Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Katniss versus Aria

Just watched the 'Hunger Games'. While the movie continues to make millions in the US, it's out of theatres in my city already. In fact, the day I watched the show, there were almost no people in the theatre, and there was only one show in the entire day. Nevertheless, the movie has played a big role in bringing 'Hunger Games' to India, as it was formerly virtually unknown in the subcontinent before the movie came out. Admittedly, movies play a big role popularizing any work of fiction overseas. I have seen a continuing trend in India- YA books become popular here only after the movies come out. Nobody knew of 'Twilight' here before the films. I had just one friend who knew about 'Percy Jackson'. And now, people are finally acknowledging the 'Hunger Games' franchise after it has already been Hollywoodized.

So let's admit the obvious truth- to become a mega success as a YA novelist, you need not only a good agent and publisher, but also a good producer and director.

But keeping aside the discussion about books being turned to films, I must say, I absolutely loved 'Hunger Games'. I mean, what wasn't to love? I loved the dystopian setting which is futuristic but still highly probable for our future. I loved the subtle political commentary about the totalitarian Capitol which never becomes a political sermon. I loved the true struggles of the character- starvation, oppression, poverty. I loved the editing- some parts of the book have been omitted, but the film still comes together as a whole without looking patchy. But above all else, I absolutely fell in love with the leading lady- Jennifer Lawrence aka Katniss Everdeen.

Katniss is a strong girl who gets caught up in a political cross-fire to save her family. (Read more) As much as I loved the character itself, I just have to say a few words about the actress who played her- Jennifer Lawrence. She is undoubtedly one of the brightest young talents in Hollywood right now. Not only is she very beautiful, but the fact that she was in a sci-fi movie and still managed to have everyone praising her acting skills speaks volumes about her talent. Besides, she's already been nominated for an Oscar and is one of the youngest Oscar-nominated actors ever.

Thinking about Katniss made me compare her to my darling character, Aria Suri. I couldn't help but notice the similarities between the two. Both embark on dangerous missions for the sake of family. Both are the emotional backbones of their family. Both are focused and practical, as opposed to ultra-feminine and silly, as is the case with a lot of female protagonists out there. They both have the will power and determination to fight until death.
Katniss Everdeen

Aria Suri

So, I decided to do a comparitive study of two. Both characters have been analysed by me in the table below. Read the table and tell me what you think. Who would you rather root for? It might be a little hard, becayse Katniss has already taster silver screen glory while Aria remains in unpublished backwaters, but try to have an open, objective mind.

Katniss Everdeen
Aria Suri
I don’t like Katniss’ name much. FYI, she’s been named after the plant  better known as Sagittaria and her surname is similar to a character from ‘Far From The Maddening Crowd’. Her name has been criticized widely and some say it’s the worst part of her characterization. Katniss isn’t exactly a phonetic pleaser. I mean, it’s not exactly pleasant to hear. However, I’ll give it full marks for originality and uniqueness.
As I’ve written before, ‘Aria’ is derived from the word ‘Aryan’. It’s usually a boy’s name, but I modified it to make it suitable for a girl. I wanted it to sound ambiguous so that nobody would know where Aria is from.
Katniss has olive skin and dark eyes and hair- typical of all the people in her district belonging to her class. She is also a victim of starvation.
Aria has long, thick dark hair and big brown eyes. She believes there is nothing special about her appearance, but everybody else seems to notice how she can easily pass off as someone from a different country. She dresses simply and doesn’t believe in showing off her beauty.
Dilemmas and Struggles
1.      Her father died in a mine explosion.
2.      Her family suffers from poverty.
3.      She has to hunt illegally to get food for her family.
4.      Her family totally depends on her.
5.      She participates in the Hunger Games as a replacement for her little sister.
1.      Her brother disappeared a year ago.
2.      Her family suffers great emotional distress. Her mother couldn’t handle losing her son and is a patient of depression.
3.      She is the only one who can save her family from whoever took her brother away from them.
4.      She takes care of her mother’s medications and has to hide her own feelings for the sake of others.
5.      She embarks on a dangerous, potentially lethal mission to find her brother.
Katniss is a highly skilled archer, hunter, and trapper, having learned these from her father and Gale, honed to keep her family from starving. She uses her archery and her daring to score an 11 (out of a possible 12) during the pre-games judging. She has been well educated on edible, medicinal, and poisonous plant life of District 12.
Aria is a very skilled academic and manages to get into a great college despite her family problems. She knows something about everything, which often comes in handy. She is an expert in crisis management, and is able to logically think through pros and cons before making any decision.
Romantic Entanglements
Katniss is a vertice in a love triangle involving her friend Gale Hawthorne and her fellow Hunger Games winner Peeta Mellark.
Aria admits to ‘liking’ Riyan Majumdar, her friend from college whose father is also missing. However, in an situation wherein she is surrounded by true danger at all times, she doesn’t allow herself to act upon her feelings.

So, what do you think- If the two young ladies had to battle until death in a literary battlefield, who would survive? free polls 

So, what do you think- If the two young ladies had to battle until death in a literary battlefield, who would survive?

1 comment:

  1. I haven't read this book or seen the movie. The whole battle to the death thing gets to me a little. I don't want either character to die. :(