What Does The Hunger Games Tell Us About Being A Man Or A Woman? What Does It Mean About Womanhood and Manhood?

Thesis assertion: Gender stereotypes are being questioned today. People can, of course, choose to behave outside of their gender roles. However, it seems that today’s culture considers it to be particularly unethical. Suzanne Collins depicts how gender roles are questioned in her books The Hunger Games (Deborah). Peeta and Katniss reinforce and undermine gender roles in the novel series, much as the book itself questions societal assumptions regarding gender roles. When anyone does not obey the rules, he or she is considered an outcast in society, according to our perceptions. The Hunger Games poses concerns about our society’s assumptions and expectations about how different people should behave in their respective gender roles. Gender stereotypes are prevalent in our culture. However , the hunger games mock to these stereotypes. The series of the book convince us that there should not be any defined gender roles depending on one’s physical appearance. Stereotypical gender roles within people and their corresponding actions to survive are changing on daily basis. In the hunger games series, Katniss goes against all the gender stereotypes (Deborah). She acted strong, independent, and brave, unlike Peeta who acted dependent, shy, and weak. In the beginning of the story, Katniss tried to support her sister and mom.
Because of the hunger that had hit people in the district, people had no food so Katniss decided to hunt and look for food for her family centrally to the expectation of the society. Her act was illegal according to how her society interprets a girl to behave. That alone is an indication that she was against all the stereotypes.
In the typical settings of the society, it was the role of a man to provide food to the for the family, however, in the hunger games case there was no man in the family of Katniss, thus she saw the need to turn against all the stereotypical roles of a woman and acted as man to go and hunt seeking for food.
What is the author arguing or expressing to readers in this work of literature?
In this work of literature, the author is challenging the gender stereotypes. A few character traits of Katniss or Peeta do not conform to the gender stereotypes. Katniss is described as masculine and dominant, which is contrary to the women has, stereotypes (Rick).
On the other hand, Peeta is described as sensitive and emotionality expressive yet these traits are perceived as the stereotypes of women not for men. Other traits demonstrated by characters are not evidenced as either opposing or conforming to the gender stereotypes. However, there are some examples such as Gale that fits the gender stereotype for men as being strong, muscular and heads of the families who makes sure that they are fed well and kept alive. Some attributes of girls in particular careers such as clove and glitter that do not portray the women stereotypes instead they are portrayed as strong and aggressive (Rick).
How is the role intermixed in the story? Let us look at Fatness’s traits that show her stereotypical male traits. Katniss is a hunter whereas Peeta is a gatherer. In the hunting exercise, she kills with arrow and bow at the decently close range and she kills more than Peeta (Ellyn and Hassel 117). In contrast to what the society perceives females to behave, she is less emotional and less romantic. Compared to Peeta, Katniss is more set on survival and she is the one who comes with good plans once plan the two sit together. In addition, she cleans, cooks, hunts, and uses fewer words compared to peter (Ellyn and Hassel 117).
On the flipping side, Peeta gathers as Katniss hunts. The book shows that Peeta’s kill was seen once and it was just a mere chance. In addition, Peeta is more finely emotional and he tries to let the world see him cry as he also tells Katniss his feelings for her in the presence of the entire group members. Peeta is more romantic yet Katniss is shown as a person who had never had time for boys even in the play she acts in pretends to play a role of the camera and that a reason Peeta had in most of his time crushed with Katniss (Dereck 179). Fighter more, Peeta is a baker, who frost cakes in the bakery, draw, and even paints. He is also portrayed as empathetic in his act of throwing burnt bread to Katniss. However, he is the most passive person in the relationship so Katniss plays an important role.
The hunger game does not hate women much as its hero is a woman. The heroic actions of Katniss are precise because of rejecting the traditional expectations about the famine roles. At the home in district 12, the dress code of Katniss is drab, utilitarian clothing. After the death of her father, she decides to take her father’s role as hunter and provider, leaving the domestic village confined for adventure. When her sister was threatened, Katniss did not show the stereotype of men. The feelings for her sister remained maternal yet she mostly expressed them through acting parental, going the through the battle to protect and defend her family (Ellyn and Hassel 118).
The hunger games invariably put Katniss in female roles with regularity to emphases artificially those roles. In addition, her plan to romance is front presented and the preparations for the wedding are more elaborate rude an implication that Katniss distance from traditional narratives to feminine nature (Rodney 193). She does not want marriage at all yet marriage is a natural calling. Peeta represents some manhood traits as he gets committed to the story of romance.
He also fills the role of a man as usually reserved for women though in distress and therefore Katniss repeatedly saves him from danger. Therefore, fulfilling the famine role is a touchstone of self-sacrifice and purity. Since he is associated with femininity and love, the society sees a terrifying threat in him (Rodney 197).
After analyzing the reversals in the traits, it is imperative to note that neither Peeta nor Katniss appears famine or masculine. As listed above, both have a plenty of these traits but because Katniss is shown in the so-called masculine traits, this does not imply that she is a masculine woman. The same thing applies to peter. Peter has all the traits, which the society perceives as being famine but in the universe, he is never portrayed as feminine.
What messages or statements can be interpreted or understood from this piece of literature? Why is this literature important?
When we make an analysis of the feminine nature in the hunger games, we are triggered to take the messages of equal opportunity and gender equality for females. Adoption of analyzing the actions in the film if set in the future will reinforce the modern patriarchal society. The hunger games emphasize the concept of masculine language as opposed to feminism. It portrays the roles of males the skills associated with power or as those in positions of power (Rodney 195). A heroin possesses skills of athletism, strengths, and power when hunting.
Although Collins chose a female protagonist, the skills that Katniss possessed are traditional masculine thus reinforcing the feminine nature concept (Rodney 194). It is our sexuality that we tend to directly tie to our communications in the society. The manner of speaking Katniss portrays is more consistent with what is expected of conversation between a woman and a man. As a strong woman, she is seen telling her mother to take care of her sister primrose that no matter what the mother feels she must be there for primrose as she encourages her not to cry. In this way, Katniss acted as the protector for her sister while fulfilling the duties of a father.
The process of being cut off from friends and family as she was transported in the capitol is termed as social castration. She left all that was relevant and meaningful to her and is now defined as the girl on fire coming from district 12 (Francis). This reflects the message that girls can never have defined names until they get married. The patriarch implores girls to take the names of husbands. In addition, the film shows that the society is a building built by men which resemble the phallic symbol (Francis). This symbol is a figurative demonstration of wealth and power that Katniss possesses. Therefore, hunger games will always remain a future concern in the United States. We the nation has moved past the notion of male dominance and president must be a female disregard of the apocalyptic world.
The book the hunger games present a clear concept of gender equality due to Peeta’s and Katniss’ actions showing that both genders are sensitive, physically strong and vulnerable. In addition, their actions portray that both genders have similar conditions in actions, views, and personalities. The author created the two characters such that they can have opposite gender stereotypes to prove the perceptions of the society wrong (Sean and Shepard 126).
How does the author achieve her/his effect?
The author portrays gender roles in the novel series in an amazing manner. Peeta is by no means the alpha male, a faked hero and a lumberjack (Sean and Shepard 120). In fact, Katniss and Peeta do reversing roles contrary to what we expect the female and male leads to perform. Several searchers including the psychology today, the New York Times, and elsewhere have pretty varied thoughts on gender stereo types in the movie series of the hunger games (Sean and Shepard 120). Katniss is described as a female hero. The characterisation of Peeta in the novel series gives an interesting ideology that male can lead another identity rather than the stereotypical male identity.
The gender is an evolving identity. The central narrative in the novel series is the process of shifting identity by Katniss. From the beginning of the story, she considered herself as a girl. She found a challenge of poverty in her family and determined her abilities to fight it through gathering skills and hunting. As she remained friendly with so many merchant class members, Katniss found herself with Gale who was a son of the poor miner. The strength derived in her friendship with Gale provides the philosophy that she thought will help her finally succeed in the games.
Moreover, in her adventurous movements, Katniss continued to question her identity as the seam girl. In terms of her relationship with Peeta, a merchant class boy, her facial attraction to the capitol’s luxury continued to make her ask whether she might belong to a different place. When she grew up, she started to make multiple ethical decisions after observing the brutality of the game. Ultimately, Katniss tried to show that she is a more empathetic and caring person with other unique attributes other than being a stoic hunter.
About Katniss, the film of the hunger games seals the idea that women are heroes and saviours. A woman can be broken hearted but Katniss show that she does not need a man that she has to survive neither is she looking for love from Peeta. Her actions shows that she is pretending to be in love with Peeta such that people can like the couple and try to convince the capitol that both should be allowed to earn living (Dereck 175). In her argument, Katniss says, “Only I keep wishing I could think of a way. To show the Capitol they do not own me. That I’m more than just a piece in their Games” (Suzanne). This as an implication that she wants to prove to the society that she has all the abilities to outsmart them and remain a victor (Dereck 171).
Love proves to be an integral part that keeps Katniss alive. As she survived in difficult times after her father death, her love for the mother and the sister is that enabled her to stay stronger and the major family provider (Sean and Shepard 120). In the same way the act of kindness with bread shown by Peeta, which Katniss credited as having given her, opportunity, and the strength in that period was an indication of Peeta’s love for her much as she could not recognize that love now (Sean and Shepard 120).
The literature shows that the theme of sustaining the power of love is important for both couples to live together. Her growing love for power helped her to maintain the attachment with Peeta. Encouraging Haymitch to send the sponsor gifts was the most obvious ways of showing a growing love for Peeta much as her actions that all the affections were expressed for the sake of the gifts. The true feelings she had for Peeta helped her to survive until the final stages of the games.
What are its effects on the reader?
The effect of the book on the reader is that it shows that the characters are understanding and realistic because they show us how we can form complete and friendship against overwhelming odds. The book resonates with the generation, which is currently raised in the reality of shows because of its engrossing, dramatic, and tuneful plot. All people around the world are affected by the gender stereotypes. It is, therefore, significant for people to choose who they would like to be not living along the chain of society rules and procedures. The ability of people to express themselves without anxiety or fear of being harassed by the society should remain at the peak of gender identity evolution.

Sources cited
DeaVault, Rodney M. “The Masks of Femininity: Perceptions of the Feminine in; the Hunger Games and Podkayne of Mars.” Of Bread, Blood, and the Hunger Games: Critical Essays on the Suzanne Collins Trilogy. Ed. Mary F. Pharr and Leisa A. Clark. London: McFarland & Company, 2012. 190-198. Print
Hopkinson, Deborah. “Suzanne Collins: A Riveting Return to the World of ‘The Hunger Games’.” Book Page. Book Page, September 2009. Web. 19 June 2014.
Connors, Sean P., and Iris Shepard. “Who’s betting on The Hunger Games? A Case for Young-Adult Literature.” Critical Insights: Contemporary Speculative Fiction. Ed. M. Keith Booker. Ipswich: Salem Press, 2013. 115-136. Print
Cortney, Dereck. “Why Does Katniss Fail at Everything She Fakes? Being versus Seeming to Be in the Hunger Games Trilogy.” The Hunger Games and Philosophy: A Critique of Pure Treason. Ed. George A. Dunn and Nicholas Michaud. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2012. 178-192. Print
Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. New York: Scholastic, 2008. Web.
Lawrence, Francis. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Perf. Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson. Lionsgate, 2013. DVD
Lem, Ellyn, and Holly Hassel. “‘Killer’ Katniss and ‘Lover Boy’ Peeta: Suzanne Collins’ Defiance of Gender-Genred Reading.” Of Bread, Blood and the Hunger Games: CriticalEssays on the Suzanne Collins Trilogy. Ed. Mary F. Pharr and Leisa A. Clark. London: McFarland & Company, 2012. 118-127. Print.
Margolis, Rick. “The Last Battle: With ‘Mockingjay’ on its way, Suzanne Collins weighs in on Katniss and the Capitol.” School Library Journal. School Library Journal, 1 August 2010. Web. 19 June 2014.

Need help with your homework? Let our experts handle it.
Order form