Thursday, December 5, 2013
So I saw Catching Fire last weekend with my daughter. Admittedly, my expectations may have been too high that this would be a "feminist" movie. I had read some of the interesting ideas about the inverted gender roles of the heroine Katniss and the two male leads. Ms. magazine in Catching Fire: Positive Fuel for the Feminist Flame argues that Katniss displays typical male relationship characteristics (avoidance of commitment, boredom with safety) while Peeta (the rock) exemplifies the "good girl" and Gale (think gale-force wind) is the exciting temptress. Jezebel in the article What if Katniss Didn't Have to Choose Between Peeta and Gale? challenges the gendered notion of women having to chose just one man.
But what I saw in The Hunger Games II was a girl continually manipulated by all those around her. And she wasn't clever enough to figure much of anything out for herself despite all of the obvious clues. (Ok, she does shoot the dome). Most of the time she is being saved and controlled by others around her -- the genius, the cynic, the drunk, the warrior, the dictator, the master game planner, and even the fashion designer. She is object, not subject.
Apparently it doesn't get much better in Book 3.