Popular Culture Review Vol. 24, No. 2, Summer 2013 - Page 87

Katniss Everdeen, Role Model? Morality and Ethics in the H unger Games Trilogy Katniss Everdeen, the protagonist o f the Hunger Games trilogy, is one o f the most populär female characters to come out o f young adult fiction in a long time. Young women have latched onto this teenage character, who has fulfilled a powerful need for strong, young, female role models. Girls want to be Katniss, as they have proclaimed on Facebook and through their choice o f Halloween costumes. Sales o f archery equipment and archery lessons have spiked since the first installment o f the movie came out.1 There is indeed much to like about Katniss: strong, brave, independent, talented, self-reliant, protector o f the weak, and rebel against tyrants, while maintaining, at times, an endearing vulnerability. And yet as I read the books, I had some reservations about Katniss as a role model. These reservations nagged at me throughout the trilogy but finally came to a head in the third book, when Katniss makes a seemingly shocking decision. She votes to hold another hunger games, only this time with the children o f the Capitol as tributes. President Coin has just announced that many o f the rebels do not think that executing “hundreds” o f high-ranking officials in the Capitol is repayment enough for seventy-five years’ worth o f hunger games.2 So as a way to quench the bloodlust o f the people, some o f wh