Saturday, October 22, 2011

I've been wanting to create a regular feature on MEB (the new cute, acronym for My Enchanted Bookshelf!) where I can do more exploration and expression of my own inner thoughts as well as hoping to hear from all of you out there to get to know my readers better. Please feel free to post your own "think out loud" response below.

Today's Think Out Loud Topic: If you could be any character, in any book, who would you be, and why?

My Character: Katniss Everdeen
Book Series: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins


Why I chose this: When i first started reading YA Fiction I avoided the dystopian genre like the plague (pardon the cliche.) I absolutely could not stand anything book or movie that was futuristic but when I decided to finally give in to the buzz that The Hunger Games had created, I was hooked. I mean, HOOKED.

The writing style is simple and easy, so people of all ages can enjoy it. The younger readers I think will get a more "on the surface experience" out of the book, whereas older tweens, teens, and adults can read deeper, get more meaning from them. I think the scariest thing for me when reading dystopian novels is, holy cow, this could really happen. No matter how far-fetched or unbelievable the idea seems, truly no one knows what the future could hold.

Why I decided that Katniss would be my choice for this questions is simple: I've never been in a situation where I had to survive. Everything today is so easy, taken for granted. In Katniss's life, she has to fight for everyone and everything. How many people out there could do what Katniss did? To take the place of her sister, Prim, in The Hunger Games? Are we selfless enough to think that the survival of a sibling is more important that our own? I know I'm asking a lot of questions but they are questions that I pose to myself as well. Could I do what Katniss did?

One thing is for sure; however, I don't think I would have been the victor had I been in the games. To be crafty, and wily while remaining compassionate yet lethal and manipulative is something I do not believe I could ever fully encompass. To be able to think so quickly and rationally - or irrationally - to be able to bend the Games in your favor is almost beyond my own comprehension.

So many of us, myself absolutely included, react on emotion. The first thing you want to do is react whether in anger, heartache, sadness, or even happiness. For Katniss she cannot let that happen. She has to at all times remain levelheaded and rational. One slip up and she is done for. To put yourself in the mindset where you have to react only to ensure your survival is something I don't think many people stop to think about. We want to initially and immediately react to what we are feeling. When you find out that someone said something in poor taste about you, the first thing we want to do is yell at them, make them feel as horribly as they made us feel. But if we stop and really think about the situation there is so much more you can gain from it. If we stop and think why, why did that person say something? Was it warranted? If they said I'm selfish, have I done something that could be construed as such? If a boyfriend or girlfriend breaks up with us, we immediately feel heartbreak, sorrow, and then anger. But if we stop blaming ourselves we can see a bigger picture. Maybe it was just the right time for you to learn more about yourself. If you are too co-dependent maybe it is time you learned to depend on only yourself - stand on your own two feet. If you take someone for granted, thinking they'll always be there - you don't have to worry about ever being alone - when it happens and we find ourselves alone, can we ever look within ourselves to accept blame and imperfection when necessary, instead of always looking to place blame on others?

I truly feel in a way that Katniss Everdeen changed my way of thinking. It might sound crazy, how can a fictitious character in a book change someone? Well, when you have a character so like Katniss, so unlike yourself, the exact opposite of who you are, it's easy to be influenced. I'd love to hear if anyone of you have a character that influenced you as Katniss has me.

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