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    An Application of Aristotle’s Beliefs on The Hunger Games, a Film by Gary Ross

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    Aristotle, in Nicomachean Ethics, writes about how we must consider whether or not an individual’s acts are voluntary when we are evaluating those acts. Aristotle states that there are three types of actions: voluntary, involuntary, and nonvoluntary actions. In The Hunger Games, each of the tributes has either volunteered to enter the games or have involuntarily been forced to enter the games. Each of the tributes from District 1 and District 2 has volunteered for the games.

    These tributes trained at a special academy specifically to prepare for the games before volunteering. The actions of these tributes within The Hunger Games must be evaluated with an understanding that they voluntarily entered the games knowing that they would need to murder others and would likely die. The only other tribute to volunteer for the games was Katniss Everdeen.

    Katniss volunteered for the games for a different reason: to take the place of her sister Prim as the female tribute of District 12. However, she did volunteer to enter the games and each of her actions with in The Hunger Games must be evaluated with consideration of that fact. The other 19 tributes were all involuntarily chosen to enter the games and all of their actions within The Hunger Games must be evaluated with an understanding that these actions were involuntarily forced upon these tributes.

    Aristotle also discusses how we can evaluate a person’s morality through their choices. Aristotle states that these are powerful tools for evaluating morality because after we have chosen the end we wish for, we must deliberate about and choose the means the achieve that end. Katniss chooses to volunteer for The Hunger Games when her sister, Prim, is chosen as the female tribute of District 12. Katniss does not choose to volunteer because she wishes to participate in the games but because she knows that her sister will die if she is forced to participate in the games.

    In fact, Katniss knows that it’s extremely likely that she will end up dying during the games. This choice is a perfect example of Katniss’s good-natured morality. When Prim is chosen as the female tribute for District 12, Katniss knows that the end she wishes for is for Prim to stay alive. She further knows that the only means available to save Prim’s life is to give her own life to The Hunger Games. This is an example of a choice that a truly good person would make.

    Aristotle continues his discussion on choices by analyzing possible virtues, one of which is courage. Aristotle discusses how people show courage when they are afraid but act regardless of that fear. Katniss shows immense bravery throughout the film. One of the easiest places to see this bravery is when Katniss chooses to travel to the Cornucopia to save Peeta. Peeta tells Katniss not to go because it is a trap and Katniss knows that it is a trap but she still goes in the face of fear of death because she knows it is the only way to save Peeta. This act is extremely courageous.

    In addition, it is easy to see Katniss’s fear before she enters the arena where The Hunger Games will occur. She is visibly shaking and looks as if she is about to cry. However, once the games begin she immediately begins running and is able to make smart decisions like grabbing a backpack and using that backpack to block a knife that is thrown at her. These actions show that even during moments of enormous fear, Katniss is able to act in a confident and intelligent manner.

    In Book VIII of Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle discusses interpersonal relationships and the idea of friendship. Aristotle describes three kinds of friendships that can occur: friendships for the sake of utility, friendships for the sake of pleasure, and perfect friendships. Friendships for the sake of utility occur when the friends act friendly because they can each offer something to the other. Friendships for the sake of pleasure occur when the friends act friendly because they find each other pleasant.

    Perfect friendships occur between friends who are good and occur because the friends are good and like each other simply for this reason. Katniss and Peeta show how a friendship based upon utility can develop into a perfect friendship. At the beginning of Katniss and Peeta’s relationship, the two become friends because together they can get more sponsors for The Hunger Games. However, during the games Katniss begins to like Peeta simply because he is another good person trapped in this terrible situation. This can be seen when Katniss travels to the Cornucopia to save Peeta.

    Katniss is not gaining utility from her friendship with Peeta; in fact, she is losing utility because she is forced to risk her life for Peeta’s. The alliance between the tributes from Districts 1 and 2 shows a friendship based upon utility. These tributes know that they can help each other to kill the rest of the tributes before the games are over but they also know that this friendship will not last long because only one of them can survive.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    An Application of Aristotle’s Beliefs on The Hunger Games, a Film by Gary Ross. (2023, Mar 24). Retrieved from

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