Audiences Hungry For A Female HeroMarch 22, 2012 No Comments
Step down, Twihards, it’s time for evolution via the Hunger Games revolution. Let The Games begin!
I don’t want to upset any Twilight fans, but the series boils down to a drawn out love affair that is not consummated for many moons. Bella and Edward meet in the first book and don’t have sex until…wait for it…1,748 pages later. Some would call that suspense. I call it a snore.
The Hunger Games just seems like a more satisfying series. It’s part of a fascinating post-apocalyptic literary genre, it has a slew of complex characters that teens and adults alike adore, and best of all, it boasts a powerful female lead.
Perhaps teens are following The Hunger Games as if it were just another fad to be quickly consumed. Since J.K. Rowling has now jumped off the Hogwarts Express with an adult novel in the works, teens must have something to feast on. But The Hunger Games is more than a mere pop culture phenomenon, especially because the heart of the story lies in such a strong heroine.
A National Post reporter asked Jennifer Lawrence how she wants female characters to connect with Katniss, and she responded:
“I want them to understand she’s loyal. She fights for what’s right. And she’s not quiet when something’s wrong.”
It’s a simple statement, yet it speaks to the very real impact this movie franchise may have on young women. Instead of trying to win over a man, Katniss sacrifices herself for the love of her sister. In the arena, she manages to make bold political statements to the Capitol by bonding with other women. Case in point — Katniss’ scene with Rue. She could just leave her to die, but instead she sings to her and covers her in flowers, knowing full well she’s onscreen and could get severely punished for her explicit show of rebellion.
This scene, among many others, make it obvious that Katniss’ fight is much bigger than her sister. Throughout the series, her notions about love, war and justice become more sophisticated.
Truth be told, there is a love triangle in the trilogy. Readers wonder who will it be: Gale or Peeta? But romantic love takes a backseat to political uprising and heroism. Katniss will pick a man in the end, but it’s really her bravery, independence, and humanity that matter most.
What’s interesting is that Collins describes Katniss as a futuristic version of Theseus, a mythical Greek hero. She exhibits mental strength and honour. But regardless of Collins’ male inspiration, she’s compelling as a woman who’s unwilling to comply with tyranny, and also a unique individual who becomes a symbol of freedom and justice. Katniss has already become an iconic female hero and role model.
Whether you love or hate the film, Katniss’ heroics cannot go unrecognized. This is one pop culture train I just have to hop on.
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