Oh, I forgot to say: Mom was reading The Hunger Games to Hawk and I two month ago. It was really great. It really portrays real human nature. And I also don't agree with the 'Katniss is an ultimate hero' thing.
hm, i didn't agree with the article's critique of Katniss, even tho it's more conservative than some christian articles i've read. (one 'study' even took great pains to paint her as a christ-figure. whaaat?!?!)
Katniss was, at her very core, self-serving. the writer of the article might consider that label 'dismissive', but i find it refreshing because Suzanne Collins succeeds in creating an utterly human character (a truthful model of what real 'public heroes' look like on the inside).
Katniss was proud & unforgiving. that's why she hated being in debt: she hated needing people, and she hated herself for needing others. she was *not* loyal; every relationship was a 'limited warranty' business contract that either benefited her survival or served towards paying off some other relationship debt. her sister was the one exception to the rule because Prim was the only person she really considered a part of her; her own survival was contingent upon Prim's.
obviously (and like most people) she wasn't a complete jerk, but her kindness & gentleness were usually exceptions to the rule -- reserved for people who truly 'deserved' kindness (like children & elderly people) and often revealed in what she considered to be 'weak moments'.
she rationalised her affections for both Peeta & Gale, and she hated Peeta when he exposed her for who she really was: a manipulative young woman who made emotional boot-calls when it suited her -- and without any intention to commit to any relationship. in the end, she did exactly as Gale predicted she would: she chose the man who gave her the best odds for surviving. (and even that was almost a default choice because of her own inability to forgive.)
i think that's what made her such a compelling character: despite all her heroic acts (which were often fueled by revenge or remorse/guilt -- the need to repay some debt) Katniss was truly beyond repair and in need of a savior. she needed something outside herself to redeem her. in the end, she couldn't resist that need. accepting salvation was still a selfish thing -- a survival instinct, but she finally was able to accept the debt (ie, the debt of love) she had to incur with that salvation.
Peeta was the closest thing that came to a christ-figure in the story because he was the model for grace & unconditional love. he ended up becoming the monster that he thought he wasn't, but this new revelation made him even more willing to sacrifice himself for the sake/safety of others. he was a broken person, but one who actively pursued redemption rather than revenge.
okay, i know i wrote way too much. but it irritates me to read an article that paints Katniss as a heroine with only the flaws one would expect from a fickle teenager. ugh. Katniss wasn't a nice person. but that means that there's hope for all of us, because even broken, bitter, self-serving people can help change the world and even find redemption. i feel like the writer of this article has a limited view of gospel allegories; her critique seems cliched.