Transcendentalism and the Hunger Games
Transcendentalism and The Hunger Games
Transcendentalism is a lifestyle in which one strives to rise above and reach a level of perfection. Transcendentalists believe in self-reliance, non-conformity, individualism, simplicity, the greatness of nature, and God being within oneself. Transcendentalism is often represented in modern day pop-culture; a strong example of this is The Hunger Games. The book depicts the life of Katniss Everdeen, a character who possesses many transcendental qualities. The Hunger Games displays many transcendental values and shows that living a transcendental life is positive and will improve one’s quality of life. Nature is a major transcendental value which both Emerson and Thoreau thrive off of. Emerson
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Two transcendental values that go hand in hand are non-conformity and individualism. Transcendentalists believe in being one’s own person and not caring about what anyone else thinks or does. Thoreau says, “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away” (Thoreau 204). Thoreau is encouraging each individual person to be his or her own individual self, and not follow in the footsteps of anyone else. Transcendentalists also think that people should not do something or believe in something just because the rest of society does. Katniss displays non-conformity and individualism because when she arrives in the Capitol and throughout the book she stays true to who she is and does not let the people of the Capitol or the other tributes get to her. During the time in which she is in the arena Katniss never changes the reason she wants to win the hunger games, for the benefit of her family. This is unlike most of the other tributes, who only want to win for the title of victor. Katniss’ life style of non-conformity and individualism benefits her because throughout the hunger games she never loses track of who she is, and in the end this resulted in her winning the hunger games and surviving. The last transcendental value that Katniss possesses is self-reliance.