Create a critical analysis summary of why you think District 12 is a poor county. Explain.
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The social class divisions are extreme in Panem. Not only is the divide between the wealthy (who we don't see up close until the Capitol in Chapter 4) and the poor enormous, but it is openly acknowledged by the use of Districts. Gone is the "rugged individualism" that historically is associated with North America, where a citizen could work hard and do whatever he or she wants through intelligence, skill, and force of will. Instead, the Capitol has created a system where each district is forced to commit to one industry. It is not accident that the social mobility we associate with the United States has been traded for what resembles a medieval guild system, where children have no choice but to enter the occupation of their parents. What's more, the workers of each district are unable to reap the benefits of their work. This is apparent because District 12, which provides coal, an energy source, is nevertheless deprived of continual electricity. Materials are produced by a working class, but are then appropriated by a higher authority. Thus, there is no possibility that District 12 will ever grow more prosperous, even though it bears the acknowledged low spot on the social ladder.
Even within District 12, the class divisions are apparent – Katniss is the poorest of the poor, living in "the Seam." Some resentments surface through the chapter, especially when she and Gale confront the Mayor's daughter. And finally, the most severe indicator of class divisions in Panem is the use of tesserae, the system of trading extra entries in the lottery for food supplies. This system is a blatant "poor tax," ensuring that the poor can never crawl from their poverty and in fact punishing them for it. It calls to mind Harlem Renaissance writer James Baldwin's famous saying: "Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor."
I agree Jill! :)