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2013 Master's Level Graduate Research Conference

Session I - Session II - Session III

Analysis of Katniss Everdeen ("Hunger Games")

In the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins initially presents the main character, Katniss Everdeen, as a heroine who refuses to conform to traditional expectations of gender. Her survival in District 12 does not depend on her presentation of herself as a female, it depends on her ability to hunt and sell her game in a black market. These are typically things that are thought of as male tasks. As she enters into the world of the Capitol however, she becomes immersed into a culture where she is expected to “perform” gender if she is to survive (literally) once she enters the arena. The difficulty Katniss encounters as she realizes she is expected to behave in a way that is unfamiliar to her indicates the unmasking of the construction of gender patterns. As the Hunger Games begin, Katniss begins to “perform” her gender, often ineffectually and despite a desire to do so, in order to become more acceptable to the culture of the Capitol that demands a prescribed and preexisting role. Thus, rather than deconstructing gender, Katniss serves as a character who maintains the idea that for the sake of survival, gendered roles are necessary and must be adhered to.

Presenter: Jennifer Gilmore (College at Brockport) --
Topic: English II - Panel
Location: 218 Hartwell
Time: 1:45 pm (Session III)