Suzanne Collins’s important book The Hunger Games features some of the strongest characters in literature as well as one of the most compelling storylines. It is a story about a dystopia in which the leaders make children fight to the death as entertainment for the rest of society and a reminder of all the things that can go wrong. In the course of this story, a heroine emerges. Her name is Katniss Everdeen, and she is the most important character in the story. Katniss takes a leadership role when she volunteers to be a part of the actual Hunger Games in place of her little sister, who has been chosen randomly in the draft. Katniss Everdeen is a good example of a strong female character who demonstrates qualities like loyalty and bravery throughout the early part of the book.
Katniss is presented as a character with extreme skills in the wild. She is a strong character in part because of her ability to take a bow and arrow out into the wild and kill things. This skill will eventually be used by Katniss as she tries to survive, and it shows how she is not typecast as a weak woman. Katniss describes her strengths and her steely resolve when she says, “The bow and arrow is my weapon. But I’ve spent a fair amount of time throwing knives as well. Sometimes, if I’ve wounded an animal with an arrow, it’s better to get a knife into it, too, before I approach it” (Collins 48). Katniss’s willingness to step up for her sister is another sign of her strength. She has a choice to make in that moment. She can either shrink back and watch her sister go to a certain death, or she can step up to show both loyalty and bravery in an intense moment where her best was demanded of her. Katniss stepped up to the table and did something that no one would ever do. She was the first person from her district to volunteer to go to the Hunger Games, and in doing so, she showed her ultimate strength. Katniss says at one point, “The something unexpected happens. At least, I do not expect it because I don’t think of District 12 as a place that cares about me. But a shift has occurred since I stepped up to take Prim’s place, and now it seems I have become someone precious” (Collins 17). This was a sign of her ultimately strength, that she stepped up when other people were just thanking their lucky stars that they were not selected to go to the games. As a strong woman, she knew that it was not right to let her little sister go, and she knew, too, that she could do something to step up and make it not so. When she did so, she illustrated a type of strength and courage than even the male characters in the story could not match. She chose to lay down her life for her sister, since she had no idea at that time that she would be able to win and come home back to her family.
Katniss Everdeen is a leading character in the text, Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. She is painted as being an extraordinary woman who is motivated to help her sister and her community. She is a strong hunter who has learned to fend for herself in a world where no one wanted to give her anything. Collins created a heroine who stepped up at a time of need when other people were not willing to take those steps.
The Hunger Games is a book for teenagers; it expresses most of the afflictions that a teenager suffers. It does so through the protagonist: Katniss Everdeen. The character is constantly put against the ropes in situations where no other teenager would thrive. Throughout the series, she experiences a series of shocking events that shape her character and make her the person she is; the hero she became. For that reason, when analyzed, The Hunger Games show three main aspects of Katniss life and her upbringing that perfectly relate to most teenagers’ struggles.
First is the need to survive. The Hunger Games is a book depicting a battle for survival. It shows a conflict that can only be solved with blood. But not any blood, the blood of children and teenagers. While a struggle against nation-wide oppression occurs in the background, Katniss struggles to survive even before the Hunger Games begin, hunting for food in her town and continues when the Games start.
She resumes her need to survive thinking that “Gale and I were thrown together by a mutual need to survive. Peeta and I know the other’s survival means our own death” (Collins 112). In other words, as a teenager, she appears unable to carry her struggle completely alone and needs company. She finds that company through love, be it true love or a construction. However, her instincts are clear, and she knows what to do to survive, to adapt to the situation, that is why when the Games are at the start and she sees a bow she promptly thinks, “That’s mine, I think. It’s meant for me” (Collins 148). The bow then is a representation of that need for survival. A tool; the only tool she had to thrive.
Another aspect is caregiving. From the beginning of the novel Katniss cares tremendously for her sister and her mother; in fact, the first thoughts expressed by the protagonist are for them. The sacrifice Katniss does to save her sister, offering to take her place in a game whose result is, most likely, death. Her scream of “I volunteer as tribute!” (Collins 23), highlights her willingness to put before her those she holds dear, which she does throughout the book, helping others even if such action would mean her death, trusting first and asking questions later.
However, Katniss has problems trusting people. This is a third aspect that relates her personality with that of a teenager. After finding herself in the middle of a battle for dear life, Katniss is unable to fully trust anyone and starts to doubt everything that people tell her, inevitably closing in on herself. “The Games begin in two days, and trust will only be a weakness” (Collins 114), this is what Katniss thinks before starting the Games, but later, upon meeting Rue, she starts to trust in others again “Because she’s a survivor, and I trust her” (Collins 200). What is clear is that Katniss has problems trusting people because, to her, most people have a second aim when dealing with others. This makes her wary of bonding with others, though when she does it is a strong bond.
Like a teenagers’, Katniss’ personality and characteristic treats are shaped by her surroundings. Her specific upbringing highlights some of them, nonetheless, the difficulty to trust others, the strife to survive and the care for those dear are common to teenagers and; in fact, to most adults as well. Her relationship with her sister, Gale, Peeta, and Rue, and all the characters of the novel shows some of that struggle of a person who suddenly finds herself in the middle of a world willing to see you dead, a world that rises like an overpowering machine. In the face of such a formidable foe, her survival instincts, her wariness and her caregiving shine like beacons, shadowing other flaws or highlights of her personality.
Another characteristic of Katniss is responsibility. Throughout the novel, it is certain that she is trying to assume the responsibility of taking care of her family and relatives after the death of her father. Many people thought that her brother would take that role since he was the man of the house. However, she decided to take that responsibility by ensuring that the family is well-fed. In most cases, she went out to look for food and bring it home. Such measures show how responsible she had become. Katniss was not only using her skills to her own advantage but also to ensure that other people benefited as well. This shows that she was responsible for taking care of the weak. In the movie, she believed that no person could fight better than her. She explained that ‘I am the best fighter in the community.’ This means that she risked her life so that the community would be able to survive.
Loyalty is also a characteristic that Katniss portrays. She is seen to be loyal to her community members as well as her close families. One of the people that she promised not to betray was her mother, Hyamitch. After the death of her father, she believed that her mother needed to be taken care of since the society was becoming a dangerous place. Many people were betraying others for the purposes of surviving. However, Katniss ensured that she remained loyal even if it meant sacrificing her life to save others. While they were fighting in the forest, she had to unite with other teams so as survive. In some cases, another team member was betraying their fellow team members so that they would emerge the winner. However, as much as Katniss wanted to ensure the survival of her community, she remained loyal to their team until the end.
Katniss is also a good a leader. As the novel begins, she was asked to replace a sister who died while they were fighting in the area. She knew that she had the role of leading the people to ensure that her community was able to survive. In most incidences, she is portrayed as someone who gave commands, and other followed. She explained that’ I will fight for my community to ensure that we survive.’ Based on that, all her actions were about leading the people. When they were fighting in the forest, she knew that the only way they were going to survive was through forming teams. This decision portrayed her as a good leader. It was certain that they were not likely to win without forming such teams. One of the roles of a leader is to sacrifice for the good of the others. Katniss, on various occasions risked her life so that other people would be safe. As a leader, she decided that she would ensure that her family was well fed. After taking the role of her father as the leader of the family, Katniss made sure that all her siblings and their mother were safe.
Katniss also exhibited morality. In most incidences, has is seen a person who knows what is good and what is wrong. While she was fighting in the juggle, she ensured that her team was able to withstand all the challenges. As much as she had the chance of killing them so that she would become the overall winner, she had to stick to their plan. Based on that, it portrays her as a moral person who believed that the society must be the together. Towards the end of the novel, she explained that ‘I would not kill my fellow team as that was not the agreement.’ This statement showed that she was morally upright and she knew that she would not be able to betray her teammates.
In addition, Katniss is a survivor. From the beginning of the novel, she ensured that she survived all the challenges that she encountered. It started when she lost her father, and now she had to take care of the family. It was a difficult task for her since she had to also fight for the good of others. Nevertheless, she survived that aspect and ensured that her family was well-taken care. While fighting in the forest, she encountered a lot of challenges in which most of them were life threating. ‘I have to survive this mission,’ she usually told herself in most cases. She was not willing to be defeated as she knew that her community was in danger. Also, towards the end of the novel when she was betrayed by their leaders, she continued to survive as much as they were trying to kill her.
Unpredictability is another characteristic that Katniss portrays in the novel. No one knew what she was going to do next. That was one of the aspects that ensured she survived all those dangers. While the other people’s moves were calculated, her steps were well concealed, even the leaders were not sure of what actions that she would take to ensure the safety of her community.
In conclusion, Katniss is one of the most outstanding characters in the novel. The authors showcase how powerful women were by using her as the main character. In most cases, the community believed that the males were the best suited to fight for others. However, with the way Katniss fought for her community, it empowered the women.