Mockingjay Discussion 19: Shadows of Twilight

I don’t think Suzanne Collins and Stephenie Meyer have that much in common besides being the authors of best-selling YA series. Mrs. Meyer is a stay-at-home mom, a Latter-day Saint, and didn’t study creative writing in school or work as a writer before taking the world by surprise with Twilight. Ms. Collins’ faith and political posture are unknown (if I had to guess, I’d say “Catholic” and ‘DLA’), but she has an MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University and she had a successful career as a television writer and novelist before Hunger Games made her a household name. If Collins has the equivalent of a PhD in creative writing, though, it still seems she has learned a lot from the soccer-Mormon-mom in Arizona. The Hunger Games novels and especially Mockingjay are loaded with Twilight echoes.

Team Peeta, Team Edward

You’ve been in a coma the last six months or your internet access has been cut off if you haven’t been hearing about the Team Peeta- Team Gale wars that are an all-but-direct reference to the Team Edward-Team Jacob battles in Twilight fandom (both ultimately derive from the bizarre ‘shipping conflicts among Harry Potter readers, but that’s another issue). It’s more than a superficial point or coincidence. Twilight and Hunger Games each feature two gorgeous hunks that are in love with the same young woman.

One of these guys is other-worldly handsome, intelligent, sensitive, artistic, sacrificial, and devoted. And chaste! The guy is a virgin and has never loved anyone the way he loves our heroine. He’s given to phrases like “always” and “forever” in statements of his love.

The other guy is a mensch, the out-doorsy type. No rocket scientist or saint, he can be a bore sometimes and say off-the-wall unkind things but you know he has your back in a fight and he lives for family and community.

Bella With Arrows?

Forget the boy friends; the heroines of Twilight and Hunger Games are near clones.

  • They’re sixteen to seventeen year old North Americans without social status or significant achievement.
  • They tell us the story as first-person narrative, meaning if you don’t like Bella or Katniss, you’re not going to like the books.
  • They’re the daughters of clueless parents that they have been taking care of for years.
  • They’re difficult, not-especially-beautiful young women who inexplicably have become hunk-boy magnets, inspiring absolute devotion in the Chippendale men they attract.
  • Their lives are turned upside down by a choice they make to put their lives at stake, really choosing almost certain death, because of a loved one.
  • Incredibly, this choice, made again and again over several novels, transforms our heroine into a world-savior and near goddess.
  • She chooses the God-man Christ-figure who loves her over Paul Bunyan, and, despite her misgivings about marriage and child birth, she has a family.

Read this book before? I have. And that’s not even exploring the allegorical meaning of these young women.

Meadows Are A Big Deal

In Twilight, every book’s big reveal and confrontation take place in a meadow — Edward as vampire and Jacob as werewolf in the perfect circle meadow, the baseball game, the Newborn attack, and the Last Battle (um, near battle) with the Volturi in the larger field higher in the mountains. Carlisle even has a painting of a meadow hanging on the wall of his office, the lone picture that tells us nothing about his past. (You can read about what caused Mrs. Meyer’s original meadow dream and why they play such a huge part in her books in Spotlight).

In Hunger Games, Katniss is asked by a dying Rue to sing her a song as she expires. Our heroine obliges with ‘The Meadow Song’ (listen to a fan’s rendition at YouTube). She comes back to this Meadow after devoting herself to the Boy with the Bread and the Pearl of Great Price in Fire. In Mockingjay, too, Katniss returns to the Meadow in District 12 and the ‘Meadow Song’ to describe her life with Peeta and their children, how a graveyard has become a playground and even a hint of paradise. (See Katniss’ Meadow Song for a full review of meadow scenes in Hunger Games.)

X-Men Graphic Novels

Mrs. Meyer is obviously a big comic book fan. Her latest novella, Bree Tanner, opens with two newborn vampires ripping up Seattle as they play-act as Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk. The author told Entertainment Weekly that, along with Anne of Green Gables and Jane Eyre, the Saturday morning cartoon version of Marvel Comics’ Uncanny X-Men was a big influence in her writing of Twilight. The Men from Krypton super hero qualities of the Cullen Coven certainly reflect that, as do Bella’s combination Jean Grey/Phoenix and Sue Storm/Invisible Girl powers that she gets at her apotheosis consequent to child-birth. The confrontation with the Volturi is almost indistinguishable from a Brotherhood of Evil Mutants with Magneto stand-off with Profesor Xavier and his X-Men.

In Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins goes down the same road with Katniss at least twice, first in the District 8 “archer takes down aircraft Wonder Woman” scene and then in the assault on the Capitol with ‘The Star Squad,’ who, forgive me, seemed like a throwback to Marvel’s Defenders or DC’s All-Star Squadron. In both cases, the Mockingjay super-powered alter-ego performs miraculous feats of strength and ‘daring do’ against impossible odds, not to mention the speech making on camera, while frail Katniss Everdeen can do little more when out of Cinna’s uniform, as Clark Kent and Peter Parker, but curl up in a ball and repeat mantras to keep her scrambled eggs thinking together.

Don’t get me wrong; I love both series. Maybe it’s only because I know them both so well and admire the artistry and meaning of each so much that the parallels strike me as strongly as they do. Can you think of other similarities?

Comments

  1. There were a couple of scenes in Mockingjay that felt directly lifted from Twilight. I’m struggling to remember the first one; I left my notes at home, but I remember I quoted several lines of dialogue directly from both series.

    The second one was the Not Quite Asleep!heroine overhearing the heart to heart between her two romantic rivals.

  2. Oh, yeah — that’s great!

  3. Oh! I remember the first one now. It was Katniss reacting to Haymitch telling her that Gale had volunteered for the Rescue Peeta mission. She says something like “of course I know. Gale”. It’s almost a direct clone of Edward telling Bella that Jacob got hurt in Eclipse, except Katniss didn’t black out for several minutes immediately afterward.

  4. I also immediately thought of Twilight during the brief conversation between Peeta and Gale that Katniss hears while pretending to be asleep! I remember Stephenie Meyer getting some flak on the fan boards for using that technique (because Bella “thought she heard it in a dream”), and I thought “Well, at least SC has Katniss admit she’s awake!”
    I wonder if it is a significant difference that Bella admits in Eclipse that she loves both E&J, whereas Katniss has a very hard time committing to either Gale or Peeta. It was obvious throughout Twilight that Bella was always going to choose Edward, but not so obvious that Katniss would end up with Peeta. Why do you think SC never had Katniss choose between the two boys?

  5. Because of the allegorical meaning of Gale, Katniss, and Peeta, which, appropriate to this thread, are very much like Jacob, Bella, and Edward.

    In a nutshell that I will expand on next week:

    — Gale is the body and the passions; he equates with the World and “how men think;”
    — Katniss is the seeking heart, the animating life-force or soul;
    — Peeta is the Divine Mind or spiritual reality; he equates with the Word and “how God thinks.”

    Together they are a triptych of the human person — body, soul, and spirit.

    After her purgatorial trip through the fire with Peeta, Katniss the soul cannot think the way the World thinks. She dies to her ego self and is transported to the Meadow or paradise for her greater life there in communion and conjugal union with Peeta.

    There’s no choice involved because her end or ‘telos’ as the inner heart transparency in this story is spiritual rather than temporal. It isn’t a mater of human preference; as her daddy taught her, if she can find herself, she can survive. Katniss’ self as soul is primarily a-temporal and must wind up with Peeta rather than Gale as a function of shared natures.

  6. I didn’t read all of the Twilight books so forgive me if I’m off, but something that stuck out to me (besides the co-ed, but nothing happens, sleepovers) was that both Katniss and Bella lose the affection/presence of their love interest and decide it’s because he has finally figured out what she’s really like and doesn’t want to have anything to do with her anymore. (And both are incorrect about that) But they still risk themselves to protect Edward/Peeta and ultimately get them back.

    John’s comment just put in much fancier and far better explained language my thought that Katniss did make a choice, and it was back in Fire. Instead of Gale and Katniss having a Jacob/Bella “she can see her future with him” kiss, Gale comes out of his little makeout realizing that Katniss isn’t even there. (So maybe they do see the only potential for their future together?) I think he kissed Katniss like that in D2 to see if he could get the same response Peeta did in the Quell. But he doesn’t, and tells Peeta as much in their “tent scene.” By then I think Gale has completely realized that Katniss already made her choice.

  7. Kathy are you talking about the first kiss, the one he “stole” from Katniss much like Jacob did with Bella? I find that similarity to be ironic, because Katniss doesn’t respond by punching him in the face, when she’d probably be far less likely to break her hand doing so than Bella did.

  8. Jabberwocky says:

    Um. What.

    I’m sorry, I skimmed most of this article because I disagreed so strongly on your very first point.

    Bella and Katniss could not BE more different.

    Bella is made of cardboard. To use the fanfiction term, she is a perfect Mary Sue. She has no flaws and boys throw themselves at her, but perceives herself as worthless and plain. She has a token “flaw” -being clumsy. In the last book, she manages to do impossible things with no effort on her part–like master being a vampire within 5 minutes. Her thoughts are completely self-centered. Nowhere does she think about the impact killing herself and/or becoming a vampire will have on her family or anyone else who likes her. It’s all me, me, me. She wants to be pretty and useless forever– because do the vampires ever actually USE their immortality or various knowledge? No, they sit around and suffer through high school drama. Forever.

    Katniss is full of personality– in fact, her contrary personality is what causes her so much trouble, but also eventually saves her, because she is so unwilling to be used. While she has some unusual skills, especially her superb accuracy with a bow, it is explainable because she has been forced to develop these skills for survival. She is the opposite of selfish; her entire family, and later Gale’s, depends on her to hunt and feed them. When Prim is going to be sent to the games, she immediately jumps forward to take her place. She fights through to the ending that she wants, and has to deal with all the hardship and fallout that happens as a consequence of her actions. She continues to use her skills to help others, by expanding the book of herbs so her entire district can cultivate medicines. On a superficial note, she ends the series not as someone of timeless, perfect beauty (like a vampire), but someone who is burned and scarred, a “mutt” who shows all the hardships of her life on her body.

    I could go on, but these are the immediate points that spring to mind.
    Obviously, I’m not a Twilight fan, but the fact that you’re even comparing these two characters makes me more than a little angry.

  9. Jabber – I think it’s useful to compare the two because (as Alex Carpenter put it), they get put into very similar situations but “the results can not be any more different”.

  10. Kathy — great catch on the chaste sleep-overs! How many YA novels feature those over extended periods?

  11. Thanks for linking the video, my quoting from memory stinks. But yeah, that was the gist of it. 😛

  12. Anyways, here’s the quotes for the first similarity I mentioned:

    I get a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. “Who else, Haymitch?” I insist.
    “You know who else, Katniss. You know who stepped up first.”
    Of course I do.
    Gale.
    – Mockingjay

    “Edward,” I said, my voice nearly inaudible. “Edward, someone got hurt.”

    “Yes,” he whispered.
    “Who?” I asked, though, of course, I already knew the answer.
    Of course I did. Of course.

    “Jacob,” he said.
    I was able to nod once.
    “Of course,” I whispered.
    -Eclipse

  13. FriendofUST says:

    Thanks for this. I knew a lot of people who do superficial readings of the characters will all say that Bella and Katniss are “so different” just because one has physical prowess that the other lacks until her transformation, but I always saw the two as very similar and the events in the books, too. When MJ got to the “tent scene” at Tigris’s house in the Capitol, I was snerking.
    Jabber, both characters revel in a certain kind of martyrdom, putting their lives on the line repeatedly for loved ones. Both are stubborn hotheads. But more importantly, as John delineated so well, they are both choosing between different selves, different lives, between the hearty, earthy “true grit” of one man and the life he offers, and the artsy, airy realm of ideas and ideals with the other.

    Another similarity: Neither character sees herself as others do, like how Katniss somehow doesn’t know that she can sing. Maybe not as brilliantly as her father, but surpassing the average person.
    John, thanks for laying all that out. Saved me a lot of time from trying to do so on my own blog. 😉

  14. PK9, I was thinking of Gale and Katniss kissing in District 2, when he tells her that it was like kissing someone who was drunk. I hadn’t thought about the stolen kiss back in Fire, but that’s a good point, too. Bella and Jacob kissing seemed to get more of a response out of Bella than Katniss and Gale kissing did out of Katniss. Maybe I just read it that way because, much like the Twilight books, I never honestly thought the outdoorsy, friend from the past had much of a chance with the story heroine.

  15. Kathy, “By then I think Gale has completely realized that Katniss already made her choice.

    Interesting point, Kathy.

    Upon my reading, I think more along John’s comment, though. I’m looking forward to John’s expansion on the allegorical meaning of Gale, Katniss, and Peeta. His little snippet pretty much sums up my thoughts, and I’m not even going to attempt to word it better than him. 😉

    I thought Gale and Peeta were both genuine possibilities because it was through them that she experiences her transformation. The “old Katniss” could have end up with Gale. The ” post HG/war Katniss” could have only end up with Peeta (or alone). Maybe Gale knew that he was “losing” (for lack of a better word) after the D2 kiss, but I don’t think a choice was made until the very end.

    I think it was after their last exchange in Mockingjay that Gale realized that, Peeta or no Peeta, he could no longer be a choice for her. Katniss is fully aware of it as well at that moment. I don’ t think that it automatically meant Peeta was picked, either. She had to work to get there, heal and purify, allowing herself to embrace it.

    “Peeta an I grow back together … But his arms are there to comfort me. And eventually his lips. On the night I feel that thing again … I knew this would have happened anyway.”

  16. I think the key difference between this story and the Twilight Saga is in Twilight, there’s the concept of destiny. Bella was always destined for Edward, no matter how much Edward tried to avoid it. It’s a fantasy romance.

    Hunger Games is more like real life. Katniss could have made it work with either of them, but it’s the choices they made that defined them. Gale choosing the revolution/rebuilding over Katniss is a noble thing, but it costs him his relationship with Katniss. I still believe there was a possibility of Gale mending the bridges even with the pain of Prim, but he chooses not to try. Post-war Katniss has plenty of common experiences with post-war Gale to bond over, not just the arena that she shared with Peeta.
    But Gale gave up and Peeta didn’t.

  17. Elizabeth says:

    Great catches! The X-Men one really had me laughing, as I kept seeing Katniss in her Batman suit with Cinna quoting the little fashion designer from The Incredibles “No Capes!” (anything to bring a smile out of the whole Cinna business)!
    The other two over laps that jumped right out at me were the catonic grief episodes and the villian with his “gifts.” As Katniss sits by the fire in her house in the Victor’s Village, one could easily see this filmed much as Bella was in New Moon, with time passing as she sits still. President Snow, with his roses left for Katniss, is rather like Aro sending notes and flashy jewelry to the newlywed Bella not as gifts, but as a very thinly veiled threat. And, of course, his breath smells like blood.

  18. I would argue that Bella and Katniss are actually quite attractive, possibly even beautiful, but since the books are told from their perspectives and neither heroine is vain, they are just unaware of how attractive they can be and don’t freely admit it. Peeta and Edward both admit that their girl is clueless as to the how they see themselves, or the effects they have on others. I see this as a sign that both girls are indeed beautiful, if not only in the classic physical way, in a way that attracts others to them (personality, demeanor, aura, etc).

  19. As much as I hate comparing the two series (I hate Twilight), I can’t help but notice some similarities:

    1. Both Peeta and Edward fell for the girls before knowing them personally. Peeta fell for Katniss after seeing the mockingjays stopped singing when they heard her sang. Edward fell for Bella because her blood smelled good.

    2. Both Gale and Jacob are Katniss’s and Bella’s childhood friends.

    3. Both Collins and Meyer cheated their way out of the love triangle. Collins killed Prim, eliminating Gale’s chance of being with Katniss (although Prim’s death was critical to the story, Katniss’s opinion of Coin wouldn’t change even if Gale wasn’t involved). Meyer made Jacob fell in love with Renesmee (nuff said).

  20. I think the comparison of the boy vs. boy in both series is alike, but I think it is only at a superficial glance Katniss and Bella may seem alike. Although, they may have similar situtions that arise. Katniss makes the incredibly hard decision to risk her life to save her sister. Yes, Bella goes to Italy to save Edward from the Volturi, but she could expect a short death. Katniss’ would be painful and broadcasted all ovee the country and her family and friends bac home would witness it. Other than that her hardest choice to make it hot pale guy or hot dark guy! (Katniss has this choice along with a million others to make) I read and loved Twilight until reading the Hunger Games. Like I said, the stories have similar situations, but Katniss is a headstrong survivor in a wolrd where there is nothing, but death and starvation and the Games looming over her day after day. Bella is headstrong, but silly girl. She grows up comfotably and only encounters problems when she moves to Forks. She didn’t have anything to overcome while growing up. Bella is kind of “emo” in the way she tells her story, where Katniss presents it in a more adult way. I am having a hard time articulating the varying degrees in which they differ, so to put it simple; they have similar situtations in common, but the girls have different personalities. Twilight was fluff and fun, but the Hunger Games in intense and thought provoking.

  21. Louise Freeman says:

    I’m just starting Twilight, so can’t comment much, but as for other YA books with chaste sleepovers, remember that Harry, Ron and Hermione spent most of a school year co-habitating and the most we saw was some hand-holding while in separate sleeping bags.

    Katniss and Peeta will pose a challenge for filmakers, though, if they include the scences of them sleeping in each other’s arms on the train and in the cave. Like Effie, most viewers who have not read the books will assume the relationship had become sexual at that point. (Picture Margot Kidder and Christopher Reeve in Superman II). I picture separate and too-small-for-two sleeping bags, or perhaps bodysuits with stuck zippers.

  22. Louise, I hadn’t even thought about Harry Potter, but that’s true too. Maybe it doesn’t come to mind because of the relative lack of sexual overtones in the book? The Twilight books were full of them, and I thought Catching Fire had its fair share. (Katniss repeatedly talks about “sleeping with” Peeta – an interesting word choice for Collins since the phrase is so commonly used for its euphemistic meaning that it sends a strange message to mean it literally.)
    Hermione and Ron were almost oblivious to any sexual connotations from their sleeping arrangement, Bella struck me as reveling in them, and Katniss seemed like she was trying to pretend they didn’t exist. (Something that I guess wasn’t lost on Peeta, since he threw their time on the train back in her face) It will be interesting to see how they handle those scenes in the movie.

  23. Maggie Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls also has a couple that spends the nights together (and successfully hide it from her parents for a long time). While admittedly they are sexually active, the emphasis is really on this comfort they get from the sleep over, when caught Grace tells her parents, “it wasn’t like that.” I only mention it because it made me think of Katniss and Peeta as I was reading it, and how this feels like a trend in YA books.

  24. Not directly Twilight, but Meyer’s “The Host” was brought to mind so many times when I read about District 13. The tunnels and caves and restrictive living in Host are so similar. Even Katniss running off to hide in storage cupboards!
    However I really don’t like comparing Katniss/Peeta/Gale to the Twilight love issues because I don’t believe that was the main idea in THG trilogy. The love was a plot arc of course but it wasn’t the main focus.

  25. Liz- Good point on the Host’s tunnels! I never even thought of that and I love that book! Now that I think of it, I pictured the bunker the go down into when the bombs hit almost the same as I picture the game room in the Host.

  26. Sorry, but it’s just ridiculous, how can you compare Bella and Katniss? I totally disagree with your points.

    You say: They’re sixteen to seventeen year old North Americans without social status or significant achievement.

    I say: Can we really call Katniss a North American? She lives in the totally other country and totally other time. Moreover, what about Katniss’ social status and significant achievement as the Victor of the Hunger Games?

    You say: They tell us the story as first-person narrative, meaning if you don’t like Bella or Katniss, you’re not going to like the books.

    I say: You’re right, if you don’t like Bella, you’d better not read Twilight, as the story is so cliche, that it is based only on characters. There’s practically no plot except for the love story.
    But in The Hunger Games Trilogy we have the strong plot, we have bright characters, suspense, action – imo, there are enough components which make you like the books, even if you can’t understand or like Katniss.

    You say: They’re the daughters of clueless parents that they have been taking care of for years.

    I say: How can Katniss and Bella’s parents ever be compared?
    Bella’s parents are divorced. It can be said that she had taken care of her mother for years, but in the books she lives with father. He might be called clueless, but in fact, he used to live alone and it’s Bella who thinks, that he is helpless, I don’t agree with her.

    Katniss parents – her father died in an accident and Katniss describes him as an ideal person. He taught her everything. And while he was alive, he took care of the family.
    And how can be Katniss’ mother be called clueless? She is broken, completely ruined by the death of her husband. But she is not clueless. When she finds the strengths to recover, she does whatever she can to help her daughters, she tries to take care of them.
    These two families can’t be compared.

    You say: They’re difficult, not-especially-beautiful young women who inexplicably have become hunk-boy magnets, inspiring absolute devotion in the Chippendale men they attract.

    I say: Where have you found that Katniss says she is not beautiful? I re-read the first chapters of the HG, but haven’t found the proof. I’m not even sure if Katniss comments upon her appearance being good or bad before the Prep Team begins their work.
    Can it be said that Katniss attracted Peeta and Gale? She has known both of them for a long time. And both of them had feelings for her for some time. And their feelings can easily be explained. Peeta loves her because she’s his child love, he’s romantic and believes her to be the One. Gale knows her very well, they are close to each other, understand each other perfectly, so he loves her, because she is so alike him.

    You say: Their lives are turned upside down by a choice they make to put their lives at stake, really choosing almost certain death, because of a loved one.

    I say: What real choice has Bella made? If you tell me, I’ll be able to comment upon this, but right now I can’t remember she had chosen anything. The choice between Edward and Jacob? Come on, it was all clear from the beginning of the first book. Maybe choice between staying human and turning into vampire? I think this is a choice one should be ashamed of. Is this a good lesson from a book: leave behind all your friends and especially family, go ahead and watch them pass away as you spend your time running through the forest in slo-mo with your husband.
    Sorry, I definitely don’t like it.

    You say: Incredibly, this choice, made again and again over several novels, transforms our heroine into a world-savior and near goddess.

    I say: It’s just ridiculous and I still don’t know what choice is meant here. And what world is saved by Bella.

    You say: She chooses the God-man Christ-figure who loves her over Paul Bunyan, and, despite her misgivings about marriage and child birth, she has a family.

    I say: Okay, maybe in this point they are alike. But! Had Bella known about the chance of getting pregnant? No. Why she didn’t want to marry Edward? Because of the rumours.
    Why Katniss said she would never get married? Because in her world marriage meant children. And children meant they would starve, suffer and take part in the Hunger Games. She didn’t want such a future for her children.

    So, I think that all these comparisons are stretched, inaccurate. These two characters are completely different. I might even say diametrically different.

    Whatever Bella does, she does it in selfish reasons. The only thing she wants – to be happy. And to be happy for her means to have Edward.

    Whatever Katniss does, she does for the sake of the others. She wants her family to be happy, she wants her friends to be happy, all the people from her District to be happy, all the Districts to be happy. That’s why she really sacrifices everything she has (including her best friends like Cinna and Finnick and her sister). Has Bella really lost anything because of her choice? Only her human life, though she hadn’t needed it. Has Katniss lost anything? Practically everything she had. Has Katniss turned into a goddess? No. She turned into a broken, morally and physically distorted young woman. Has Bella turned into a goddess? Yeah. She has her happily-ever-after.
    So, how can you said that they’re similar?

    All in all, I think, that Bella is nothing more than a big Mary-Sue with propensity to depression and stupid actions, while Katniss is a much more realistic character with her flaws and perfections.

    And I’m very upset that these two books are so often compared, because, really, I don’t think Twilight has such a great literature value as The Hunger Games.
    It’s like comparing a fluf fan-fic to a classical novel.
    It can be done, but, come on, what for?

    Sorry for such a big post, but I was really touched by the subject.

  27. Samantha says:

    Can I point out one glaring fact that many of you seem to have missed? Gale would never have a chance with Katniss after he killed her sister. Yes, ladies and gents, Gale is the reason Prim is dead. Considering Katniss was dead set on saving Prim, this destroyed her. The only reason she was in the Hunger Games was to prevent Prim being murdered in the games. Then Gale helps design a bomb and is adamant about using it despite the loss of innocent life. There is absolutely no way that I can see Katniss forgiving him for this. Ever. (Vega mentioned this in her response, but I wanted to elaborate).

    Ksentos makes really great rebuttles and I am in line with those thoughts. As for some of the responses to the similarities in dialogue: You can find similar dialogue in any book written in the English language. Do you want to know why? Conversation tends to have similar threads and similar reponses. Yes, the two posted here are similar. Does that mean one stole from the other? No, it doesn’t. It is a poor excuse for an argument.

    Chaste sleepovers are done in many books, YA and General Fiction. They happen in real life. My best friend (a guy) used to sleep over at my apartment all the time. It was a one bedroom and we were not having sex. In fact, we have never had sex. A long time ago, I was told that if you can manage to sleep in the same bed with someone of the opposite sex, and not take it to a sexual level, then the two of you have a relationship that runs much deeper than those who can’t just sleep in the same bed. This is why it is used in books. It establishes a much deeper bond than the sexual one that comes later.

    If you are good at writing arguments, you can make connections with just about any book on the market. There will always be common threads, but they tend to be superficial. If you really want to compare Twilight to anything, compare it to The Vampire Diaries books (which came out first and are just as awful). Twilight (pun intended) is an apple. The Hunger Games is an orange. They are both fruit, but they are very different.

    I should mention that I have read both series from the first book to the last and am a reformed Twilight fan. The Hunger Games is my favorite book series next to Harry Potter.

  28. I only recently got in to THG and though I did notice the Twilight similarities starting in Catching Fire, it was the differences that stuck out more to me.

    Though this often seems like an opinion statement, it is irrefutable (supported by quotes from the entire series) that Bella is a self-centered character. Bella goes through very little character development over the course of the series (sorry, I don’t count bouncing between loving Jacob and Edward but wanting Edward more every single time as character development) yet Meyer strives to make Bella likable. I mean, Mike, Tyler, Eric, Edward and Jacob all like her, so why shouldn’t the reader? In fact the only characters who don’t like her are Rosalie (her reasons are unsurprisingly not about Bella’s personality, but are about Rosalie’s past), Jane (who, let’s face it, epitomizes “evil vampire”) and Victoria (not because of Bella personally, but out of vengeance for James). Oh wait, I forgot Leah who actually vocalizes her disdain for Bella out of loyalty to Jacob… but wait! Bella’s not the bad guy in this situation either. It was her unborn fetus that drew her to Jacob and he forgives her immediately after he imprints on Renesmee.

    Katniss, on the other hand, is characterized as being so flawed and human that she leaps off the page. She’s impulsive, tough, yet kind-hearted, selfless, but also selfish, gluttonous, manipulative… the list goes on and on. Even characters who know her very well dislike her at times. And I disagree with the statement that because she is first-person narrator, if you do not like her, you do not like the series. I felt that as a reader it was entirely possible to hate Katniss but still feel at the very least protective of her. Her actions are consistently in line with her characterization – that she should be so utterly selfless in protecting Prim, but selfish in her expectation that Peeta love her despite her love for Gale, is completely believable. She is a character of complexity and subtleties.

    As for the love triangle aspect of both series, what I respected in THG was that the romance was a sub-plot. In Twilight Bella being obsessed with Edward and toying with Jacob is the main plot, while action sequences like getting hunted by James and traveling to Italy are afterthoughts that always appear at the end of the books with, on average, two chapters of rising tension. The romance is front and center. In THG, Katniss is front and center. She is truly the protagonist and for her, sorting out her feelings for Gale or Peeta is the last thing on her mind. Though we see its effects on her actions and the tension it creates in her, it is rarely in main focus (though it might well be to the reader, but that is because our culture is heavy on romance in books, movies, etc.) And I do not believe that by killing Prim with Gale’s snare Collins meant to write Gale off as a love interest for Katniss. It really could have gone either way the entire series. Katniss never bought into the idea that she and Peeta were destined for each other. Collins doesn’t even reveal Katniss’ choice of Gale vs Peeta until the last paragraph of the last chapter in Mockingjay and I appreciated the fact that she spent much more time on Katniss’ mourning Prim than wrapping up a love story. THG is truly a story about Katniss in which she becomes involved in a sort of love triangle, whereas Twilight is a story about a love-triangle.

    I understand THG fans’ frustration about Twilight comparisons, especially with the upcoming movie. I think that THG is a much more mature series and that in comparison Twilight may seem superficial, but in all honesty, as a fan of THG I can only hope that the movie is as well-done as the Twilight movies and achieves as much success.

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