Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Thoughts on the Mockingjay Movie and the Hanging Tree Song

I've read criticism that Katniss Everdeen is selfish, which I always found weird. Selfish, the teenager who repeatedly risks her life to save others? But for the Mockingjay book and movie, this criticism seems to ring true. As one reviewer implied, she's obsessed with her romantic life, with Peeta and Gale, while the world is going up in flames, while people are dying in the revolution.

But as a character, she makes perfect sense to me. Katniss is cynical. She doesn't trust people easily -- and why should she? She's never been rescued. She's always had to look out for herself and her family -- since she was a child. It's only natural that this colors her worldview -- she thinks of everyone else, when she thinks of them at all, as as intent on survival as she is. In the first book, when Peeta is sad about going to the Games, all she wonders how he's playing to the cameras, what his strategy is.

Of course she doesn't believe in the rebellion at first. These people tricked her, manipulated her, and left to die the one person she was sure was on her side. They never helped her when she needed help, but they hijacked her life once again, just as the Capitol had. How could she trust them?