The Problematic of Subjectivity Under Surveillance in Catching Fire

Iván Castañeda Screens

One of the most interesting and enigmatic evolving issues in The Hunger Games series is the development (or non-development) of subjectivity. Subjectivity can be defined as the cluster of positions that include but are not exhausted by the notions of individuality, self, identity, the “I”, and so on. What might negate such positions and conditions of being could be differentiated or even contrasted with subjectivity: objectivity, the other(s), heterogeneity, the collective, community, universality, totality, and so forth. The problematic of subjectivity is precisely the impossibility (perhaps) of a subject divorced from the collective. In Catching Fire we can trace the possible developing strategies of subject-formation within an environment and political situation where subjectivity is both necessary for survival and a threat to the hegemony of Panem. On the other hand, and perhaps paradoxically, individuals need to subjugate themselves to some form of social and collective identity to be able to beindividuals. All this becomes more problematic when gender categories and gender expectations are taken in to account. The evolution of gender subjectivity in Katniss & Peeta are worth noting in Catching Fire. Given the putative asexuality of Panem, the valence of gender becomes even more nuanced. All this of course takes place under the technology of surveillance, which can and does become a weapon for both sides. The problematic of surveillance is precisely that it can enable subjects to perform, literally, for the camera. The performativity of gender is amplified through surveillance, and of course, through the spectacle. Given these realities, what are some of the most problematic issues of subjectivity in Catching Fire? What are some of the most problematic gender ideologies in Catching Fire? What and how is surveillance a problematic in Catching Fire?

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