“Until the Mockingjay Sings”: Music as Rebellion in The Hunger Games Series

Marcie Panutsos Rovan (Wilmington College)

This paper explores the power of music within the Hunger Games series in connection to lynching ballads. In Panem, a forbidden folk ballad, “The Hanging Tree,” has retained its rebellious power for sixty-five years from its creation in the prequel novel to the moment when Katniss sings it as part of a propaganda video during the rebellion. Though the interpretation shifts through time, the ballad retains its larger meaning by constructing a social memory of lynching and forcing society to confront its own evils. Collins draws on folk tradition by positioning music as a form of rebellion against oppression.

Part of 37-02 Folklore in Film and Television , Wednesday, October 20, 7:00 pm–8:30 pm