Stand Up For What You Believe In (Harrison Bergeron and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Analysis)

  • Category: Books, Literature,
  • Words: 699 Pages: 3
  • Published: 30 April 2021
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Successful American Rapper and author, LL Cool J once said,” Stand up and face your fears, or they will defeat you”( Brainy Quote). When LL Cool J saying this, he was most likely not reading a dystopian short story or a dystopian novel, but the idea of if you don’t stand up, then your enemies will defeat you is applicable. Both authors Suzanne Collins and Kirt Vonnegut used plot development to convey the theme that you have to stand up for what you believe to succeed in life in  Catching Fire and “Harrison Bergeron.”

Suzanne Collins author of the dystopian novel The Hunger Games Catching Fire conveys the theme that you have to stand up against an enemy to spark a fire for the creation of a rebellion through the rising action, climax, and falling action. In the rising action Gale is getting whipped in the center of the square then Katniss” fl[i]ng[s] out [her] arm to protect as much of [Gale’s] broken body... [Katniss] takes full fore of [the whip] across the left side of [her] face”(Collins 106). Katniss is in love with Gale and cannot bear to see him in pain so she steps in. With Katniss throwing her body in the way of the peacekeeper’s whip she is standing up to the government sending a signal to stand up for what is right. In the climax Katniss can be seen debating bout killing Finnick and Enorbia then Katniss remembers what Haymitch said:”’ just remember who the enemy is’... I let the arrow fly...the dome bursts”(378-379). By Katniss shooting this arrow she is going against the Capital because she has figured out what Haymitch meant when he told her about the real enemy. When Katniss fires her arrow it is a signal that she is not a piece in their games and will not be controlled by the Capital anymore. In the falling action Gale has confronted Katniss and Gale whispered to her,”’ After the Games, they sent in planes. Dropped firebombs’”(391). With Gale telling Katniss this her spark of defying the Capital has started the rebellion and has given people hope. By Katniss firing her arrow she stood up to the government and as a result, she had to face the consequence of losing her district but started the rebellion against the capital.

Kurt Vonnegut the author of the short story “Harrison Bergeron” illustrates the theme that you have to stand up for what you believe in even if there is a consequence in the rising action, climax, and the falling action. In the rising action, Harrison can be seen on the television in the middle of a stage tearing ”the straps of his handicap harness like wet tissue paper”(Vonnegut 4). In the rising action, Harrison was required to wear his handicaps at all times, but he wanted to show everyone that he is the greatest and is not afraid of the government. With Harrison tearing off his handicaps he is showing everyone that total equality is not right and that everyone should turn away and embrace their individuality. After Harrison stips his handicaps he begins a dance with his Empress there “they kissed each other for a long, long time… It was then...the Handicapper General came into the studio with a double-barreled ten-gauge shotgun. She fired twice, and the Emperor and the Empress were dead before they hit the floor”(Vonnegut 5). In the climax, Harrison began a glorious dance with his Empress only to be shot down by the Handicapper general. By Harrison standing up to the government he was killed but showed that he was willing to face the consequences even if that meant he had to die. After Harrison was shot the Handicapper General exclaimed at the musicians that” they had ten seconds to get their handicaps back on”( Vonnegut 5). With Harrison dying that showed the true side of the government of if you go against the government then you will be terminated. With the musicians taking off their handicaps they too were defying the government and showing others that it is ok to be different and they were ready to face the consequences.

Both authors Suzanne Collins and Kurt Vonnegut used plot development to convey the theme that you have to stand up for what you believe to succeed in life in Catching Fire and “Harrison Bergeron.” Through Katniss and Harrison standing up for what they believe they have paved the way for others to come along. Have you ever stood up for what you believe in?


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