Ideologies of Nature in Popular Culture

After lots of thinking about how pop culture promote the staus quo, I began to narrow my thinking to movies. How do movies serve the dominant ideas of our society. Then I cam across two examples: The Hunger Games and Hamilton (I know not a movie, but its still in pop culture). Both of these pieces reitterate the dominant naratives about humans in relation to the environment. Human survival and happiness comes at the expense of nature.

In the Hunger Games, the Capitol people find their entertainment from the Hunger Games which are essentially a conflict between people and nature (plus some weird add-ons from the Game Maker). The players of the game are pitted against each other and the most natural enviornment in the movie.The whole district system in the movie is a mess and probably an envionrmental distaster considering the consumption of the Captiol. The Capitol also strips nature away from its citizens forcing them to be relient on the Capitol. The peoples’ survival is relient on the Capitol, not nature. In the wealthier districts, it seems that happiness comes from becoming a victor in the Hunger Games so many train (illegally) in hopes of increasing their chance of winning. Their happiness comes from winning the Hunger Games ; they have lost their connection to the enviornment.

In Hamilton, there is a reoccuring theme of rising up. Hamilton started off as a poor immigrant wanting to rise up saying in Right Hand Man “As a kid in the Caribbean I wished for a war. I knew that I was poor. I knew it was the only way to rise up.” To Hamilton, he believes his satisfaction in life will come from rising up; he was wishing for war so he could be happy, thus his happiness comes at the expense of nature.

I found it interesting that one story came from the past, and one story was about a future, yet I could find similarities between them including the ideology that human survival and happiness comes at the expense of nature. The reason I could find this ideology common in both stories is they both stem from today’s society. Hamilton’s world and ideals helped create our society today and the telling of his story reflects our ideals now. As Lin-Manuel Miranda says “This is a story of America then, told by America now.” The Hunger Games is set in the future, so some of the ideologies in today’s world are reflected into the dystopian society.

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