Essay – Team Katniss

If you’re looking for an insightful and thought-provoking read on Katniss Everdeen we highly recommend you check out Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ essay, Team Katniss,  on Smart Pop Books.   So many good points are made about Katniss’ character and what makes her stand out from other heroines.  It delves into many aspects of Katniss in a very thoughtful way and is definitely worth reading, though please note it is not spoiler-free!  Start reading below!

These days, it seems like you can’t throw a fish in a bookstore
without hitting a high-stakes love triangle—not that I
recommend the throwing of fish in bookstores, mind you (it
annoys the booksellers—not to mention the fish), but it certainly
seems like more and more YA heroines are being faced
with a problem of abundance when it comes to the opposite sex.
While I am a total sucker for romance (not to mention quite
fond of a variety of fictional boys myself), I still can’t help but
wonder if, as readers, we’re becoming so used to romantic conflict
taking center stage that we focus in on that aspect of fiction
even when there are much larger issues at play.

No book has ever made me ponder this question as much as
Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy—in part because it
seems like everyone I know has very strong feelings about which
boy is the best fit for Katniss, but also because the books themselves
contain a commentary on the way audiences latch onto
romance, even (and maybe especially) when lives are at stake. To
survive her first Hunger Games, Katniss has to give the privileged
viewers in the Capitol exactly what they want—a high-stakes
romance featuring star-crossed lovers and unthinkable
choices. Given that readers of the Hunger Games trilogy are
granted insider access to Katniss’ mind, life, and obligations, it
seems somewhat ironic that in the days leading up to the release
of Mockingjay, the series was often viewed the same way—with
readers on “Team Peeta” and “Team Gale” focusing on Katniss’
love life, sometimes to the exclusion of everything else.

But Katniss Everdeen—like a variety of her literary predecessors—is far
more than a vertex on some love triangle. She is interesting and flawed
and completely three-dimensional all on
her own. She’s a sister, a daughter, a friend, a hero, and—above
all—a survivor. She’s defined by her compassion, her loyalty, and
her perseverance, and those are all traits she has independent of
the boys.

I’m not Team Gale or Team Peeta. I’m Team Katniss, and in
the next few pages, we’re going to take a closer look at her character
and explore the idea that the core story in the Hunger
Games trilogy has less to do with who Katniss ends up with and
more to do with who she is—because sometimes, in books and
in life, it’s not about the romance.

Sometimes, it’s about the girl.

You’ve only just begun!  There’s a lot more left, click here for the entire essay!


One response to “Essay – Team Katniss

  1. I think this essay is spot on, and unlike some other “Team Katniss” essays that downplay the romance, doesn’t paint Katniss as a girl who’s incapable of loving at all. Many have taken the end of MJ to be proof that Gale was right about Katniss, even gone as far as to paint her as a sociopath who has no capacity for love, but only picked Peeta out of a selfish need for survival, but this essay doesn’t make that mistake. It shows us that Katniss does love, but more in a sense of familal love than stereotypical romance. Thanks for the link!

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