“”I volunteer! I volunteer as tribute”” shouts Katniss Everdeen from the back of the crowd as her sister Prim’s name is called during the reaping for the televised 75th annual Hunger Games. The capitol of Panem controls its twelve districts by forcing them to select a girl and a boy to fight to death until only one person remains. In The Hunger Games, Katniss is an archetypal hero because she puts her life in danger on many occasions and makes huge sacrifices for the well-being of others.
After Katniss’ father died in a freak coal mining accident, she was forced to take on the role of the protector and provider for her mother and sister. Through her hunting and archer skills, she was able to hunt for food for her family, and she is driven by the will to survive. When Katniss hears her sister’s name called during the reaping, she knows immediately what she has to do. The reaping is an annual event held in each twelve districts where one boy and one girl is chosen as tribute from a glass bowl. She knows her sister wouldn’t survive the games. This is where Katniss volunteers to fight for her life in the Hunger Games, so Prim doesn’t have to. As they whisk her away to say her final goodbyes to her family, Katniss fears leaving them behind and worries who will provide for them when she is gone. After all, this may be the last time she ever sees them.
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When Katniss boards the train to the games arena, she is met with the unlucky boy who was chosen from her district to fight in the games as well, Peeta. Katniss is also met with her wise advisor, Haymitch, also a former victor of the Hunger Games. He shares his advice on how to survive in the games and how to get sponsors. Finally the time comes, and Katniss is lifted into the arena from an underground room. She comes face to face with the other tributes from all twelve districts and ends up finding a hiding spot in the woods instead of fighting. She is left without her choice of weapon, a bow and arrow. Katniss is hunted by a small group of tributes, of which includes Peeta. She is challenged with finding ways to stay alive and how to outlive all of the tests the gamemakers are throwing at her. She makes allies with a twelve year old little girl named Rue from District 11, who reminds Katniss a lot of her younger sister and acts as the primary protector of her. The two girls devise a plan to gather more supplies. They split up and Katniss risks her life to get supplies from the Cornucopia. When Katniss doesn’t find Rue at their planned meeting spot, she goes searching for her. She finds Rue at the moment another tribute stabs and kills her. Katniss kills the other tribute and honors Rue’s body by covering her with flowers.
At this point, Katniss is depressed and Rue’s death inspires her to fight even harder against the Capitol. It is now announced that two tributes from the same district can be declared winners, so Katniss goes looking for Peeta and eventually finds him severely injured and ill. Katniss helps him to a cave where they will be safe since he can barely walk. The next morning, Katniss realizes how bad Peeta’s leg is infected and knows he will die without treatment. Another announcement is made, stating that there is an item that each tribute left desperately needs at the Cornucopia. Katniss knows Peeta will die without that medicine, so she sacrifices her life to get help for him. As soon as he falls asleep after begging her not to go, she sets out toward the Cornucopia where she tries to run and grab the medicine, but she gets into a fight with a female tribute who nearly kills her. Katniss eventually gets back to Peeta, where she injects him with the special medicine just before she passes out from exhaustion and starvation. After Katniss and Peeta wake up after several days, they leave the cave to find food by the Cornucopia where Katniss is facing her greatest test by fighting alongside Peeta to kill Cato, the last tribute alive. Once they thought they had both won the games, it is announced that now only one can be the victor. Neither Katniss or Peeta will kill each other, so they decide to eat poisonous berries and commit suicide. Before they can do so, the announcer shouts for them to stop and he declares both of them winners. Katniss begins her journey back home and takes the knowledge with her how evil and cruel the Hunger Games are.
In conclusion, Katniss Everdeen shows qualities and demonstrates actions which are without a doubt, heroic. Even though Katniss’ journey doesn’t follow the typical archetypal hero story exactly, she shows courage when she volunteered as tribute for her sister Prim, strength for risking her life to protect a little girl, and selflessness when fighting to save Peeta’s life.
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