Feminist Analyses of Hunger Games ROUND-UP!

Since Jen and I chatted (at ecstatic length) about Hunger Games as a feminist novel, many more bloggers and feminists have written up their thoughts on the series, characters, and film as well. Here are some of the latest ruminations.

Feminist Frequency analyzes Hunger Games, both the novel and its film adaptation. If you are unfamiliar with Feminist Frequency, Anita Sarkeesian recently gained well-deserved acclaim for her outstanding video commentaries on the Legos Friends controversy. Her videos are cogent and informative and she has an impressive array of hoodies! The fangirl in me doesn’t want to read anything that doesn’t adore these books with the strength of a thousand suns, but the feminist/teacher/thinker in me knows that they aren’t perfect. Of all the feminist critiques of the Hunger Games trilogy, I think FF does the best job celebrating the series’ many successes and critiquing its many weaknesses. There are more videos to come, so sub to her site already!

Clarissa’s Blog asks “Is Hunger Games a Feminist Novel?” She answers with a resounding NO. I disagree with nearly every point she makes, but it’s an interesting read nonetheless. She criticizes Katniss for clumsily performing the patriarchal roles of mother and prostitute. It might get your blood boiling but it’s worth considering these perspectives (and arguing against them, in your brain, all day long). There’s also some discussion of other YA dystopian series that Jen and I mentioned in our chat, namely the overhyped, overpraised, wannabe-HG Divergent trilogy. (But I don’t have an opinion on that!)

Katha Pollitt makes no bones about how much she loves Katniss’s “feral feminism” over at The Nation. And she hates on Bella Swan, as we all love to do.

Fangs for the Fantasy  indulges in some Bella Swan mockery in a matchup between Bella and Katniss. They also have reviews of the novels. Perhaps best of all, Thought Catalog imagines a girls’ night out with Katniss, Buffy, Hermione, and Bella:

Katniss: What’s the deal with you people and dating vampires? You guys should try humans sometime.

Hermione: Preach.

Buffy: There’s nothing wrong with vampires. Minus their emotional unavailability, lack of reflection, and penchant for really rough sex.

Bella: The rough sex is great, although it’s super awkward that we have to keep buying new pillows every time.

Katniss: This conversation is getting weird. Can I have some of those Doritos?

Speaking of Hermione, I’ve been dying to do this:

Finally, at The Rumpus, Roxanne Gay’s beautiful essay “What We Hunger For” cuts right to the tender center of my Team Peeta soul, as she considers not only what makes Hunger Games so awesome, but also why it speaks to her so deeply. She relays a powerful story about her experience as a disempowered young woman in a terrible relationship (TRIGGER WARNING) and connects that to the “darker turn” of YA fic in recent decades (Jen and I also discussed this in our chat). It’s a really moving piece. “Just because you survive something does not mean you are strong.”

(She has a Venn diagram, and for that, I love her. I love diagrams. You will discover this in a future MN post.) (Thanks for finding this for me, Jen!)

What else have you read recently about Hunger Games? Add your voice to our Katniss-obsessed chorus!

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5 Responses to Feminist Analyses of Hunger Games ROUND-UP!

  1. LOL!!! I like the remove the love triangle poster.

  2. Love this. And Hunger Games– I have no idea how I missed them the first time around, and I can’t blame everything on living in a cotton field at the time. Read all 3 in 3 days the weekend the movie came out, am now reading again slowly, to savor.

    I’ve really liked this blog’s take on the symbolism that’s beyond my background: http://www.hogwartsprofessor.com/unlocking-mockingjay-the-complete-set-of-posts-and-a-round-up-of-the-first-30-discussion-points/ I haven’t read all of it, but he offers a lot of insight on the names (like that rue is an herb which, in Paradise Lost, removes blindness… Rue’s death is Katniss’s awakening. That kind of little gem.) Also some interesting takes on gender, like how all three characters defy most pop culture/ YA gender stereotypes, and how together they symbolize the mind-body-spirit.

    Loved your finds, thanks for sharing!

  3. Pingback: Feminism and Health in The Hunger Games

  4. Pingback: Exploring Narratives of Technology » Feminism and Health in The Hunger Games

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