When countries grow and change, they make many changes for the betterment of their people. However, there are always certain aspects of life that may stay the same, whether it is the language, traditions or values. Since District 12 is located in what used to be Appalachia, it is understandable that some traditions and values from Appalachia were held on to, and still practiced in District 12.
In The Hunger Games, each district has their own trade, and it is normally based off their resources. For example, since District 4 is located on the Gulf of Mexico, they have a large abundance and easy access to seafood. Therefore, their job in Panem is to fish and provide the capitol with seafood. Since District 12 is located in Appalachia, they have easy access to the Appalachian Mountains. Therefore, just as the Appalachians were miners, so are the members of District 12. Even as times change and countries evolve, they learn to use their natural resources well. Since the Appalachians had many benefits from mining, The Capitol decided to keep this tradition going and make District 12’s trade mining.
Another similarity between Appalachia and The Hunger Games is the importance of music, and the type of music. In Mr. Michael’s lecture, he talks about ballads playing an important role in Appalachia. Ballads are songs that tell a story, and have some type of symbolism to what was happening in that time. In The Hunger Games, music plays a large role in District 12, and in Katniss’s life.
Throughout The Hunger Games trilogy, Katniss talks about how her father taught her to sing, and certain songs that he sang to her. Through this, we can interpret that music reminds her of her father, and it brings her to a happier place than her home in District 12. Throughout the three books, we also hear three different songs that Katniss’s father taught her while they were out hunting.
The song that stuck with me the most was “The Hanging Tree.” When Katniss was little, her mother caught her singing the song, and she was punished for it because of the vulgar meaning. This song is a ballad which tells a story of a dead man who calls to his lover to join him at the hanging tree, meaning he wants her to join him in death. Throughout The Hunger Games, this song grows in meaning.
Once she was safe in District 13, Katniss sees Peeta, and she sees the damage that the Capitol is doing to him. She can only imagine the horrors that he is being put through to get any information out of him. This is the point when she really begins to understand the meaning of the song. The dead man is calling to his lover to save her from the horrors of life, just as Katniss wants to save Peeta from the horrors of The Capitol.
This song, along with the other three, is a ballad, which tells a story that becomes more and more relevant to Katniss as the books continue. These ballads are just as important to Katniss as ballads were to the people of Appalachian. The music itself was very important, as was the meanings behind all of the songs.
Picture From: http://www.reddit.com/r/Hungergames/comments/1wqoux/hanging_tree_wallpaper/
Word Count: 543 Words