This article will begin and end with one, simple fact. I love the Hunger Games series. Period. I am a young woman of 20…something, and I am proud to admit that I stood in line to watch Catching Fire donning my Mockingjay tee.
One can say it’s just the fan girl spirit but it’s so much more than that. The books are amazing; it’s so rare that I, personally, feel such a close connection to a main character. Usually, I root for the under-dog. Like Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series. The ambiguous nature of said characters is intriguing, and then to watch them develop and grow; not knowing if their going to turn to the dark side…or whether they are trustworthy at all. It sucks one in and leaves us wondering for months ever-after if we have them quite figured out. So, we turn to the ink and paper text once again for confirmation.
But, unlike many heroes/heroines that have come before, I can say one thing with certainty: it is hard to ignore Katniss Everdeen. When she speaks, she doesn’t whisper. She roars. So loudly, in fact, that it’s impossible for her to hide under any mask. She refuses to follow the perception that women are “delicate” (no matter how hard Haymitch may try) because she insists on taking care of herself,and other people for that matter. Katniss fears the impending revolution because she’s more worried about her own world. To her, it’s impossible to save every single person in the outlying districts. She fails to realize the power she holds all throughout the second book/movie. And, from Prim and her mother to Peeta and Haymitch; that feeling to protect and nurture is strong. The thought of losing any of them burns deeper than the fire that envelopes her dress as she twirls. She is a modern female, not trying to fulfill anyone else’s standards but her own; railing against the system that makes her feel caged. But yet, she fears losing everything if she attempts to move against it.
Because, let’s face it. As women we wear many different hats. We embark on a very delicate tight-rope walk every time we attempt to face the world. Don’t we all feel the, almost daily strain, of having to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders? Then, to top it all off for this “girl on fire”, there is that overwhelming terror of failing those around her. That fear of losing just one more loved one to the Capitol. And most of all, she faces off not only against President Snow but the two men that matter most in her world. Can’t she just love both of them in her own way? Both men being so different certainly doesn’t merit her having to choose one over the other…but yet they persist none-the-less.
As we gear up for Mockingjay, the last in the series, which finds Katniss finally facing off against the Capitol head on; one thought runs through my head. How is she different from any woman in the real world? Just speaking for myself, I understand the constant battle; the fight between what one really believes, and what they must do in order to stay alive. It isn’t always an easy game, after all. The fear of failure, in all it’s forms, is always looming over our heads. But, much like Katniss, we have to remember even one voice can spark something big. It can make people think, causing a huge blaze that can engulf everyone and everything in our wake. Sinner or Saint, Katniss stands for that spark. That spark in all of us. And as I straighten my Mockingjay pin to face the world, I feel validated for my fan girl/obsessive tendencies.
After all, I fangirl with a purpose.