The Hunger Games
How we cite our quotes:
When I was younger, I scared my mother to death, the things I would blurt out about District 12, about the people who rule our country, Panem, from the far-off city called the Capitol. Eventually I understood this would only lead us to more trouble. So I learned to hold my tongue and to turn my features into an indifferent mask so that no one could ever read my thoughts. (1.11)
Free speech, we learn, is not a given in Panem. Katniss censors herself because of the fears her mother has of the government. Notice how she has to hide her thoughts and her emotions in District 12. Notice too that she will have to do the same in the arena during the Hunger Games.
The rules of the Hunger Games are simple. In punishment for the uprising, each of the twelve districts must provide one girl and one boy, called tributes to participate. The twenty-four tributes will be imprisoned in a vast outdoor arena that could hold anything from a burning desert to a frozen wasteland. Over a period of several weeks, the competitors must fight to the death. The last tribute standing wins. (1.75)
The Hunger Games, we learn, are a kind of punishment for the uprising that happened so long ago. Why are the Hunger Games so effective, do you think, at keeping the districts from rebelling again?
To the everlasting credit of the people of District 12, not one person claps. Not even the ones holding betting slips, the ones who are usually beyond caring. Possibly because they know me from the Hob, or knew my father, or have encountered Prim, who no one could help loving. So instead of acknowledging applause, I sand there unmoving while they take part in the boldest form of dissent they can manage. Silence. Which says we do not agree. We do not condone. All of this is wrong. (2.16)
For the people of District 12, the most powerful protest of the Hunger Games comes in the form of silence. They refuse to take part in forced festivity of the event after Katniss sacrifices herself for her sister.