President Snow is the most misunderstood and utterly repressed hero to have ever existed anywhere ever.
And today I’m going to prove it.
Snow is Brutally Repressed by Suzanne Collins
Count the number of lines this “awful dictator” is permitted by the authoritarian (totalitarian) Suzanne Collins: they come in under 200. It’s like being on trial and not getting to fully answer the charges leveled against you.
That is to say, we are never really allowed to fully or even partially understand President Snow. He doesn’t get a chance to speak directly to us. He is always filtered and distorted through the lens of Katniss Everdeen’s subjectivity.
Truth be told, he never really even speaks at all—his words are repeated to us by Katniss—with no obligation to veracity.
Unlike the pernicious “hero” Katniss Everdeen (and her co-conspirator Suzanne Collins) who dictates (we are told the story) everything to us in a very straight forward, very direct monologue. To any scrupulous reader Katniss’s repression of other diverse voices quickly becomes evident and embarrassing. Especially for someone who keeps trying to emphasize the Capitol’s oppression.
There is another thing suspicious about Katniss’s use of language which none of the drooling nitwits in journals like The New Yorker dare to comment on: it’s simple.
O sancta simplicitas!
Mrs. Everdeen’s speech assumes that the sign always points to the signified and thereby participates in oppressive Western hegemonies that have been at work for millennia, undermining the arduous work undertaken by many espresso-swilling postmodern philosophers and trendy Frechmen in the Sorbonne who died in relative obscurity quoting things Nietzsche said with far greater potency. But that’s a discussion for another day—perhaps after you realize how truly wonderful and noble President Snow is.
With all the propaganda that appeared for Mockingjay part 2, you might say “Death to Snow!” but I urge you to join the thinking class and shout “Death to the Author!” (preferably in French).
President Snow Is Honest Like Abe Lincoln
[quote]“Oh Mrs. Everdeen, I thought we agreed to not lie to one another.”[/quote]
Early after introducing himself to Katniss, Snow lets everyone know that he believes in honesty and truthfulness between human beings. In other words, he does not tell lies.
Do we know a person who is definitely lying to people, throughout the entire narrative?
Oh it’s Katniss Everdeen!
She even lies to Peeta, the boy who purposefully burned bread to feed her while she was starving!
Who else is lying?
- President Coin
- Plutarch Heavensbee
Well well! It looks like the “heroes” are the ones doing all the lying—not only to their enemies in the Capitol but to their purported friends as well!
Coriolanus Dropped a Flower Bomb
The average hero buys a dozen roses. President Snow sends out a fleet of bombers to drop thousands of white roses on a city.
More like harshly romantic.
“He loves me, he really loves me.”
President Snow Tried to Befriend Katniss, Not Slay Her (I Would Have)
Out of all the compelling points I’ve made thus far, this one is probably the most irrefragable.
There were many opportunities for President Snow to simply have Katniss murdered but he never ever does it.
If anything, he is her Nietzschean tutor—simply trying to grow young Katniss’s strength through storm and strife.
And that’s the real meaning of the Hunger Games, clearly taking inspiration from Nietzsche’s most famous (though by far not his deepest) maxim: what doesn’t kill me only makes me stronger.
Panem is Flourishing Under Snow’s Rule
This is the Capitol. You want to live here.
See, it’s not until the very final part of the entire series that Suzanne Collins makes the inevitable authorial slip (it’s OK if you didn’t catch it, you haven’t read as much Derrida as I have and don’t know how to spot authorial blind spots and other textual lacunae.) She reveals the true context surrounding our most misunderstood hero.
Snow was locked in a brutal fight to save his people from the scheming Commander Coin.
The truth is that not all cities and nations can afford to live according to the affluent standards that most of the citizens in the United States of America I mean the Capitol are accustomed to.
Inequality is the law.
If someone has food, water, shelter, ridiculous muscle mass from excessive and abundant sources of protein, 2 homes, a fitbit, an iPhone 6 with an overactive Instagram account, and Google Fiber, then someone else can have none of those things.
So President Snow had to make a tough choice.
Look at the furrows of pain on his face.
I can’t tell people to take off their fitbits, can I? I can’t tell people to stop Instagramming, can I?
Either let Commander Coin have all the wealth and reduce his people to living in hemp clothing and garbage tree houses with no AC, or throw her ass out of his most serene confederation of cities and spread the wealth to everyone in the Capitol.
Coin no doubt wanted all the wealth for herself (the truth is borne out in her name which as Plato notes in the Cratylus reveals the truth of things).
So he did the only logical thing any hero would do. He let people keep their fitbits and iPhone’s so they could take pictures of their food and send lots of texts and squeee out.
Plutarch Heavensbee is a Machiavellian Murderer
What are you supposed to do with people like Plutarch Heavensbee?
That’s probably what our noble hero President Snow must have asked himself every day before Heavensbee openly defected to a side where there was more immediate opportunity for him.
Just think about it: while most people in the Capitol are content to get aesthetic improvements and enjoy fine food and beverages, Plutarch is thinking about how to creatively kill people.
Is anyone ever going to figure out what I’m getting away with here, like on a GRAND scale?
You know where most of people who think like that end up? Jail. After multiple shock treatments. (Or they become authors.)
But did Snow send Heavensbee to jail?
Did President Snow send him through multiple sessions of shock treatments?
He found a place in society where Heavensbee could actively channel his desires and lead a meaningful and creative life.
Oh, one last thing:
Guess who survived the horrible war between Coin and Snow?
This is what is going through Plutarch Heavensbee’s demented brain right now:
Way to go Katniss. Thanks for helping him kill the only two people who could keep the world safe and protected from his psychotic killing rampages.
The next Hunger Games will be a terrifying war of all against all and Plutarch will watch from above as everyone bludgeons everyone else to death with giant porcelain peens.
He Saved The Girl on Fire From Cinna
Millions of people have read the Hunger Games trilogy and have completely missed one of the most sinister and cunning murderers in all of 21st century literature.
Cinna was actually trying to kill Katniss the whole effing time!
Just like everyone else in this book who is supposed to be “good,” he was lying to her constantly, luring in to his next trap.
Each dress was a death trap.
He probably had help from the psychopath Heavensbee.
Just think about it: dresses that catch on fire? You know why Katniss didn’t catch on fire? Because Snow was there every step of the way preventing disaster from happening.
Look at this dress, it’s catching on fire. How much more blatant can you get?
Here we can even see Cinna threatening Katniss.
“Don’t say shit bitch. One of my dresses is going to incinerate your ass no matter how hard President Snow tries to stop me!”
Thankfully Coriolanus’s dedicated Peacekeepers were able to bring this criminal to justice.
Still Not Convinced?
You might be thinking: But Christopher! Katniss realizes she is being played by the other members of the alliance and that she is just another pawn in a larger sort of “Hunger Games” and that neither she, nor President Coin, nor President Snow should be considered heroes or even anti-heroes.
What they really are is clever subjectivities each competing like Nietzschean perspectives to exert as much power for themselves as they possibly can with no regard to moral fictions like “good” and “evil.”
To which I reply: this is where the hand of Suzanne Collins, the co-author of Katniss’s rebellious overthrow of President Snow’s becomes evident.
If such a supposition was true, then Suzanne Collins would have made the effort to give at least equal weight in terms of sheer volume of words to each of their perspectives. Instead we only have 3 books all conveniently told from the point of view of Katniss Everdeen, bearing the authorship (in rather large letters I might mention) of Suzanne Collins.