The books and movies strongly imply that President Snow was using mass surveillance (e.g. When he revealed that he knew about Katniss and Gale having kissed). Between that, President Snow's paranoia, and the fact that Snow would presumably be watching Plutarch Heavensbee carefully given what happened in the previous year's Games, how did they successfully create a conspiracy involving so many people without tipping off Snow??

Is there any historical precedent for this?

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    Same way as you organise a revolution in any surveillance state. Very carefully.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Mar 7, 2017 at 19:08
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    This is a fine question, but ideally suited for SciFi/Fantasy. Hunger Games is a paragon of literary genre fiction, up there with 1984 and Brave New World, imo, but a more salient question for the Lit forum would be on the themes surrounding a surveillance state and the condition of information warfare, and how that relates to the current, real world society.
    – DukeZhou
    Mar 9, 2017 at 16:23
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    @DukeZhou Can you add an answer on the Meta question on which questions should be posted where? It seems like it would be good to have a reference post on the topic and if we can add more details on that it seems like it could help define the site scope better. Could be good to have a reference post in particular on what constitutes a "literary" question. Mar 9, 2017 at 16:31
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    Will do! If you don't object, I could probably very gently edit the question and accepted answer, to add a literary element. (It is a VERY salient question per our current society, and merely needs a small, extra step...)
    – DukeZhou
    Mar 9, 2017 at 16:40

1 Answer 1


We don't know for sure because the books are filtered through Katniss's first person POV and she doesn't know about the conspiracy until later. We do know that Beetee is a tech genius who is shown to be capable of hacking into Capitol television programs to broadcast rebel propaganda. It isn't unreasonable to assume that such a person would also be capable of making a few surveillance cameras turn in the other direction.

Also, we know that Katniss and Peeta go on the roof of the Training Center to talk privately which suggests that there are a few places in the Capitol where one can have a private conversation. The older victors would probably be more familiar with such locations than Katniss and Peeta.

Finally, Plutarch Heavensbee shows Katniss his watch which when viewed from the correct angle shows the mockingjay. At the time, Katniss thinks this is just one of the Capitol's trends, but later it seems like Plutarch was trying to communicate to her that he was with the rebellion. This suggests that rebels within the Capitol during this period communicated using a good deal of subterfuge -- by hidden symbols and coded language, for example.

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    Excellent answer. Couldn't have done better myself ;-)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Mar 7, 2017 at 20:26
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    You might expand the answer to make the question have a more literary result by discussing prior uses of such code. The fish in the Roman era, for instance: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ichthys#Early_church
    – DukeZhou
    Mar 9, 2017 at 16:27

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