It’s been a while since I’ve shared another great female character with you. Considering the recent circumstances, it seemed fitting to choose a woman who was not afraid to fight the government. One who did not choose to be a heroine but became one any way. The face of the revolution. The Mockingjay. Of course I am talking about Katniss Everdeen. But what makes her so such a great character? Let’s have a look.
Pretty much everyone is familiar with the story of the Hunger Games. Every year, a boy and a girl from each districts in a land called Panem have to be entered into the Hunger Games, a way for the government in the Capitol to control the districts. Katniss’ sister Prim is chosen during the reaping of District 12. Knowing that Prim cannot survive, Katniss volunteers as tribute. She is in the hands of the Capitol and is sure she is going to die.
One of the great things about this story is the love Katniss has for her family. She knows they cannot survive without her in District 12, but she also knows Prim doesn’t stand a chance. At least she knows how to hunt and use a bow and arrow. There are few people who would have done the same if they were in her shoes. It takes a great deal of courage to go on a suicide mission like that, just to make sure her sister stays alive. She probably knew that next year, when Katniss would be dead, chances of Prim being chosen for the Hunger Games again would be big. Yet I think the bravery and love Katniss showed is incredibly admirable.
A reluctant heroine
Fast forward, Katniss defies the Capitol and survives the Hunger Games. In the next few books, she becomes the face of the revolution. The Mockingjay. Initially she just wants to do every thing to save her family and doesn’t accept the role, but she realises she can make a difference. A lot of her friends have paid for their allegiance to her, and she chooses to take revenge for them. She comes to understand that people have hope because of her. People rise against the government because they are inspired by her. She is aware that if she doesn’t seize the opportunity, the situation will stay the same and children will keep being murdered every year.
I think that the best heroes are those who never chose to be a hero. They are not the standard brave people. For them it is not easy to be a hero, because they favour a quiet and peaceful life. The same goes for Katniss. She is not afraid to be afraid and show her weaknesses now and then. While Katniss ultimately succeeded in bringing down the government, she forever had to live with the losses and the nightmares.
“No one will forget me. Not my look, not my name. Katniss. The girl who was on fire.”
While she learns to adjust to the Capitol ways in order to save her own skin, initially Katniss doesn’t want anything to do with them. She is brutally honest and refuses to play along. She remains honest throughout the series, not to mention her intense loyalty to the people she loves. While we live in a world that centers more on the individual, it is inspiring to see someone care so much, she’s willing to die for them. It’s why she fights and it is why we should remember to keep on fighting. We need to make this world a better place for the people we love as well as ourselves.
Katniss Everdeen is a character that is an inspiration for those of us who want to make a change, especially when there is no other choice but to fight.