The seal of District 12 from The Hunger Games.
Written by Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games is a trilogy of Young Adult novels that combines elements of science fiction, dystopian literature, and the archetypal hero’s journey. Through a series of natural disasters and fierce competition for power and resources, North America has been reborn as nation called Panem. Seventy-four years prior to the start of the series, a major rebellion by the citizens of Panem was quashed by the government, who then assumed an unprecedented level of control over the population; the lives of citizens are rigidly monitored, many people live in poverty, and dissent is severely punished.
Even more brutal than such repressions is the annual competition known as the Hunger Games: Panem is divided into twelve administrative regions, or districts. As punishment for the aforementioned rebellion, each district is required to annually select one young man and one young woman to serve as “tributes”. The twenty-four tributes are then sent to the Capitol – the large city where the government is based – and thrown into a high-tech, gladiator-like arena, where they must battle to the death until only one remains. Broadcast on live television throughout the nation, the Hunger Games serves as equal parts entertainment and political propaganda, reminding the districts of the Capitol’s power and keeping them divided, preventing another rebellion. However, this system of repression is changed forever when a young woman named Katniss Everdeen participates in the Hunger Games; not only will she change the competition, but Panem itself will be turned irrevocably upside-down, never to be the same again.
Each district of Panem has its own unique culture, as well as a specialized industry that creates products for the nation. District 12 – Katniss Everdeen’s home and the primary district explored in the series - was for many years a center of coal mining, though following the conclusion of the main plotline becomes a center of medicine manufacture. After Collins’ novels were adapted into a series of four feature films, the subsequent tie-in media created an official seal for each district that represented their industry. The seal of District 12 contains four distinctive images related to coal: A set of rail tracks, representing carts used to transport coal out of the mines; an old-fashioned chimney; what appears to be a series of factory-like smokestacks; and a miner’s helmet complete with headlamp.
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Category: Science Fiction and Fantasy Symbols.
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