Hunger Games kick here recently, so I’ve seen it several times in the past few weeks. This scene jumps out at me each time:
President Snow : Hope.
—Seneca : Hope?
President Snow : Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear.
I have strong feelings about hope, a strong belief in the power of hope, and so that small exchange made an impression on me from the first time I saw it in the theater.
If you look at The Hunger Games trilogy, Katniss is considered a representation of hope by both sides. Rebellion leadership uses her as a propaganda tool, a beacon of hope for the masses, an incitement to war. Snow continues to see her as the embodiment of a hope that needs to be crushed.
But when I look at Katniss, I don’t see hope outright. I see defiance and will, compassion and love. Determination. I guess what I mean is Katniss doesn’t feel like a particularly hopeful character to me, and she doesn’t seem specifically motivated by hope. In fact, she sometimes operates from a place of despair – the opposite of hope.
And yet her actions incite hope.
Her acts of will unleash something stronger than fear in the hearts of others: the realization that things can change, that there is hope. If Katniss Everdeen can stand up against the capital, maybe I can too.
So, what do you think? Is hope the only thing stronger than fear?
Items of Interest: