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"A toast to my big brother George: The richest man in town." So ends It's a Wonderful Life, probably the most well-known film with a communitarian climax, where the lead character George, both finds meaning for himself through his sacrifices to others, and sees it come back to him as family, friends and respect in the community bring him real wealth, literal and figurative.

Katniss Everdeen is no solitary heroine. The theme that through mutual help and cooperation with others, we can achieve more than we could on our own also pervades the popular book and film series the Hunger Games. We see this through the decision of Gale and Katniss not to run away from the District in the beginning, Katniss volunteering to take the place of her sister Prim as a tribute, the critical help given to Peeta and Katniss by Haymitch their mentor, Cinna the stylist, the help Peeta and Katniss give to each other, the strategy of forming teams within the game including between Katniss and Rue, and through the gifts, which depend on the ability of the tributes to win sponsors. Finally we see it in the finale, where the power of selflessness allows Katniss and Peeta to break the rules and escape the games.

As we are introduced to Katniss's life we see that it is defined by taking care of her younger sister and her mother, who fell into an immobilizing depression after the death of Katniss's father in a mining accident. She is able to do this not because of powers given from up high or a freak accident, but through the friendship of Gale, a hunter who teaches her how to shoot game, and a baker's boy who gave her some bread when she was on the brink of starvation. The first plot pivot where Katniss's obligations are discussed is when she and Gale are discussing running away from the District. Katniss refuses to run away ultimately because there is no chance her sister or mother would survive in the forest. Later on, when Peeta tells her that he wants a way to show the gamemakers that they don't "own" him, Katniss replies she must try to win because her sister depends on her.

Notable is the symbolism of the mockingjay-- in the film, Katniss gives it to Prim saying that "as long as you have it, nothing bad will happen to you." In the end, Prim is selected during the reaping regardless, but Katniss volunteers in her place. Prim then gives the mockingjay to Katniss for good luck in the games. During the games, Katniss is saved repeatedly by Peeta. Hence, the significance of the mockingjay is not that the person receives good luck, but that the wearer is protected by someone else who loves them.

During preparation for the games, Haymitch and Cinna give critical boosts to Katniss and Peeta. Cinna provides them with the flaming clothing for their chariot entrance and again for Katniss during her interview. Haymitch convinces them of the importance of being liked by the crowd and lobbies for Katniss's gifts. By being seen together, as a couple, they further shine beyond the tributes from the other districts.

In the games themselves, the role of alliances is central. The Career tributes form an alliance with each other, allowing them to gain control of the supplies, survive longer than most of the others, and generally hunt without fear. The hidden alliance between Peeta and Katniss allows for them to survive, as the Careers do not kill Peeta to use him to find Katniss, while Peeta saves Katniss by convincing her not to go for the cornucopia, by convincing the Careers to try to wait her out under a tree, and again by urging her on after she gains control of a bow. Later when the alliance is made explicit, Katniss saves Peeta. Further, their chemistry ellicits sympathy and wins them prizes in the game. Politically, the alliance between Katniss and Rue is the most important. Rue saves Katniss by pointing out the tracker-jacker nest and her death provides the emotional centerpiece in the story. It is a moment of solidarity, rather than competition, between two districts-- precisely what President Snow fears the most.

Finally, the emotional power of the story of star-crossed lovers, true or not, is strong enough to force the game maker to change the rules of the game to allow both to win, after they threaten martyrdom, and to allow Katniss and Peeta their true victory over the Capital.

In the film, President Snow tells Seneca the game-maker, "Why do we have a winner? To give them hope. A little hope is good, as long as it is contained." President Snow realizes that people want to believe things too good to be true even when it is irrational, and if given a chance they will grasp onto even an unrealistically unlikely hope.

In many ways it's reflection of many aspects of real life American society. Many people bought into the "Mega millions" jackpot without realizing how little a chance they had a winning-- far more likely to be struck by lightning or die from flesh-eating bacteria. Surveys in some law and MBA programs show that far more people think they will be in the top part of their class than actually are, and surveys of Canadian college students find that students vastly overestimate their future earnings potential. These illusions are highly useful for the 'top 1 percent.' If everyone who would fail to reach the top 1 percent in the next 50 years knew so with certainty today, their hope would be crushed and they would start to demand more through the political system. Alas, as long as there are those such as Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs up there, far more people will think they can be them, than actually can be.

The other aspect of President Snowe's strategy is divide and conquer. As long as the districts are seeing their tributes fight off amongst tributes from other districts, they are not united against the Capital. The winning district each year can at least comfort itself in knowing that it can look down on the other districts.

Similarly, in American society today, even the poor are taught to satisfy themselves by looking down on those who are even worse off. Those that earn six-figure salaries identify themselves with the elite, even if they are not fundamentally wealthy and still must work for a living. Middle class people are at least not taking government assistance, or are at least employed. Poor whites are at least better off than poor blacks, and so on. The 99 percent is not united.

Thus, the incipient threat to the domination of the Capital occurs when Peeta and Katniss refuse to take the reward of domination over the other, when Thresh spares Katniss, and when Katniss gives Cato the mercy blow. Here they are taking the step from the individual endeavor of merely winning the game to the collective endeavor of  rebelling against the game. These communitarian ideals are at the heart of the Hunger Games.

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