It should come as no surprise to anyone that I love ‘The
In fact, I was at Meijer at midnight last night to get my
hands on a blu ray copy of the movie – which I proceeded to take home and watch
not once but twice before going to bed.
What is a surprise is that I wasn’t the only one in line.
In fact, there were a good 50 people waiting right along
with me – including some very excited young girls that were loading up on Ben
and Jerry’s ice cream, Keebler cookies and popcorn so they could rush home and
watch the flick too.
‘The Hunger Games’ is one of those rare stories that manages
to touch people of every generation – yet it particularly appeals to young
The heroine of ‘The Hunger Games,’ Katniss Everdeen, is not
your typical action hero.
She’s not imbued with magical powers. She doesn’t have a
sparkly boyfriend that seems to love her just because she’s pretty. And she
doesn’t have a strong support system that will be there to pull her butt out of
No, Katniss is a hero that stands on her own two feet.
The story of ‘The Hunger Games’ isn’t exactly new – but it
is told in a profound way.
For those that don’t know (and I doubt you’re reading this
if you don’t) – Katniss is a teenage resident of District 12 in a dystopian
Her life isn’t easy. Because of a civil “uprising” more than
70 years before, the leaders of the society in which she lives instituted a
decree that each year one female and one male tribute – between the ages of 12
and 17 – will be picked and transported to the capital where they will fight to
In the end, there can be only one winner.
At the beginning of ‘The Hunger Games,’ we learn that the
starving people in the districts can get access to more food if they put their
names into the lottery – something both Katniss and her best friend Gale have
done on a regular basis.
You see, in District 12 (and many of the other districts)
food is a rare commodity.
Surprisingly, it’s Katniss’ sister Prim that gets selected
as this year’s District 12 tribute. But Katniss volunteers to take her
12-year-old sister’s place – something that is most probably a death sentence.
Even in her despair at what she believes to be her imminent
demise, Katniss is still thinking about her sister when she is hauled away from
the only life she ever knows. She begs Gale not to let them starve when she’s
When she gets to the capital, Katniss realizes that there is
a vastly different world out there than the one she knows.
While she has been raised in abject poverty, the people in
the capital are living it up in rich homes and walking around in ridiculously extravagant attire.
While Katniss struggles to find her place in this new world
she is ever aware that she will be plunged into an arena in two weeks where 23
other kids will have to die for her to live.
What’s interesting about Katniss is that – even though she
has tremendous survival instincts – she’s not willing to survive at the cost of
Even while in the arena she takes on one of the young
children and feeds her and looks after her instead of killing her. In fact, the
first tribute Katniss kills is in an attempt to protect a young Rue who –
unfortunately – dies in her arms.
Still, even in the midst of all this ugliness, Katniss takes
the time to place flowers around Rue’s body and then salute the district that
has just lost her – a move that will inspire another great revolt down the
Katniss doesn’t stop there. She also risks her life
repeatedly to save the other tribute from her district – Peeta – whenever she
can. It should be noted, though, that Peeta is also working overtime to protect
In this day and age – when so many kids are entitled whiners
that take their cues from vapid heroines like Bella Swan – Katniss is a
character that should be embraced.
Katniss is not a character that gets her self worth from having
a boyfriend. She’s not the type of girl that would go to bed for six months
because the guy she’s been dating for two weeks dumped her. And she’s not the
type of girl willing to give up everything for a guy.
No, Katniss is a character that fights for herself and those
that can’t fight for themselves. She isn’t self aware and she isn’t remotely
selfish. Through her deeds – if not her words, she’s a little close-mouthed –
she manages to inspire a nation.
Actually, Katniss has managed to inspire two nations. The
first is the fictional world in which she lives. The second is the real world
in which we live.
I think all young girls should aspire to be a little more
like Katniss – especially since the lessons she teaches have a true value when
What do you think? Is Katniss the best modern heroine out
there right now?