Saturday, March 17, 2012

Katniss- Warrior or Weakling?

The debate over whether or not Katniss, the main character and female protagonist of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, is a strong heroine or a needy, “lovesick” girl has been going on since the series came out. Although Katniss is tough, loyal, and risks her life for others, there are certainly aspects of her character, and the story, that cause a bit of an upset among fans. 

One of the biggest plots in the novel is how Katniss and Peeta strategize to survive the games. Their grand plan is to use each other as a romantic tragedy to gain support from the crowd and “sponsors” who will send them aid in the games. Does this sound like a plan for a warrior-woman? Something that Wonder Woman or Promethea would do? Do you think they would allow a man (or even another person) be tied to the fate of their survival? Maybe not, but I am very much pro-Katniss. I believe that she is a young girl, terrified of the thought of her death and forced into a situation by her mentor that she finds could very well save her life. Does this make her weak? I don’t think so. She shows so much strength in the book that I honestly don’t think she needs Peeta in order to survive.

Another reason why Katniss may be viewed as a weak “superheroine” is because she doesn’t actually have any supernatural powers. This, of course, can be rebuffed immediately. There are plenty of superheroes without superpowers: Batman, Ironman. I think the nature of a superhero does not come from their powers, but from their character. Katniss definitely has the character of a hero: anyone who risks their life for the lives of others (especially on multiple occasions- which I will not name due to spoiler alert) can be called a hero in my book.

I very much enjoyed reading The Hunger Games although I thought I wouldn’t when I began it. The story is definitely for children, like the Harry Potter series, but it has the same compelling tale of heroism and self-sacrifice that grips all age groups. I think out of all the material we have read so far this would have to be my favorite. Katniss showed her heroism from the moment she volunteered herself as tribute to save her sister and continued throughout the novel.


  1. I agree that Katniss is a strong female character. I don't think that the star-crossed lover strategy that she and Peeta use take away from her strength. Rather, I believe that her indecision when it comes to her love interest take away from her strength. Her constant uncertainty caused me to view her as a weaker individual throughout the series. Nevertheless, I believe that Katniss's power is indisputable. I really enjoyed reading her story, for it revealed an independent and courageous survivor in the female form.

  2. She is a very strong female character, from what I'm reading. What she lacks in actual superpower, she makes up for in intelligence and courage. She had to take care of Peeta when he was close to death. She had to play the love angle with Peeta because it was to her advantage. Having a love interest would make her more human, which in fact would get sponsors. Katniss could have been killed by Thresh, but she used the fact that she killed the boy that killed Rue to play on his sympathy and save herself. She came across as an immature teenager in the beginning of the book, but the games made me realize how strong she is.


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