*Required field *Email entered incorrectly. Please try again
Analyzing Katniss Everdeen: Is She Really the Hero We Think She Is?
This weekend, tens of millions of dollars have been spent watching the final installment of the
viewings for many reasons, whether it be a dose of adrenaline or a chance to ogle at the smoldering Gale Hawthorne. But mostly, they\'re coming for Katniss.
Miss Everdeen is a protagonist hard to resist. She\'s plucky, she\'s funny, and she\'s played by Jennifer Lawrence. Instant likability is a given. But the issue at hand today isn\'t her well-documented (and well-deserved) admiration—it\'s whether she\'s really the Hero-with-a-capitol-H we\'ve been painting her as.
Before we go further, we\'ll issue a request to put down your pitchforks, Katniss faithfuls. We\'re
fans, too; we wouldn\'t be writing this if we weren\'t. But rather, since this beloved series is now wrapped up for good, we\'ve found ourselves at a crossroads where the only thing left to do is look back on the saga and ask the hard questions. So here we go.
Perhaps by design or perhaps inadvertently, Katniss is often portrayed as a futuristic superhero. Just look at her in any poster or movie still: She has the sleek costume, the signature weapon, and even that infamous superhero stance (feet wide, arms down, face stony). In so much of the series\' advertising, especially for the militaristic final installment, she\'s shown doing all sorts of superhero things: disembarking from hovercrafts, shooting through fire, running from deadly black sludge, uttering superhero-y one-liners like "Snow has to pay for what he\'s done" and "Tonight, turn your weapons to the Capitol."
It\'s hard not to draw comparisons to another snarky superhero dressed all in black—Scarlett Johansson\'s Natasha Romanova, a.k.a Black Widow. Swap the fake brunette wig for a fake red wig and the bow-and-arrow for a handgun or two, and the characters are practically indistinguishable. This may or may not have been a goal of the
costume design team, but it still sends a pretty powerful message. The world of Panem is in danger of total collapse, and Katniss (and her ragtag team of Avengers rebels and defectors) is here to save it.
But when you take a closer look, you quickly see that she\'s quite, for lack of a better word,
. And not in the way that every superhero has their fatal flaw, but more in the vein of this-girl-might-not-be-cut-out-for-this. For starters, she has a team of people—or who we might goodhearted-ly call pushers—coaxing her along at every step and all but forcing her into the position of savior. President Coin and Plutarch Heavensbee, and even less aggressive players like Cinna and Haymitch, often conduct her like an unwilling puppet, and one has to wonder if she would have been willing or able to make any difference outside the Hunger Games arena without them.
Then there\'s the prickly matter of her love triangle, but that\'s a matter for an entirely different story. Let\'s move on, to the fact that her rebellion, while admirable, can be reckless and even hypocritical. No spoilers here, but fans will understand why we find it valid to mention that her vengeful actions towards President Coin don\'t quite jive with the rhetoric of humanity and rational thinking she\'s always preaching. And it\'s also worth pointing out that in any non-fictional world, there would have been a whole lot more consequences.
All of this stands to remind us of the decidedly non-heroic and selfish, yet
reason she got into the business of dictator overthrowing in the first place: She just wanted to save her mom and her sister. She cares about the fate of the district citizens because she cares about the fate of good ol\' Prim (and don\'t we all).
stars reveal what they won\'t miss about each other
And now for the complicated moral debate. In the end, we\'re deciding that Katniss isn\'t really a superhero. But that\'s even better.
Katniss Everdeen doesn\'t have all the answers. She wasn\'t born to lead, to bring about change for The People. Lest we forget that before the 74th Hunger Games she was just another anonymous hungry citizen.
She does what she has (and is often forced) to do, and makes decisions in the moment that are best for everybody but also, and more importantly, her. She fights off mutts, she shoots down Capitol hovercrafts, she (tries to) drag people to safety, because what else is she supposed to do? But, unlike other characters who might be thrust into her position, she has conviction and compassion, and in the post-apocalyptic world—and today\'s world, for that matter—those might be the two best things a person can be.
saga is also notably different than the norm—for heroes, that is. We don\'t see her struggling to function in a world where she\'s not saving others, and we\'re not watching her march back into the darkness, destined to sacrifice to a life of turmoil for others\' freedom and safety.
Instead, she finds her peace from a (relatively) conflict-free world, picking flowers with her little family, in the same way most of us would find peace. This did start as a Young Adult novel, after all. It may not be explicitly heroic, but because of Katniss, many others in Panem found that same simplicity. And maybe that\'s the best thing she can hope for.
Jennifer Lawrence Doesn't Want to Talk About Falling Down
What Josh Hutcherson Won't Miss About Jennifer Lawrence
TAGS/ The Hunger Games, Mockingjay, Jennifer Lawrence, Movies, Top Stories, E! Loves
Best Celeb Thanksgivings We Want to Crash Today 7:26 AM PST
Justin Bieber serenades Selena Gomez at a hotel bar and the two also stroll together
Nirvana Fans Declare War on Justin Bieber for His AMAs Outfit
E! Online - Your source for entertainment news, celebrities, celeb news, and celebrity gossip. Check out the hottest fashion, photos, movies and TV shows!
Call 1-888-E-Online | Text "tip" + your tip to 44264 or Click Here
*Message & Data rates may apply. Reply HELP for help, STOP to cancel.