Tag Archives: Strong Heroines

Katniss Everdeen: The Girl on Fire, A Character Study

jennifer-lawrence-as-katniss-everdeen-in-the-hunger-games1

In my opinion Katniss is an amazing and complex character. I loved reading the Hunger Games Trilogy because of her. Following along as she volunteers to take the place of her sister, fights in the games, and the roller-coaster of the after effects. The life in the districts is not pretty to begin with. Many people end up dying of starvation, cold, or worse depending on the industry they work in and how desperate they get. The book does a good job of painting the dire picture that the citizens in the district live in and contrast it with the decadence of the Capital. We see this world through the eyes and thoughts of Katniss Everdeen.

Katniss is a girl who at a young age had to figure out how to help her family survive. Her father had taught her to hunt, but when he died her mother went catatonic for a time leaving Katniss to take care of her and Prim. She is someone who only has time to think about the survival of her family. As the various games are played out around her various aspects of her personality and we find that even with her harsh exterior she has a soft spot. She is a survivor, but she is also a protector she cannot stand for others to suffer especially when she is the cause. Unless it is to protect other people and is a necessary action to do so. (Spoilers for the Hunger Games Trilogy to follow). Continue reading

Why We Need Female Heroes and Superheroes

Yasmin, Girl Rising, Cairo, Egypt

In June I discussed a little bit about my reaction to the film Girl Rising. It is an amazing film and I highly recommend seeing it if you can. My mom, my sister, and I were so inspired by the film that we decided to show it again to try and kick off a discussion about somethings happening in our own backyard. Part of why we wanted to show the film is because it is what got us thinking about the power of education and what it could do to solve a myriad of different problems. In watching the film again I came away with another important point and that is that we need female heroes and superheroes.

In many of the stories the girls discuss their power and how they were inspired by the strength of others. Many of the girls are where they are because of strength that they found from others. For some it was family, some it was a person willing to fight for them, and others were inspired by things that they read. For those that do not have the family or people in their lives then having someone to gain inspiration from seems to be super important. Now obviously these things are not completely separate, but it does emphasize how important at least one of these elements is to have. Continue reading

Positive Female Video Game Characters

As I talked about before I think it is important to be critical of the media we consume because it can often point to a larger societal problem that needs to be addressed. While it is important to point out things that are problematic, it is also important to point out places where things have been done right and look at why they work.

I first learned this from a class I took in college, Feminist Introduction to the Bible. It could be easy to dismiss the story of the bible as a misogynistic book that looks more at men. Our professor talked to us about how it is important to examine where females are present in the Bible versus trying to point out where they are missing. Now obviously the Bible is a different than video games, but it is still important to note where and how female characters have been done right in media spaces to understand the importance of having characters that are similar.

This will mostly look at more recent video games because I think there has been some great examples of positive female characters in video games recently. Continue reading

A Character Study of Arya Stark

Arya Stark Game of Thrones

With Game of Thrones starting back up at the end of this month I thought it would be interesting to examine one of my favorite characters from the show. Now thinking of my favorite characters it would be hard to choose just one, but one of the stories that intrigues me the most is Arya Stark.

Not only is she resourceful, quick on her feet, and fighting against the standards of society, but she has an amazing story. In the world that Georg R.R. Martin has built the gender roles are very much based on the medieval structure. Upper class women stayed at home with their children and learned to cross stitch, play music, but they are not meant to wield a sword and fight. Arya is the daughter of Ned Stark Lord of Winterfell and she does not fit in to the world of upper class women. While her sister Sansa flourishes at the idea of dances, house parties, and pretty dresses. All Arya wants to do is be able to practice with her brothers.

The other reason I love Arya is I relate to her. There have been so many times I have felt out of place with “girlie” things and would much rather be doing what the “boys” were doing. Even with all of the gendered issues with Game of Thrones I think George R.R. Martin does a great job creating diverse, interesting strong female characters who women can look up to and relate to.

(This will be more based on the book than the show, but will avoid spoilers for those watching the show, but will be spoilers for the first two seasons of Game of Thrones) Continue reading

A Character Study of Gretel from Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

Hansel and Gretel: WitchuntersDavid and I went to see Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters this weekend. Yes, I know that the movie is ridiculous, but we still enjoyed it. There are plenty of reviews of the movie out there my personal favorite being the review on io9, so this is not a review. Instead, I want to do a character study of Gretel, because she is one of the stronger female heroines we have seen in a while – as well as being a female lead who did not need a love interest to complete her story. (SPOILERS for the movie after the jump.) Continue reading