The Hanging Tree, and Hope

I absolutely adore Jennifer Lawrence. So I felt kind of bad when I downloaded The Hanging Tree, which she sings and is featured in Mockingjay Part One, because I had read online that she cried while filming the scene it is in because she hates singing. But I loved the song, so I couldn’t help myself.

When I first saw Mockingjay, I got chills when this song came on. The haunting melody is captivating, and so is the idea of the rebellion that the movie focuses on. Part way through the song, Jennifer’s voice is replaced with more voices; those of the people from the districts who are rebelling.

The rebellion is vehemently opposed by the Capitol; yet people rebel anyways. I’m sure they still fear the Capitol – because, really, how could they not fear a government that sends people away to fight for their deaths? – but they have something stronger than their fear: their hope of the freedom that they would get if the rebellion was successful.

Credits: Suzanne Collins and Pinterest

I love this quote because it rings true to so many aspects of life. We all have dreams, but we are all sometimes plagued by fear. Often, this is a fear of failure. We can overcome this fear by making our hope of success stronger. I believe that when your hope of success is greater than your fear of failure, you will be successful.

Hope is so powerful. As we see in The Hunger Games books and movies, hope can unite people together to fight for what they believe in and what they are hoping for. Hope is the one ray of sunlight in an otherwise dark room – and the more people who hope, the more rays of light illuminate the darkness.

An individual’s hope can be equally as powerful as a groups’, too. We see this in The Hunger Games as well; through Katniss’s actions in defying the Capitol’s wishes she shows that she has hope for a better life. At the end of The Hunger Games, Katniss pretends to eat poisonous berries along with her fellow tribute Peeta. If they both die, the Capitol will have no winner: so the Capitol is forced to intervene and declare both Katniss and Peeta the winners.

Katniss’s fear in that situation was strong – she was literally seconds away from ending her life in an attempt to defy the Capitol – but her hope that both Peeta and her could survive was stronger. In the end, her hope is what prevailed and this made her fear and bravery worth it.

A lyric in the song The Hanging Tree is, “wear a necklace of hope// side by side with me.” If we all wore a necklace of hope, we could abolish fear and make a difference in the world.

4 thoughts on “The Hanging Tree, and Hope

  1. I think the hunger games is awesome! Which is one reason I think this post is awesome. I think your thoughts on fear and hope were true in so many ways. I also really like the Hanging Tree and play it on my guitar(i rarely bother singing as good as her) I think the Hanging Tree helps reflect on the idea of hope and fear. My favorite line is the line from the Book wear a necklace of rope side by side with me

    1. I agree – the song is really reminiscent of those two key themes from the books and movies. Your comment made me notice someting strange; some lyric websites say the lyric (in the song) is “a necklace of hope” while others say it is “a necklace of rope”. Hmmm.

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