Team What?

As you can see, I am quoted at the Scholastic’s official blog site as someone who does not quite care whether Katniss ends up with Peeta or Gale. Actually, when Ivy first asked me if I was “Team Peeta” or “Team Gale,” I thought — but this is not TwiSaga where the story is all about Bella’s decision between a cold vampire and a hot werewolf. So I chose a different route: I’m Team Capitol.

No no no, I didn’t mean that I want Katniss to marry The Capitol or side with it or become its minion. I mean that what matters to me is the exploration of the societal structure and Katniss’ (and others’) realization of what’s wrong with the government and how they might be able to rebel against it. I can think of The Capitol as a character and it is the most compelling antagonist and really is the force that moves the plot along and the bedrock that underlies the theme of the story.

So, um, yeah, I’d rather read more about how Katniss deals with The Capitol than whether she’s going to choose Peeta or Gale. I was also asked to make a wild prediction on what I think might happen in Mockingjay. And this is definitely a random answer on the spot: I believe Peeta will be dead, sacrificing himself for Katniss or for the cause, by the end of the story. So, we shall see.


Filed under Field Reports, Views

6 responses to “Team What?

  1. I am totally with you on the fascination with the Capitol and the characters reaction to and against its outrageous excesses. That is the true nut I love seeing cracked!


  2. fairrosa

    I wonder about the young people — one high school student responded to my query of the following:

    Now… a question for those who have read and enjoyed The Hunger Games — what do you respond the MOST to?

    1. The social commentary about media manipulation, reality TV shows, and a dictatorial government.

    2. The cool and imaginative designs of the Arenas (book 1 and 2) and the creative ways that the characters fight and die in the story.

    3. Katniss’ budding romance with Peeta and Gale. (Team Peeta/Team Gale ..> REALLY??)

    4. Others.

    His answer:

    Rue and Katniss.
    Otherwise, #2 by a long shot.
    Let’s hope Mockingjay is a worthy sequel…


  3. frogboots

    The “Team peeta”/”Team Gale” stuff really upsets me. I taught this book to my undergrads this past year, and they responded most strongly to Katniss as a character. They seemed to both like and dislike her – I think, for many of them, they wouldn’t really want to know her in real life, but found her an intriguing and provocative and compelling protagonist. They all liked Peeta, too, because how could you not, and the romance angle they liked because, like most other aspects of Katniss’s personality, it was really complicated. But their enjoyment of the Katniss/Gale/Peeta situation came from its complexity and from its resonance with their own experiences (it’s HARD, sometimes, to know who you like best), and NOT because they were into the romance plot for its own sake.

    I’m with you on Peeta dying in Mockingjay.

    In Catching Fire, in particular, I noticed that the Capitol and its inhabitants have very “Roman” names – Seneca Crane, Caesar, Octavia, etc. I do not think this is an accident, and I do think it’s supposed to make us think of the Roman Empire (gladiators in the arena AND a decadent ruling class that eventually led to the crumpling of the Empire). Based partly on this linguistic evidence, I suspect Cinna is not from the Capitol at all (I think I like him best of all – I’m very curious about him!)

    My students also really, really liked Rue.

    Your poll question #2 is hard to answer, because the fighting/deaths are disturbing and I don’t *enjoy* them, but I love Collins’s inventiveness in crafting the arenas (especially in Catching Fire) and the various creatures and traps in them.

    (sorry to go on at such length! I just quite like The Hunger Games, and I’m also interested that, in both classes in which I taught it, every single student liked the book, a LOT. no exceptions).


  4. fairrosa

    I am with you a hundred percent in thinking that the whole Team Peeta/Team Gale angle seems to cheapen the book because it is just copying from the Team Edward/Team Jacob phenomenon of a very mass-marketed Romance novel (no, TwiSaga is neither true fantasy, nor true horror… ). The Hunger Games should have been a lot more elevated because it deals with much bigger issues. And yes, Suzanne Collins definitely modeled the Arena on the Gladiators’ time. (I believe in one of her interviews she stated as such.) Her concerns as an author are definitely not on teen romances so I really don’t quite understand why Scholastic would grab on this angle in promoting the books. Maybe because they believe that this will widen the readership?

    The book has a very wide age-range appeal — the teachers in my school enjoyed it, my HS students liked it, and my 10-11-12-year-olds gobbled it up and passed it along to their friends.


  5. I agree, I find the social and political themes in the book far more compelling than the romance (which isn’t to say the romance isn’t compelling). Do you know a good place on the internet to find youth commentary on the book? My Google-fu turned up nothing, I think because student-written blogs have poor PageRank. I even checked LiveJournal, but only found comms that were mostly speculating about who would be cast in the movie.


  6. fairrosa

    I am not aware of specific websites featuring teen comments — but my real-life teens at school totally scuffed at the notion that the Hunger Games trilogy would be reduced to having people discuss the love choice of Katniss. There is even a site that has a poll of Which series is better? Hunger Games or Twilight… and of course, 80+% polled say Hunger Games.


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