With the release of the new Hunger Games movie, much has been written about the multiple identities that Katniss Everdeen represents. Some view her as a bad-ass woman warrior who embodies the abilities that all women desire, while some view Katniss as being overtly masculine and not nearly ‘woman’ enough. This New York Times article sort of ties this all together, addressing the multiple ways that Katniss Everdeen has captured all of our attention.
I like the different perspectives represented in this article. We get multiple views on the different ways that Katniss’s images are interpreted. One view, as A. O. Scott suggests, is that Katniss is “different, though not only because she is a woman but also because she is anything but a free, rootless figure of the wilderness.” This suggests that Katniss knows an environment that is conservative and enclosed, but is ready and willing to fight in a new wilderness that tests her abilities and her survival skills.
Scott later suggests that Katniss is a bit of an open book, and I think that this contributes greatly to the ways that society analyzes her character. Katniss is unpredictable in all the right ways. Dargis also suggests here that Katniss’s open persona allows her to inhabit identities that encompass both masculinity and femininity, which suggests that perhaps gender binaries are more fluid than we often acknowledge. I think Katniss Everdeen is a perfect example of a character that contributes to the breaking down of gender binaries and the encouragement of the ways that people are allowed to exist outside of boundaries and societal expectations.
How do we see Katniss sort of defying existing ideologies of womanhood? What other popular characters do we see doing this? What kinds of implications do complexly identified characters such as Katniss have on the image that girls in tray’s society are receiving from media and movie outlets?