Friday, April 12, 2013

K is for Katniss Everdeen: A Strong Female Character? #challenge #atozchallenge

The Hunger Games came to me as the most highly recommend series I have ever come across. Even above Harry Potter. Authors, book store owners and friends a like were signing its praises. So a few years ago I picked up a copy of the series and read and read and read.

Let me tell you something, when you're reading The Hunger Games and watching a  lot of Supernatural, you have the weirdest dreams. 

Ever since the movie came out and The Hunger Games took off even more, I've been hearing a lot of decent aimed in the direction of the concept not being original. I see that a raise it a Willa Cather quote, "There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before."

We live in the 21st century people. EVERY story has been told before. Suck it up. 

What makes one story differ from the rest is really the characters. Sure, fans of The Hunger Games are intrigued by the dystopic society the story takes place in, but really, we're reading to find out what happens to Katniss. 

I think it's really interesting how Katniss is idolized as a strong female character. Katniss certainly has her strengths, but she's more of an incidental heroin. Everything she does is in order to save those she cares for. The original act of volunteering for the Hunger Games was to save her sister. The act of defiance at the end of book one, where she threatens a joint suicide, is strictly to save Peeta.

From there, the rebels choose to turn Katniss is to a symbol of the rebellion and she's tumbled through a series of events she has no control over. During this entire process, the reader gets a first person perspective of how frail Katniss really is. She's left with deep psychological trauma from the first Hunger Games, intense nightmares, and has trouble associating with others. She even has trouble figuring out her emotions and what/ who she does want. 

What propels Katniss throughout the series is her desire to do the right thing and keep her family safe. I think these motivations are heroic in and of themselves. I just find it interesting that a character who is so mentally frail can be hailed as strong. 

It brings to question what strength is and what defines heroism in a character. 


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A Few Random AtoZ Blogs:

Because the AtoZ participants list is so massive, I don't include it here. However, I would like to give some love to my fellow bloggers, so I thought I'd pick a couple of random blogs to link to that y'all can check out at your discretion.

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