Popular Culture Review Vol. 24, No. 2, Summer 2013 - Page 88

84 Populär Culture Review kill all the people in the Capitol or have a hunger games and just kill a few, she chose the hunger games because it was the way she feit would mean the least amount of bloodshed. This reading had fewer followers than the others, and it mainly had to do with how readers saw the character o f Katniss. A typical reaction was “Katniss would never have wanted another hunger games.”4 The second reading held that Katniss did want another hunger games but that this decision was so out o f character for her (given how she had acted in the rest o f the trilogy) that the only explanation for this was “bad writing.”5 This interpretation, like the first, also holds that wanting to have another hunger games is out o f character for Katniss. Since she would “never do this,” but she in fact does do it, it must be “bad writing” on the part o f the author. The third and by far the most populär interpretation was that Katniss voted to hold a seventy-sixth hunger games, but only did so as a subterfuge. She only did it, goes this line o f reasoning, because she had a hidden agenda. She voted for the plan to hold another hunger games because she had already decided to assassinate President Coin. She voted for the plan, which was Coin’s idea, to make Coin think that she was on her side, so that Coin would not suspect that Katniss was about to attempt to assassinate her. Those who hold to this interpretation also use K atniss’s character as revealed throughout the rest o f the trilogy as evidence. Since Katniss is not the kind o f person who would want another hunger games, her vote must have had an underlying meaning. This is also the assumption made by at least two o f the contributors to The Girl Who Was on Fire, a recent collection o f articles on the Hunger Games trilogy.6 M y purpose at this point is not to argue the relative merits o f the above interpretations (that would be another project) as much as to note their similarities— they all see Katniss as someone whose character is such that she would never want another hunger games held. And while, as stated above, there are indeed many positive attributes to Katniss’s character, I want to propose a fourth Option, one that is also based on K atniss’s character, but ffom the opposite point o f view. What if Katniss did want there to be another hunger games and what if this is consistent with her character? What if there is evidence that Katniss may indeed have been the kind o f person who was capable o f voting for another hunger games? I want to take a look at this evidence, the evidence that had been nagging in the back o f my mind, for a darker portrayal of Katniss Everdeen.