Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Katniss vs Bella as a Role Model?

Katniss vs. Bella?

No competition


No comparison?

Thanks to Suze Reese for linking this article in her weekly I Heart YA blogfest.

I haven't entered into the whole Hunger Games buzz, other than a few blog comments and my own anticipation about seeing the movie (Next week, spring break. YAY!!!).

But this article got me riled.

I know it's natural to compare the two franchises, Twilight and Hunger Games, but beyond ticket sales and royalty checks, I'd say there isn't much else to compare.

Exhibit A:
Hunger Games is about an oppressive fictional dystopian society where many starve so few can live in luxury and 23 random children are killed each year for entertainment.

Exhibit B:
Twilight is about a fictional vampire family and a werewolf pack that both depend on remaining secret from the rest of the world.

The article, I think, makes my point instead of theirs:

Bella...does many things against both her own and everyone else's better judgment, like falling in love with a vampire, jumping off of motorcycles and cliffs, and generally becoming a depressive, whiney teenager. But nothing really depends on this. It's not important for her to act this way, except outside of her own emotions.

The article then criticizes Katniss for going along with The Capital's efforts to turn her into a celebrity...saying this makes her passive. But, HELLO, not going along with the games means she's more likely to die. DIE.

Meanwhile, not acting like a whiny, self-destructive teenager means Bella would be more likely to live. LIVE.

The stakes in the story are why Katniss matters as a positive role model.

It's not Bella's fault. Who knows what gumption she might show if you threw her into an arena for a fight to the death...I'll bet she wouldn't be moping about Edward then.

What about you? Seen this article? What do you think?


  1. I'm glad I didn't see this article. How can you compare these two things ever?

  2. Hear, hear! I read the article and was scowling the whole entire time. I agree with you: there is NO real comparison here beyond the large fandom, etc. I think there is no argument when it comes to who is the better role model and which book has greater stakes (haha 'stakes'...vampires...never mind). No comparison, no contest.

  3. Good point--that Bella's situation doesn't require her to do much more than navel-gaze and mope. (I haven't read Twilight, though, so I'm basing that off of seeing the first movie and general pop-culture knowledge.)

  4. I agree with all of you. I think this was a case of someone scrambling to say something that would score hits to his blog. Not much sense to it beyond that.

  5. I have to admit that I'm a little offended by this guy's post, mostly because it's clear to me that he IF he read the HG book (I highly doubt it), he certainly missed the overall theme. Instead, he honed in on certain small details while eschewing the major plot points.

    In my opinion, there is no comparing HG and TWILIGHT. They are different genres, different plots, and different in the statements being made in the stories. TWILIGHT is at its heart pure romance, while HG might have romantic elements, it's more about the dystopian society, the bonds of family, and how change/revolution can be inspired by the one small act whose only intent was to save the MC's sister from certain death.

    Again, no comparing the two, other than the fact that they are both wildly popular.

    Wow...that was a rant and a half, wasn't it? (for the record, i did read and enjoy both books(and their sequels/series), although i will admit to liking HG a bit more than TWILIGHT)

  6. Okay, now I'm FIRED UP. I haven't read the article and am about to and go land blast them with my thoughts on their idiotic assertions about Katniss. Really? Really?!

    Grrrrrrr. Off to give someone a piece of my not so happy mind.

    Thanks for sharing. I need someone to lash out on today. >:)

    Oh, and my spring break is next week too! Wheeee!

  7. I totally agree. I also think this article kind of disproved its own point, in more than a couple instances. Your view on no competition/no comparison was great. I was having a hard time in my own I Heart YA post trying to comment on Twilight like I did on the Hunger Games, and I think you just made me realize why: they are just too different. There isn't really a comparison to be made there.

    Great post, thanks for sharing!

  8. ...Apples and Oranges, on the surface only. Both young women are self-sufficient and capable of supporting themselves and their families. Both grow to find inner and outer strength that they didn't know existed. Both fight to free their families from unjust dictators (Vulturi and Capital). The comparison has to take into account the entire saga, not just the first book, as the ladies grow and mature at different rates over time.

  9. Michelle, You do make good points...my issues(and the ones hit on by the article) are more with the bigger picture...Bella's actions (falling in love with a vampire) are what endanger her new vampire family...and the danger is not world wide. The Vulturi have victims, yes, but they aren't trying to control the entire world. With Katniss, it's about her family first, but in the bigger picture, it's about oppression by a controlling government and possible rebellion.