I just finished the book The Hunger Games about a day ago and I am completely addicted to the series.  I only read it because people said if you like The Twilight Saga, you’ll love these books too.  Yes, I love Twilight, but this book is entirely different from Twilight and I was completely taken aback by it.  It was so intriguing and didn’t remind me of Twilight much at all.  Then I got to thinking about what we talking about in class and gender roles popped into my mind because it is a big deal to me.  My brother was a typical boy and I was a typical girl, but our baby sister is such a tom boy, everyone claims she is homosexual.  I would not care is she liked girls, but I know that she does not.   She just likes to play basketball more than shop for clothes.  Yet everyone else seems to think it is so tragic that she does not like to wear dresses.  The Hunger Games, I think it has a pretty good message to it concerning gender roles and the irrelevance of them.



Unlike Twilight it has no definitive lines between genders.  It’s not a helpless girl that is addicted to her boyfriend in some weird creepy way.  On the contrary, it is about these 12 boys and 12 girls that and put against each other to literally fight to the death.  Gender roles do not mean much, when you are fighting for your life.
Each person has to fend for themselves; girls do not get a ten minute head start or an extra blanket to sleep with.  It is just people fighting.  The main girl of the novel, Katniss is very independent and strong willed.  She sees everything beyond the level it is given to her.  She looks for more and a deeper meaning.  Katniss is no ditzy girl.  She also is incredibly talented with a bow and arrow, because she has been doing all the hunting for her family for the last 5 years.  Her partner, Peeta, who is male, is a baker’s son, who admits to being not athletic.  He says during the discussion of his training “I can’t do anything, unless you count baking bread” (The Hunger Games 89).   In this book there is no definition of gender roles.  People are people and everyone simply wants to live.  The book is all about fighting and the first person killed is a boy by a girl.  The last four competitors are two boys and two girls.  Before the Hunger Game Competition begins Katniss is made into perfection by a stylist, but so is everyone other competitor.  Her stylist is not a women either, it is a man.
When I think of these things, I figure the boys will out shine the girls and that the girls will be killed quickly.  I would think that they boy would be the one with the bow and arrow and the girl would be the one baking.  They stylist should be a women, because they are the ones with a sense of fashion.  Yet that is not how it is.
There are a few instances where stereotypical gender roles are portrayed.  Katniss is taught how to walk in heels and be a lady.  She is taught to giggle and smile prettily at a camera even if she is wearing a skimpy dress.  One girl, do to her stylist, is dressed to be a sex symbol and some of the boy competitors are made to be strong manly men.
I truly cannot wait for this book to come out in a film.  I know that the actor s will be extraordinarily beautiful because they are on amovie screen, but I have heard from places online and television that The Hunger Games will be the new Twilight Sage, and if that is so, I think there is a really impressive message being put of to a large group of people.
Overall, I was impressed and I was extremely delighted that it was not like The Twilight Saga, because I feel Twilight has large effect and influence on its audience and it sends of a terrible message about gender roles.   I do not normally pay attention to stereotypes and such when I read.  I like to read for leisure, but there are countless instances where typical gender roles do not even seem to matter.  I just think this book is how the world should be viewed.  A group of people all trying to the same thing and do it equally.  There is not any reason for all the girls do this and like this, and boys like this and can do this.  The Hunger Games was fun and refreshing and had a really good perspective on gender has no meaning to the reality of the world.

Janell Alston