Saturday, March 24, 2012

Katniss and Bella: How the Two Queens of Today’s Fiction Industry Relate

           Katniss is certainly a strong female character. Her courage, power, and survivor-mentality cannot be disputed. She provided for her family, took her sister’s place in the Hunger Games, and fought against the other twenty-two (not counting Peeta) tributes to win the Games. However, as the fictional series became more and more popular and the movie was finally released in theaters, people seemed to have forgotten her inherent strength as a female individual and have instead become fixated on a less important, more superficial aspect of Katniss’s story: her love interests.

            Sure, Peeta and Gale embody a large part of the story line, but I believe that Katniss’s story has more depth than a mere love story. I admit that I was rooting for Peeta while reading the series (yes, I couldn’t just stop at the first novel…), and I’m sure I’ll swoon over the actors once I get around to seeing the movie, but I can’t help but thinking that the newfound obsession with this Hunger Game love triangle parallels directly with that of another major player in the industry of fictional series: the Twilight Saga.
      In my opinion, Katniss is an obviously stronger, more powerful female character than Bella, but while reading the Hunger Games series, I kept relating her predicament with that of Bella. Just as Bella was torn between Edward and Jacob and couldn’t seem to make up her mind, Katniss was torn between Peeta and Gale and remained undecided until the very end of the series. The love triangle surely brought more conflict to Katniss’s story, but it also weakened her image as a powerful female character in a way. I found it hard to believe that as her life was on the line (as it was countless times throughout the series), she couldn’t make up her mind and realize who she truly loved as more than a friend.

I know that it was a difficult decision, but such uncertainty certainly caused Katniss to seem less powerful, especially since it was centered around her own emotions. Just as Bella did in the Twilight Saga, Katniss wavered back and forth between the two men in her life. Rather than taking a stand and realizing her true desires, she remained undecided and tiptoed around her actual feelings.  I still think that Katniss’s strength is undeniable, but I just wish she made up her mind earlier in the series and did not show much of the typical “girly” problem of not knowing what she wanted when it came to love. I guess it made for good drama, but I couldn’t keep myself from relating her commonplace dilemma to Bella’s, and this definitely caused me to view her as a weaker character overall. 


  1. I agree that there is a similarity between Bella's torn love for Edward and Jacob in the Twilight Saga and Katniss's feelings for Gale and Peeta in the Hunger Games. On the other hand, I do not see an apparent relationship in Bella and Katniss's character. In my opinion, Bella appears fragile and weak in comparison to Katniss. Bella's main focus was completely on being with Edward and managing her feelings toward Jacob. Katniss is a survivor first and lover second. Katniss maintains her strength and nobility even though she is lacking clarity in her love life. I think that Katniss remains true to herself while Bella doesn't know who she is without Edward by her side.

  2. Although the love triangle is pretty prominent throughout the series, I would have to say that Katniss had good reason to waver back and forth. Her situation with Gale and Peeta were both out of the necessity of surviving. She didn't view herself as desirable and therefore doubted the feelings that Peeta had for her. The comparison between Bella and Katniss, although valid in that they are both popular series, pretty much stops there. Katniss never focuses only on who she will end up with. Yes, it is there in the back of her mind, but she is much more focused on survival, and the revolution. I will say that I was rooting for Peeta the whole time, and that it did add relate-ability to the story as far as Katniss' doubt about herself, but I don't agree that it detracted from her strength or power as a character.

  3. I agree with madelynn on this one. I don't think Katniss' love triangle detracts from her overall character or make her seem "girly". I actually think it did the opposite. Her inability to choose between the two boys shows reflects her inability to show her true emotion, typically seen as a "female" characteristic. Katniss is good at what she does -- fighting and using a bow -- and can easily make decisions when it comes to those. But romanticism is not her forte, and thus makes it difficult for her to make definitive decisions.

  4. See, I never felt that THG had a love triangle. In the first book, she met Gale not terribly long after losing her father. And while they did have similar ages, I always felt that Katniss needed him to fill the hole left when she lost her dad. Maybe Gale had different feelings about Katniss, but I never felt that she had any 'romantic' feelings about Gale at all. and if she did, I felt like it was only because she was seeing a possibility that she hadn't thought of before, and that she discarded rather quickly. So I get really annoyed when people call it a love Triangle. I don't see how it is.


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