In Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games, the character of Katniss Everdeen distinguishes herself from other female protagonists in children's fiction in many ways. In my future paper, I plan to discuss those differences, mostly through the lens of the treatment of romantic relationships with regards to the protagonist in children's fiction. In the book, Katniss is caught in the type of love triangle typically found in children's fiction: the sensitive new lover versus the old friend who understands her more. However, Collins seems to subvert this trope by playing up the ambiguity of Katniss' actual feelings for Peeta and Gale; her on-screen relationship with Peeta starts out as a total artifice, a trick performed for the cameras, but turns out to be much more complex than that. Through analysis of the primary text and the surrounding scholarly literature, I wish to use The Hunger Games as an example of subverting the normal romantic clichés that go along with female protagonists in children's literature.
Questions about the assignment:
- How does Katniss as a character and a personality differ from the traditional female children's fiction protagonist?
- How is the first-person narrative used to portray distance and confusion in Katniss' relationship with these respective love interests?
- How does this treatment of potentially false or acted-out relationships play into Collins' overarching themes satirizing the popularity of reality television?
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Blasingame, James and Suzanne Collins. "An Interview with Suzanne Collins." Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, vol. 52, no. 8 (May 2009), pp. 726-727. Print.
Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. Scholastic Inc., 2012. Print.
Flanagan, Victoria. "Girl Parts: The Female Body, Subjectivity and Technology in Posthuman Young Adult Fiction." Feminist Theory vol. 12, no. 1 (April 2011), pp. 39-53. Print.
Frankel, Valerie E. Katniss the Cattail: An Unauthorized Guide to the Names and Symbols in Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games. Henry Potty and the Pet Rock, 2012. Print.
Skinner, Margaret and Kailyn McCord. "The Hunger Games: A Conversation." Jung Journal: Culture & Psyche vol. 6, no. 4 (2012), pp. 106-113. Print.