BVU’s own “Katniss Everdeen”

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Shauna McKnight | Art & Life Co-Editor

Happy Hunger Games!
The book The Hunger Games was released in the United States in September 2008. Ever since, fans have been referring to the series as “the new Twilight,” with both teens and adults rushing to stores to get a copy. To date, over 17 million copies of the book have been sold. Here at Buena Vista University (BVU), one student in particular has a genuine love (perhaps obsession) with the books and movies. Junior political science and English double major Elizabeth Heffernan first found the books in 2009.

For those who have not read the series, The Hunger Games is a trilogy set in the United States in the very distant future. The USA has been divided into 12 districts and renamed Panem, which is controlled by a dictator-like man from a faraway Capital. The Hunger Games are a sporting event put on by The Capital every year to punish the districts for their rebellion. Katniss, the main character, volunteers for the games in place of her 12-year-old sister and has to fight for her life alongside another boy from her district, Peeta.

“My brother read them first,” Heffernan said. “He was like ‘Hey, you should read these,’ so I read the first book, and then I read the second one, and then we were both like ‘When does the third one come out?!’”

Heffernan admires the strong female character in the book, something that is not very common in books or movies these days. She is also intrigued by the possibilities of a future similar to the one described in the books. “It’s not something that’s so far out like the books I usually read, like magic and stuff won’t actually happen, but this is potentially something that could happen, which is scary, but also kind of cool at the same time,” Heffernan said.

Heffernan also admires Katniss’ dedication to her family unit. Heffernan values her family greatly, so the fact that Katniss volunteered to save her sister’s life meant a great deal to her. Heffernan also thinks that everyone can learn a lesson from these books.

“I think people should take away from the book that it is important to stay who you are even if it’s going to be difficult. Peeta, in the book, says “I don’t want them to change me,” and I think it’s an important message that people shouldn’t have to change who they are just to fit in or survive and that friendships and family and connections with other people are really important.”

Photo by Shauna McKnight