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Gender representation in the Hunger Games

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Hollie Cooper

on 1 June 2015

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Transcript of Gender representation in the Hunger Games

The Hunger games is a series of novels, later adapted for the big screen, following the life of the female protagonist Katniss Everdeen, as she tries to confront the dystopian society where she resides.

what makes the narratives so intrigue is the unconventional gender roles in which the characters play.
Katniss Everdeen
Gale Hawthorne
For the series to appeal to a mass target audience, it is an advantage to have a stereotypical male.

Gale Hawthorne is strong, tall and has an athletic build.

He is less in touch with his emotions and resembles characteristics similar to that of the female protagonist Katniss, who becomes the saviour of her family.

Gale adds 5 reapings to his name, to spare his family.

In Mocking Jay Part 1 it is Gales job to design incredibly brutal weapons, which are then used to fight the Capitol. It is here that the differencetaion between characters can be seen. Katniss, is more gentle, whereas Gale is more inhuman.

Gale takes on the role of a natural leader, filling the convention of a stereotypical male. I feel that is important that this role is explored so that the appeal for the majority of men is not overlooked.

Peeta Mellark
In a stark contrast, Peeta is represented to have more feminine characteristics.

Peeta is seen to undertake less physically demanding jobs, such as gathering food, jobs which are usually prioritized to women.

Unlike Katniss, who seems at one with survival, Peeta has only ever killed one person (even this we think is by accident)

Throughout narratives women are seen to be better with words and more open to show emotions, something which Peeta is comfortable with doing.

Within the relationship between the two protagonists, Peeta is seen as the more passive character, a covention rarely seen within this type of film genre.

Compared to other characters such as Gale, Peeta is a lot smaller and less muscular. This lack of stereotypical male appearance really capitalizes on the idea that Peeta is not a "Mans man"

And as a result, it is said that Peeta is the movie girlfriend throughout the series.

This is also emphasized when Peeta takes on the role of the Damsal in Distress and Katniss as the hero.

Primrose Everdeen
Unlike katniss, primrose is gentle, timid and incredibly caring.

She is known for her healing powers unlike katnisses, and saves a cat in the first movie. This portrayal of gender is one that we know of and have seen time and time again.

Compared to Katniss, Primrose has blonde hair, wears lighter colored clothes and is a more petite build. As audience members we have come to acknowledge that these features, make someone look more stereotypically feminine.

Gender representation in the Hunger Games
How does this appeal?
Lately there's been a big move in tv and film to promote gender equality. I feel hunger games is one of the first films to fully engage with this new idea that a female protagonist can be strong and not sex symbol - like other films such as Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider
How does this appeal?
This role reversal between Katniss and Peeta demonstrates to the audience that it is okay to be able for a man to not fill the stereotypical gender qualities.
Katniss is the main protagonist, throughout the narrative. This is unusual, as it is conventionally a male who takes the lead role in action and adventure film genres.

Our stereotypical narratives are usually made up of strong heroic males, not females.

However, even though Katniss is female, she shares many stereotypical male traits.
- Hunting
- Self Sacrificing
- Closed off to sharing emotions
- Not very romantic

Not only does Katniss act in a very stereotypical male way but her appearance also reflects her more "tomboy " lifestyle.

Katniss is always dressed in dark heavy protective clothing.

Though people could argue this is merely suitable for the activities she undergoes and her and survivalist lifestyle.

On the other hand....

Katniss takes on a more conventional motherly role for her sister.

Katniss has long hair, which is not commonly seen on strong female character (The stereotypical butch female has short hair.)

Other gender roles
Not only does The Hunger Games focus on many gender conventions within their protagonists but many other, minor, characters have unconventional traits.

Everyone in the Capitol has very feminine traits, they dress up in extravagant clothes, wear a lot of makeup and put on very dramatic personas.

Sinna, defies our normal ideology of how a male makeup artists looks and behaves. The stereotypical characterless of a male in this profession is incredibly flamboyant and camp, though Sinna is masculine and composed.

Throughout The Hunger Games, sexuality and gender doesn't seem to be defined by peoples actions and occupation, which is less conventional in our modern day, western society.
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