Saturday, March 24, 2012

Female Protagonists in Twilight & The Hunger Games


Even before “The Hunger Games” movie was even released, there has been a lot of comparison of the two. Likewise, there have been 13 year olds infatuated with Team Peeta and Team Gale, as they were with Team Edward and Team Jacob with Twilight. In fact, something I found funny watching The Hunger Games movie was that the last preview trailer was Twilight’s Breaking Dawn Part II. After having read the Twilight books and reading and watching the Hunger Games, I can seriously say that Twilight and the Hunger Games are two different stories and should not be compared. Although both focus on female protagonists, Bella Swan is portrayed to be a damsel in distress, while Katniss Everdeen is portrayed to be self sufficient and protective of her family.

Although Bella and Katniss are presented in a love triangle, Bella and Katniss differ in their reliance on males. Edward seems to be the one true love for Bella. In fact, in the second installment in the Twilight Saga, “New Moon”, Bella almost died from cliff diving, hoping that Edward would come back to her. She is almost obsessed with Edward, refusing to live without him. However, in The Hunger Games, Katniss is more independent. For instance, in The Hunger Games, Katniss is reluctant to be part of the “star-crossed lovers” narrative with Peeta. She also has doubts of what her relationship with is Gale, if they just very good friends or something more. In the Twilight Saga, the main story arc is the love story of how Bella is in love with Edward rather than Jacob, whereas The Hunger Games, the love story is only peripheral to the main story arc of how omnipotent the Capitol is over the twelve districts.

Another way that Bella and Katniss are different is their role in the family. Katniss is the breadwinner, hunting beyond the fences of District 12 and gathering with Gale, her confidant, and trading for various items in the Hob. She also tries hard to protect her sister, Prim. For instance, she volunteers to take Prim’s place during the Reaping and insists that she does not take any tessaraes. On the other hand, Bella is always running into trouble and requires the protection from other vampires. In Twilight, two bloodthirsty vampires, James and Victoria, chase after Bella, just because her blood smells sweet and she presents to be a challenge. Edward is able to kill James. In Eclipse, Victoria comes back for Bella for vengeance. Thus, Edward and his family devise a plan to save Bella. In all the books in the Twilight Saga, Bella is presented to be vulnerable, always requiring the protection of others, whereas, Katniss is a much stronger female protagonist, both physically and emotionally.


  1. I literally just published my own blog post about the comparison between Twilight and the Hunger Games. While Katniss is certainly a more powerful, independent character, I do think that she can be related to Bella. Both waver between two men and show great indecision throughout their respective series. One can even argue that Bella shows more decision because she basically chooses Edward in the second novel. Katniss, on the other hand, still doesn't know what she wants in the final novel of the Hunger Games series, and her decision isn't made until the end of the novel. I think such indecision shows weakness on Katniss's part, and her dilemma can therefore cause people to relate her to Bella.

  2. I find it interesting the extreme role reversal that occurs between Twilight and The Hunger Games. As you mentioned, Bella is constantly waiting around for her boyfriend to come rescue her. Her attempts to fight back are futile and often foolishly designed, getting her in more risk than she was before. Katniss, on the other hand, saves Peeta. After hearing that two tributes from the same district can win, she finds Peeta and nurses him back to health. She then hunts and provides food for him. Katniss is proactive, resourceful, and smart, while I feel Bella is often times selfish and foolish, poorly guided by her helpless love for Edward.


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