Saturday, March 26, 2016

What Would Katniss Do?

Personally, I’ve never pictured myself to be capable of leading a strong movement, let alone a rebellion, and neither did Katniss.

Katniss is remarkably strong in the sense that she never just gave up. Since she was first reaped for the games she has had several chances to end her life and never have to worry about the capitol again, but avoided every one.

Katniss becoming the leader of the rebellion, “the mockingjay” is something that gives
Catching Fire its sparkle (Collins 386). Everyone is used to the hero character a story being male, but Suzanne Collins changed that image in this novel. It showed women as the leading roles in the community and in important positions throughout the government. The role of women in Catching Fire is much stronger than a reader may originally think: Katniss is the face of the revolution, Mrs. Everdeen is the districts doctor, Joanna is the fierce and confident victor, Mags as a courageous and intelligent victor who sacrificed herself. There are many other minor characters who serve important roles as women throughout the series as well.
Katniss plays an important role, not only as the leader of the rebellion, but also as a mother figure to her loved ones. Her immediate family relied on her for years to provide food for them by hunting, just like Gale’s family relied on him. Her motherly instincts did not go away in the games though and she continued to care for her mother and sister when she returned, as well as Haymitch and Peeta both in the games and in District 12. 
In the Arena for the 75th Quarter Quell, Peeta mistakingly walked into a forcefield which knocked him out. Katniss cried “Peeta!” twice and shook him trying to bring him back from his unconscious state (280). When she noticed Finnick try to put his hands on Peeta, she reacted immediately with a mindset to kill Finnick before he could hurt Peeta. She “pulled and arrow, whipped the notch into place, and [was] about to let it fly” but stopped in her tracks because Finnick unexpectedly began CPR on Peeta (280). This reaction showed the courage and strength Katniss holds, and the speed she can react to stimuli. She does not need to think or reevaluate her thought in order for her to make a decision. This shows how Collins reversed gender roles by making Katniss, able to survive and Peeta, the man, hurt and unable to care for himself. Katniss time after time figures out how to survive and uses these skills and tactics to keep Peeta alive as well. 
Katniss also plays a mother figure for Haymitch. Although she has not sworn her life away to keeping him alive like she did for Peeta, she still takes care of him. The morning before the victory tour Katniss went to Haymitch’s house  to wake him. She found him sitting “at the kitchen table, his arms sprawled across the wood, his face in a puddle of liquor, snoring his head off” (13). Katniss is clearly able to prepare herself while Haymitch who is supposed to be her mentor cannot care for himself. Once she wakes him by splashing ice water at him she says “if you wanted to be babied, you should have asked Peeta” (14). This again shows how people view Katniss and prefer and trust her over others to get a job done. 

Since Katniss is such a noticeably strong character, the Capitol tries everything it can to push Katniss down and wear her out but they fail every time. The Capitol even went as far as destroying her home and entire district. Everyone she knew, everything she loved. The Capitol thought this would destroy her too and stop the upcoming rebellions, instead they ignited a new and deadly fire against themselves. Everyone outside the Capitol is now on her side and is going to do everything they can to protect her and keep her alive so she can be the face of the rebellion—the mockingjay. Even Pultarch, the head game maker is now on Katniss’ side and reminds her how important she is by saying “We had to save you because you're the mockigjay, Katniss. While you live, the revolution lives” (386). She was the one who survived despite the Capitols plans and is the living symbol of rebellion. 

Kirsten K. Prompt 6
Collins, Suzanne. Catching Fire. New York, NY: Scholastic Press, 2009. Print.

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