If you don’t at least have a baseline knowledge of what happens in The Hunger Games books or movies, I’m judging you a little, but spoilers ahead.
Okay, you all knew that this one was coming. How many Katniss quotes have made it onto my weekly letterboard? Every time I’m in need of a little dose of badass, I marathon The Hunger Games movies and remind myself of what I’m capable of.
When I was really struggling this summer when I started IOP at St. Vincent’s and my mom was staying with me, I asked my mom if she would mind if I put Catching Fire on while we were eating dinner and hanging out at home. Much to my surprise, she not only ended up liking the movie, but ended up invested in the franchise. I explained that when I’m feeling low, I draw strength from Katniss. My mom laughed a bit and said, “Yeah, I can absolutely see that.”
Part of what I love so much about Katniss is that she really didn’t know quite what she was capable of until she was thrown into it. She points out to President Snow in Mockingjay that she didn’t ask to be in the Games (which we all know, but hearing her say it gives me chills because it’s me). I don’t just admire her finding her strength because it’s great character development, I admire it because of the parallels in my life as a sexual abuse and assault survivor.
From the moment Katniss steps on the train, she’s determined to make the best of the situation she’s handed. Does she sometimes become overwhelmed with what’s thrown her way? Absolutely, but she doesn’t back down at any moment. Even when she’s one of the tributes who’s smaller in stature, she makes her mark as one of the strongest fighters, partially because of her will to survive. That fire to keep her going is something I try to channel as much as I possibly can.
Am I Team Peeta or Team Gale? Or do I have a love triangle parallel there? No, but my parallel for that debacle is part of why I can’t stand Gale with his selfish, narcissistic “yes but I don’t like how the pain you’re experiencing affects me” attitude. Not that I’m going to call anyone out, as I pretend to be better than that, but I will admit that’s something I have a fair amount of experience with dealing with one of those, which is why I choose Team Katniss. But for the purposes of who would be her better match? Peeta, hands down, as we don’t deserve Peeta Mellark.
Katniss also cares about the people in her life. She volunteers for the Games to save Prim’s life. She’s more than willing to give her own life in the Quarter Quell if it means keeping Peeta alive. Even when she isn’t quite sure of her feelings for Peeta, she’s hellbent on keeping the romance picture alive to keep everyone in her life safe. She’s even furious when she finds out her prep team had been kept as prisoners in District 13. If Katniss decides she likes you, you’re taken care of and I’m very much the same way.
So am I going to pick up a bow and arrow and attempt to overthrow a dictator? Not likely, mainly because I never quite got the hang of archery when we tried it in middle school P.E. But I will keep Katniss in mind when I feel like I’m in over my head in a situation, or when I know I’m about to walk into something that I want to run away from. Even without Cinna’s armor keeping me safe, reminding myself that I can be the Mockingjay can be enough of a motive to stand up for myself.