Popular Culture Review Vol. 24, No. 2, Summer 2013 - Page 91

Katniss Everdeen, Role Model? 87 Katniss’s view o f relationships not only leads to a diminished capacity to love, it also negatively affects her ability to forgive. She mentions on multiple occasions that she is not a forgiving person. For instance in the first book, in speaking o f her mother she says, “I try to forgive her for my father’s sake. But to be honest, Fm not the forgiving type.” 17 In Catching Fire, she mentions that the pose she and Peeta will adopt in the procession o f chariots will be “unforgiving. And I love it. Getting to be m yself at last.” 18 At the end o f Mockingjay, she wants to teil Gale that she will “Forgive him. But since I can’t, I’ll just have to deal with the pain.” 19 Gale doesn’t even try to argue his case, because he also knows that Katniss is an unforgiving person. Another thing that Culver fails to mention in her article on Katniss and the gift culture is that in this kind o f culture, it is not only gifts that must be repaid, it is injuries as well. The creators o f the Mosaic Law in the Jewish Pentateuch well understood this when they laid down the eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth law. Ironically this kind o f law was intended to mitigate the escalation o f violence that is often inherent in these types o f transactions. If I knock out your tooth, you are not allowed to take my arm in retum; you are only allowed a tooth. In these types o f cultures, an injury demands its own repayment in kind just as gifts do. But viewing relationships in this way often leads to an everincreasing cycle o f vengeance with the repayment for an injury often outdoing the original offense. For instance in The Hunger Games, when Rue is killed, Katniss immediately kills the boy who killed Rue. However she does not see this as settling the debt. She says, “F d kill anyone I met on s ig h t. . . My hatred o f the Capitol has not lessened my hatred o f my competitors in the le a s t. . . They, at least, can be made to pay for R ue’s death.”20 We see not only the language o f payment but also the escalation— death does not pay for death; there must be more payment. Katniss’s desire to repay inj