Sunday, April 5, 2015

Gender Relations and the Hunger Games

In both the reading for class and Dr. Raley's lecture, the characters Katniss Everdeen and Bella Swan were juxtaposed to explain how gender roles in Twilight and the Hunger Games. Both the book and Dr. Raley explained how, practically, the gender roles are switched in the two stories. While Bella represents the stereotypical "damsel in distress" for contemporary teenagers, Katniss is pitted against a world that leaves her more aggressive.

 As discussed in the chapter, Bella is not only a protagonist in a "young adult" fiction, but also fits the character traits of that of a Romance novel, where the interaction between man and woman, inevitably both falling in love, is the most prominent part of the story. This is more stereotypical, according to Dr. Raley, of a female character in a story...... their story arch, especially in a Romance tale, always revolves around a male character. They are completely dependent on the male for their story to drive forward. Subsequently, the male figure (Edward Cullen and Jacob Black) drives the plot and "Gets the girl" at the end, making Bella the protagonist almost a joke.

While Bella is a weaker character, focused on "the man," Katniss, set in a dystopian story, has bigger problems then a male figure. The nature of the dystopian world demands that the protagonist (male or female) must find a way to survive. For Katniss, this means the male figures in Hunger Games, while present, are irrelevant compared to the need to protect those she loves in general, let alone something as trivial as "true love." This completely flips the idea of gender roles, being that Katniss is entirely independent and in control of her emotions. The males, particularly Peeta, are the weaker character, and the more dependent.

No comments:

Post a Comment