I’m a people person. I enjoy striking up a conversation with a shopper behind me at the Walmart check-out. Or swapping fun and useful tweets with people in cyberspace. Add my “people person”-ness to my “word nerdy”-ness and you get a reader who wants to find great characters. If I’m going to spend hours of my precious free time with someone, even if that someone only exists in the pages of a book, I’d better like ’em.
So I’ve decided to make “Great Characters” a regular blog post topic. And who is the hottest character to discuss right now? Yes, Katniss Everdeen.
For those (three) of you who don’t know, Katniss Everdeen volunteers to represent her district in a brutal fight to the death in the dystopian YA novel, The Hunger Games.
Why does everyone LOVE this girl? Usually, YA books attract female readers, but The Hunger Games has managed to draw young men as well. How does Katniss do that?
|Photo of Jennifer Lawrence
from Wikimedia Commons
Last week during an NPR interview, Jennifer Lawrence, who plays Katniss in the recently released The Hunger Games movie, explained what she likes about her character:
“She’s not a hero…She’s just a girl standing up for what’s right when something is wrong, when it’s hard and when it’s scary.”
Great message, especially for the many young adults who have devoured this book, who undoubtedly face overwhelming pressures and temptations to NOT do the right thing. Katniss proves that one person can be powerful, something that naturally resonates not only with adolescents, but also with all of us who feel manipulated or controlled by our circumstances.
Katniss also demonstrates compassion and integrity in a world that isn’t black or white, but very grey. She debates protecting herself (for the good of her family and her district) with trying to help some of opponents survive. She never loses sight of how cruel the games are, and inspired by her competitor Peeta, she struggles to remain “herself” in a terrifying situation that could fundamentally change her.
So, why do you like Katniss Everdeen? Can you add any other outstanding qualities to define her? What about faults? Every good character has a weakness – what’s Katniss’s? Add to the discussion by clicking on the comments link below. And thanks for stopping by!
Related post: Who Should Read the Hunger Games?