April 23rd, 2012 by Kristi Stephens
Katniss Everdeen of the Hunger Games trilogy and I have spent some ridiculously late nights together lately. It seems that no matter how much the clock tries to pull me back to reality, it is not enough to make me be a responsible girl and put the book down and go to sleep. The pages just keep turning as time marches on. And I know I’m not alone!
What is it about Katniss, Peeta, Gale, and the other Hunger Games characters that so capture our imaginations and cause us to happily lose sleep? Why are we drawn to this strange storyline?
As the author herself observes, people identify with these books in a variety of different ways. The abuse of power, hunger and the lack of food, the influence of media, statements about reality TV and desensitization to violence, standing up against what is wrong – many themes stand out and cause readers to respond emotionally.
I’ve pondered this question since I turned the last page of Mockingjay, and my thought is this: we respond to Katniss because the questions she wrestles with are the questions we all face. What is the real nature of humanity? Can anyone be trusted? Is there any hope for us? Is there anyone who will truly love us unconditionally, even when they see what we’re really made of?
Even though the scenario is unusual, I think we resonate with Katniss because we have all found ourselves asking these questions in the arena of our lives. Wondering who will betray us. Wondering who will love us. Grieving the victims of senseless evil.
So this week, join me for some conversations with Katniss. Things I would love to talk with her about if she was a real person (and honestly – don’t we wish she was?).
We’ll provide the lamb stew.