The Extreme Dystopia In Pan's Labyrinth And The Hunger Games

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The extreme dystopias found within the movie Pan’s Labyrinth directed by Guillermo del Toro and the novel The Hunger Games written by Suzanne Collins suggest that in light of a dystopia, a glimpse of a utopia can always be found beneath the ruble. The similar ideas between Pan’s Labyrinth and The Hunger Games such as: the role of choices, defiance, and fear; all serves as a template for what a utopian future could resemble. A common theme found within both works of literature is the role of choices. In Pan’s Labyrinth, the main character, Ofelia makes the sacrificial choice to deny Pan’s wish of handing over her baby brother in order to become Princess Moana and obtain a life of happiness. Ofelia traded the possibility of her own utopia for a miserable dystopian life, all to save her innocent baby brother. Similarly, in The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen says “I volunteer…I volunteer as tribute” (Collins 22) at the annual reaping in order to save her sister from being forced to participate in the Hunger Games. Although the life Katniss is forced to leave behind was a dystopia, she chooses to go into an arena where she will fight for her life, an obvious extreme dystopia. The dystopias presented in Spain after the Spanish Civil War and in Panem, both lack freedom of choice. This similarity identifies freedom of choice as a necessary characteristic in any utopia. By Ofelia making the choice to sacrifice her happiness to save her brother, she reaches her ultimate utopia

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