Theme Of Identity In The Hunger Games

813 Words4 Pages
Identity is an essential part of human culture. Personal identity is a person’s perception of themself that develops over their life. Without this personal identity, people may have a difficult time defining who they are as a human. Image is the perception that others have about a person, or the image they project to the world around them. These two ideas are intertwined throughout today’s culture, and throughout The Hunger Games, a New York Times Bestselling Novel by Suzanne Collins. In The Hunger Games, Katniss and the other characters struggle with separating their personal identity and the image they present to those surrounding them. Katniss Everdeen, the protagonist of this novel, is an independent, headstrong, and resourceful sixteen year old girl who lives in the dystopian country of Panem. Throughout the books, Katniss struggles with her image and identity. In the beginning of the novel, Katniss often came across as harsh, uncaring, or cold to those around her because she viewed everything in a practical light. However, her circumstances forced her to focus on survival, not only for herself, but for those she cares about. After she was selected for the Hunger Games, Katniss’ mentor and the other tributes selected to compete forced her to alter her image. In the Games, Katniss is portrayed as strong and fearless. She is hyper aware that she is constantly being observed, and her actions in the Games show this. She is not afraid to lie and deceive those around her if it gets her what she needs. Katniss is very aware of the image she is projecting. Every action she makes is calculated, and she is rarely rash. She is able to read into situations, and create inferences about what is expected of her. When Katniss and Peeta are in the cave and Katniss realizes that Haymitch has not sent Peeta any gifts directly, she muses, “perhaps [Haymitch] thinks a bowl of broth would just be a bowl of broth to Peeta, whereas I’ll see the strings attached to it (Collins 302).” Katniss realizes what she must do to succeed in the Games, and she will do whatever she must to return home. Peeta is Katniss’ foil. Where Katniss is carefully staged and mindful of her actions, Peeta is genuine. Though willing to deceive if
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