Sunday, April 13, 2014

"The Hero's Journey" in The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games follows a lot of the traditional "Hero's journey" characterisics, while also deviating in several interesting ways. Typical hero's journey tend to have these steps in them; the call to adventure, the refusal of the call, the meeting with the mentor, the crossing of the threshold, challenges and temptations, the belly of the whale, transformation, and the return.

File:Heroesjourney.svgKatniss is obviously the hero in The Hunger Games and therefore the similarities can be seen through her own journey. Very clearly, Katniss's call to adventure is Prim's name being called in the reaping. This moment begins her journey through death, revolution, and knowledge of the greater world. Refusal of the call is less easy to pinpoint, but it could be said that she refuses the call somewhat by not allowing Prim to take any tesserae, instead hunting extra so Prim will be safer. However, Katniss is very ready to take the place of her sister, and rises up to the call for heroics. Once in the Capitol, Katniss crosses the threshold into the new world, officially beginning the transformation step of the journey. Haymitch plays the role of an older mentor, by training Katniss, as well as sending gifts to her in the arena. Challenges and temptations occur constantly while in the arena, as the hero struggles to defend herself, maintain her morals, decide who is a friend and who is enemy, and make all the decisions which a life or death situation demand.

Being in this terrible situation really transforms Katniss into a new, more aware person. Before going into the games, Katniss was a sort of quiet rebel, who only did what was necessary to keep herself going. Through the brutality, Katniss transforms into the beginnings of the mockingjay, the rebels leader. The other books of the series show her return home, as well as her teaching her new knowledge to others, completing the cycle of the hero's journey. One of the big deviations was the lack of supernatural aid, as The Hunger Games does not have any kind of supernatural component, only futuristic ones. Another change is the lack of the goddess figure along Katniss's journey.

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