April 22, 2012
The Hunger Games: and the role of Dehumanization
The concept of dehumanization has applied to various religions, races, and nationalities throughout history. Jews have been persecuted throughout history. They were first enslaved during biblical times then during the Second World War they were sent to death camps. Dehumanization allows powerful people to make tough decisions in a more distant, cold, and rational manner (252 Haslam). In the fictional novel The Hunger Games, Selected teenagers are forced to fight for their lives in an arena when an entire nation watches on. Leaders from the capitol who are in power use this tactic to dehumanize the people from the other districts. In The Hunger Games the leaders from the capitol showed dehumanization on a grand scale by assigning very little value to human life.
Types of Dehumanization
There are two known types of dehumanization according to Haslam. The first type involves denying human attributes to another person. The second type is an everyday social phenomenon that centers on indifference or apathy (252 Haslam). The people in power take advantage of the victim this concept continues to be document in literature and the media.
Dehumanization is not always about hatred. Often it is more about an indifference or apathy (70 Waytz). In some ways people may not be seen as victims, but as a means to an end. The people in the capitol that were in charge used the other districts as their main means of resources. Not only did they use the districts for resources, but also for entertainment as for example it states in the novel; “Look how we take your children and sacrifice them and there is nothing you can do” (19 Collins). This demonstrates that dehumanized individuals are treated as though they have no capacity for reasoning or conscious awareness.
Inferior or Equal
The rulers of the capitol throw the citizens lack of control in their face and do not care
Cited: Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. New York: Scholastic, 2008. Maiese, Michelle. "Dehumanization." The New Beyond Intractability July (2003): 1-2. Opotow, Susan. “Aggression and Violence.” The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice, (San Francisco, 2000): 417. Opotow, Susan. “Drawing the Line: Social Categorization, Moral Exclusion, and the Scope of Justice.” Cooperation, Conflict, and Justice: Essays Inspired by the Work of Morton Deutsch, (New York, 1995): 417.