Throughout the books, itis inevitable that the series will have a romantic conclusion, and in themiddle of the uprising against the Capitol, Gale and Peeta discuss Katniss’final choice at the end of the war with Gale declaring “Katniss will pick whoever she thinks she can’t survive without” (Mockingjay 329, italics added). This sort of speculation about afemale character’s romantic choices trivializes her representation.
Katnissherself lashes out against this assessment of Gale’s when she asserts, albeitonly to the readers that”…my best friend predictsI will choose the person who I think I “can’t survive without”. There’s not theleast indication that love, or desire, or even compatibility will sway me. I’lljust conduct an unfeeling assessment of what my potential mates can offer me.As if in the end, it will be the question of whether a baker or a hunter willextend my longevity the most.”(330)Her insistence that sheis more than her choice of “potential suitors” is however not validated furtherand loses its power later when the readers are told:…I knew this would havehappened anyway. That what I need to survive is not Gale’s fire, kindles withrage and hatred.
I have plenty of fire myself. What I need is… the promise thatlife can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again. Andonly Peeta can give me that. (Mockingjay388) The ineluctable nature ofher choice, coupled with the explanation or rather justification she offers forit points to the fact that it ceases to be a ‘choice’ anymore. The narrativepushes her into a certain direction that serves to reinforce the idea that shehas no autonomy in the matter. Epilogue The need for ahappy ending in the series instigates the ultimate negation of feministicideals, apart from those that have been already examined.
Katniss furtherundergoes a regressive character development when she gives in to the existingheteronormative, patriarchal paradigm through her removal from the publicsphere and induction into a life of domesticity and motherhood. This isexemplified by, as well as established through, her removal from an ‘active’,public sphere of existence, her confinement to “the roles of lover and motherthat restrict her to the domestic sphere and eclipse her roles as protectorand rebel” () and the coming of age nature of the series which insidiouslyserves to restrict her into a structure of stable passivity disguised as aninevitable maturation into adulthood. Atthe end of Mockingjay, Katniss,nearly catatonic with grief over losing her sister Prim, undergoes a trial in absentia for murdering President Coininstead of President Snow. After this trial, she is exiled to District 12. Itis not clear what the official duration of her exile is; nevertheless, shepresumably chooses to voluntarily isolate herself to the small community thatremains within district 12. The larger point, be it that her exile wasvoluntary or not, is that it “relegated her to a life outside of the politicalworld she played such a central role in” (Tan 37) She is no longer a part ofthe public realm where she could affect social change– her primary enterpriseas the protagonist of a dytopian narrative– and her willing withdrawal (due totrauma or otherwise) from that space is as problematic as her forcible ejectionfrom it. In case of the former, the transition from a fierce agent of change toa reclusive ex-rebel negates her value as ‘Katniss Everdeen’.
In the case ofthe latter, there is an obvious overriding of her agency and a loss of herautonomy. Asimilar loss of autonomy may be observed in what is the other side of the cointo Katniss’ eviction from the political public sphere– her confinement to thedomestic space. This confinement manifests in her “easy subsumation” into aheterosexual marital structure where she also maintains the “reproductivestatus quo”. She conform to the dominant discourses of gender and sexuality andfurthermore, there is the fact that fantasy as a genre insists upon shatteringof societal norms amd conventions. The series’ resolution goes against thespirit of this enterprise.