Katniss as hero: An article in the New York Times

"One reason Katniss may be speaking to so many is that she doesn’t just seem to be a new kind of female character but also represents an alternative to an enduring cultural type that the literary critic R. W .B. Lewis described as the American Adam. Lewis saw this type as “an individual emancipated from history, happily bereft of ancestry, untouched and undefiled by the usual inheritances of family and race; an individual standing alone, self-reliant and self-propelling, ready to confront whatever awaited him with the aid of his own unique and inherent resources.” Katniss, by contrast, is never liberated from history or ancestry, but deeply formed by them and they, as much as her awesome archery skills, help her through the slaughter of the games"

I really enjoyed reading "A Radical Female Hero From Dystopia," an article examining Katniss as a hero in the Hunger Games series. The literature nerd in me loved the comparisons between Katniss and Natty Bumpo, the hero of Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans (and other novels in the series). I think that discussions like these are so important because books like those in the Hunger Games series are classics in their own right. They should be taught in schools--right alongside Dickens's Great Expectations and Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. The mark of good literature is that it makes us think and stays with us as an example of problems or situations we encounter in the world. The Hunger Games, in so many ways, is exactly that kind of literature. So, if you are a fan, check out the article and enjoy!


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