For those who don’t know, Katniss Everdeen is the heroin of the trilogy of books written by Suzanne Collins and is played by Jennifer Lawrence in the movie adaptation of the series. The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay are set in a dystopian future which has twelve different districts, all of whom have different economic outlooks. Katniss comes from District Twelve, the poorest of all districts and has worked everyday since her father died to keep her family fed. Every year the Hunger Games are held in which two young people from each district are chosen at random to compete. There is only one survivor of these games.
Katniss doesn’t fit the stereotype of an action hero. In the books she is quite frail in nature, having not had a consistent supply of food. She is also quite compassionate. She volunteers herself to represent her district in order to save her sister. While some of the competitors do not have to think twice about killing the other competitors Katniss struggles with this. She tries to save Rue and she is willing to give up her own life in order to save Peeta. What happened to her in the hunger games arena stays with her, she doesn’t get over what happened to her overnight. It is a constant struggle for her to have a “normal” life. I think that this is an incredibly strong message for young girls, and older girls. The message that it’s ok to not be ok is very powerful and it makes Katniss more relatable as a person.
The love triangle between Katniss, Peeta and Gale highlights her vulnerabilities as well. She is reluctant to open up completely with either man and while she becomes more open as the series goes on, her romantic relationships are never her main priority, surviving is. Having a female character that is both incredibly tough and incredibly vulnerable is rare. Katniss is a character who tells girls that you can tough but fragile at the same time. The first time I read the series the character that I related to most was Peeta but upon re-reading the series and watching the movie adaptation I see more of myself in Katniss, not necessarily her survival skills but more in her resilience and the way she always puts her family first.
Girl Museum Inc.