Posted: Monday, November 12, 2012 9:28:49 PM
It is not an arduous task to come across a good read these days. But to discover a book that makes your heart pound, your heads sweat, your mind race; a book that makes tears pour down your face, makes you moan in frustration, makes you stay up through the night, risking exhaustion just so you can finish the book; that is an exceptionally rare feat to conquer. “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins was that book for me.
I monumentally underestimated this book and how I surmised it would affect me. The storyline takes place in the future in a country known as Panem which is divided into twelve districts separate from the Capitol. In the districts live oppressed, poverty stricken citizens and their family; each district is responsible for manufacturing various foods and technologies to supply the capitol. In strict contrast, the Capitol is home to the wealthy, elite, and most importantly Panem’s dictator; self-proclaimed “President” Snow. Annually at the “Reaping”, one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen are chosen from each district to fight to the death in the Hunger Games, with only one victor coming out in the end.
The main character Katniss Everdeen proves to be not only a character I see myself in, but that I draw inspiration from. Katniss lives with her mother and sister in District 12, the poorest of the Districts of Panem. As a result of her father’s death, her mother is depressed and seemingly incapable of caring for her children. On account of this, Katniss breaks many laws by hunting for her family so they can survive. Katniss’s natural leadership abilities, bravery, and self-reliance immediately stood out to me. Throughout the book Katniss does not let others push her around or conforms to what others want her to be. In the beginning of the novel at the reaping, Katniss’s sister, Prim, is chosen to be a part of the 74th annual Hunger Games but before she can reach the stage, Katniss volunteers to take her place. This exact scene brought me to tears, as Prim strongly resembles my own sister and made me realize I would do the exact same thing if I was in Katniss’s position, without a second thought. The bravery and protectiveness pulsing through me in that moment as I read is one I will not soon forget; it showed a side to me that has never truly been exposed. Katniss’s willingness to put other’s lives before her own is a truly remarkable quality I admire about her character. Self-reliance and individualism have always been a bold part of my personality, and seeing these, along with many more heroine-like qualities, protruded by Katniss has served as an example of the type of person I hope to emulate one day.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go reread my favorite book.