Why do we love The Hunger Games? Why do we crave to read stories in which children, even as young as 12, are pitted against one another in an arena and forced to kill each other on live television? Do we truly fear this reality in our own lives?
Or rather, is it all about control? Do we read these stories and embrace how every individual character from the main protagonist Katniss Everdeen to little “Eddie” of the District 8 bombing desire control in their lives? In a society where our words are monitored, our actions judged, and even our thoughts persecuted, is it any wonder that what we desire is the ability to control our actions and what determines those actions? Indeed, what else are we searching for so eagerly than agency itself.
Being the main character, Katniss finds agency in multi-faceted ways. She must first overcome the restrictions placed on her body by reclaiming her physicality. Her agency then flourishes when she focus on morality and care of others. However, when trauma strikes, her agency is shattered and only vocalization of the pain can restore her ability to know and control her actions.
Readers around the world find strength in Katniss’ brokenness. Similarly, readers find a multitude of other examples of how to attain, reclaim, loose, battle for, and strive after agency through other characters such as Peeta, Gale, Cinna, Haymitch, Prim, Beetee, Mags, Joanna, and many others.
In the comments below, let me know, what determines your agency? What character do you relate to the most?
Check them all out in Agency in the Hunger Games!