By celebrating and watching the Hunger Games, the citizens of the Capitol suggest that the tributes, drawn from the districts of Panem, don’t deserve the same security and respect that the people of the Capitol do. They suggest that the tributes are beneath them. However, during the course of the Games, many of the competitors prove that they’re more capable of feeling genuine emotion—and acting on it—than the citizens of the Capitol who watch the Games play out on their TV screens. Katniss, for example, pauses in the middle of the Games in order to sing a soothing song for the dying Rue, and she drugs Peeta so that she can risk her own life to bring back medicine for him. The people of the Capitol are prone to exaggerated displays of feeling—laughing and weeping during the interviews with Caesar—but they do nothing based on these feelings. If anything, they enjoy sitting back to be entertained by the suffering on their screens. This is hypocritical on another level: while they lack authentic suffering in their own lives, the citizens of the Capitol demand real pain and death from their entertainment.
The Games also encourage a certain amount of hypocrisy among tributes. In order to maximize their chances for survival, many of the tributes form alliances with one another, even though they know that they will have to kill their allies eventually in order to win the Games. The tributes are also encouraged to put on a show. In Katniss’s case, she acts as if she’s infatuated with Peeta—when in reality, their setting in a cutthroat arena hardly breeds romance. Still, in order to survive, the tributes have to embrace a certain level of hypocrisy.
Hypocrisy Quotes in The Hunger Games
“District Twelve. Where you can starve to death in safety,” I mutter. Then I glance quickly over my shoulder. Even here, even in the middle of nowhere, you worry someone might overhear you.
Maybe if I had thanked him at some point, I’d be feeling less conflicted now. I thought about it a couple of times, but the opportunity never seemed to present itself. And now it never will. Because we’re going to be thrown into an arena to fight to the death. Exactly how am I supposed to work in a thank-you in there? Somehow it just won’t seem sincere if I’m trying to slit his throat.
The people begin to point at us eagerly as they recognize a tribute train rolling into the city. I step away from the window, sickened by their excitement, knowing they can’t wait to watch us die. But Peeta holds his ground, actually waving and smiling at the gawking crowd. He only stops when the train pulls into the station, blocking us from their view.
“…but I’ve done my best with what I had to work with. How Katniss sacrificed herself for her sister. How you’ve both successfully struggled to overcome the barbarism of your district.”
Barbarism? That’s ironic coming from a woman helping to prepare us for slaughter.