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The representation of the classical hero model in the female character Katniss Everdeen, from The Hunger Games

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Guilherme Augusto Louzada Ferreira de Morais
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Master's Dissertation
Press: São José do Rio Preto. 2018-02-21.
Institution: Universidade Estadual Paulista (Unesp). Instituto de Biociências Letras e Ciências Exatas. São José do Rio Preto
Defense date:
Advisor: Maria Celeste Tommasello Ramos

The present study aims at analyzing the series titled “The Hunger Games” to demonstrate, by observing the characterization of the female character Katniss Everdeen, how the representation of the heroic model from Classical Antiquity persists in Contemporary Literature. In order to do so, we have focused on the character created by Collins and the features that define her as a heroine, comparing her to the classical heroic model described by several authors in Greece and Rome, such as Homer, Hesiod, Vergil, etc., as well as to specifications about the hero character presented in “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” (1997), by Joseph Campbell, along with additional information on the topic provided by other authors. We have observed a change, in Collins’ novels, regarding the representation of literary archetypes, namely the classical Hero versus the classical Maiden, as Katniss Everdeen takes the role of the Hero and Peeta Mellark, the male tribute, plays the role of the Maiden, for throughout a large part of the plot he is saved by her. Therefore, we seeked to verify what deviates the plot in study from the patterns once established by Classical tradition, or, in other words, to observe how Collins redefines the standards of the Greco-Roman Classical Literature, in which the man was a warrior and the woman was a housewife. Our study is based on Jung (2002) because authors such as Randazzo (1996), Vogler (2006) and Meletínski (1998), among others, consider the postulates of the Swiss psychoanalyst to discuss archetypes found in advertising, literature and cinema. In the course of the study of the heroine, for the purpose of proving the change in the treatment of archetypes and ascertaining the presence of elements related to the Roman culture in the series written by Collins, we made a brief comparison between Katniss, once slaved by the Capitol (in a kind of veiled slavery), who becomes a heroine and a symbol of an entire revolution, and the male hero of another artwork, Spartacus, a slave and gladiator from Thrace who was the leader of a revolution known as the “War of the Slaves,” as it can be seen in Howard Fast’s (1981) novel Spartacus, originally published in English in 1951, and in the film based on this literary work, directed by Stanley Kubrick (1960). Finally, our study demonstrates that the Classical Hero model, whether taken from mythological heroes or from the historical character of Spartacus, plays an important role in the characterization of the female protagonist of “The Hunger Games,” adding different meanings to the interpretation of the series. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 15/23592-6 - The representation of the classic hero in the female character Katniss Everdeen, from the series "The Hunger Games"
Grantee:Guilherme Augusto Louzada Ferreira de Morais
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Master