Warrior Women as Main Characters: Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games
Summary — The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games trilogy is set in a futuristic dystopian world, in a regime split in twelve districts. Each district is specialised in a particular occupation. Katniss Everdeen is a resident of District 12, the last of the districts, which is responsible for the supply of coal and mining. All of the districts are controlled by the Capitol, which is home to a unjust president. The Capitol takes advantage of its power and to show this further, they host an annual event called the Hunger Games. Two tributes from every district are selected at random to participate the game. Every year, the arena changes and is set up to act and look like a particular setting, such as the woods, jungle, desert, etc. Each tribute has to kill each other and survive to become the last remaining tribute. The last standing tribute will receive food and supplies for their District and will no longer be chosen for the games in the proceeding years.
Each tribute chosen by random can not deny their position unless someone will volunteer in their place. Each family is forced to put their children’s name in drawing lot — the more times you put their names, the more grain you receive for your family. During the selection process, Katniss Everdeen’s sister, Prim, is chosen. In an effort to save Prim, knowing that she had no chance at survival, Katniss volunteers to take her position. Due to Katniss’ talent in using her bow and arrow to hunt for food (by illegally crossing the fence that borders the districts), she knew she had more chances at being the victor.
The rest of the novel is Katniss preparing for the Hunger Games and the lessons, friends, and love she finds in the process.
The Hunger Games is one of those emotional, thrilling, and horrifyingly fast-paced young adult novels, but something that really makes it stand out is its protagonist. Katniss Everdeen is not represented as the “perfect” heroine. In fact, she is quite the opposite. She is rude, ungraceful, and not compliant with any sort of authority if she can help it, which only adds to her charm. Katniss is very family oriented and is primarily driven to volunteer the games to save her sister, but then sees the problem and decides to try and solve it. She represents the true embodiment of female empowerment, not through the power given to her by the authorities, but the dignity she has in herself and the people she loves.