In The Hunger Games the conventional ideals of gender roles and romance are challenged. Throughout the trilogy we notice that Katniss performs what we currently consider male roles in our society. She’s a hunter, a leader and provider. Also, both men and women in the Capitol are equally preoccupied by image, makeup and fashion. Dr. Raley’s explains in extend how the trilogy portrays these challenges of gender and romance.
Katniss herself shows a contradiction in what we know to be feminine characteristics. She is overall more masculine in the context of our society’s ideas of masculinity vs. femininity
- Anger vs. sadness
- Emotionally unavailable
- Caretaker (sister)
- Long Hair
Peeta, who portrays a more “feminine” character, can contrast these characteristics.
- Beaker/ decorator
- Sexually Appealing
- Caretaker (in a more nurturing kind of way)
- Cares about the relationship
In addition, these differences in terms of gender are also viewed in the romance of the trilogy. First of all, Katniss seems to be completely asexual throughout the trilogy, even when she is clearly feeling something for the men in her life, physical attraction seems to be far from her motivations. Moreover, we notice a shift in romanticism in the Hunger Games as we look at Peeta and Katniss’ relationship. While Katniss for the most part fakes her feeling (something that we mostly attribute to men) we know that Peeta cares. He is the one who shows intense feelings for her. He is emotional, nurturing and the one willing to sacrifice everything for love.