Girls on Fire-New Feminist Role Models in Katniss and Bella
Ov er at the Women’s Media Center, Rhiannon Root, a student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, looking for feminist lessons in the Twilight series and Hunger Games, concludes that Bella and Katniss “have more in common than feminist critics like to think they do.”
Both are teenagers. Both live in fantasy worlds. Both are involved in keeping their families fed: Bella cooks, Katniss hunts. Both are from non-traditional homes, Bella has divorced parents, Katniss’ father died in an accident. In that same vein, both characters have complicated relationships with their mothers: Bella decides to move to Forks because her mother remarries; Katniss loves and resents her mother because she breaks down after Katniss’ father dies.
You could say that the balance between these two characters is the same as the balance among all women in contemporary America.
The fictional teen characters choose the roles they want to play (wife, helpmeet, fighter, crusader) and do so for quite similar reasons – to provide for their families – a “traditional” but inescapable women’s role – and a good one.
They face challenges and they develop their character. That’s what good fiction, and a good life, are all about.
“At the end of their respective series,” writes Root, “both heroines—to a certain extent—end up fulfilling traditional roles as wives and mothers [and] try to re-establish a “normal” life with their partners.” See Katniss and Bella—Getting to the Heart of the Matter | Women’s Media Center.