Throughout on, no matter how bad our losses.

Throughout the books, it
is inevitable that the series will have a romantic conclusion, and in the
middle 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 a
female character’s romantic choices trivializes her representation. Katniss
herself lashes out against this assessment of Gale’s when she asserts, albeit
only to the readers that

“…my best friend predicts
I will choose the person who I think I “can’t survive without”. There’s not the
least indication that love, or desire, or even compatibility will sway me. I’ll
just 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 will
extend my longevity the most.”(330)

Her insistence that she
is more than her choice of “potential suitors” is however not validated further
and loses its power later when the readers are told:

…I knew this would have
happened anyway. That what I need to survive is not Gale’s fire, kindles with
rage and hatred. I have plenty of fire myself. What I need is… the promise that
life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again. And
only Peeta can give me that. (Mockingjay
388)

The ineluctable nature of
her choice, coupled with the explanation or rather justification she offers for
it points to the fact that it ceases to be a ‘choice’ anymore. The narrative
pushes her into a certain direction that serves to reinforce the idea that she
has no autonomy in the matter.

Epilogue

            The need for a
happy ending in the series instigates the ultimate negation of feministic
ideals, apart from those that have been already examined. Katniss further
undergoes a regressive character development when she gives in to the existing
heteronormative, patriarchal paradigm through her removal from the public
sphere and induction into a life of domesticity and motherhood. This is
exemplified by, as well as established through, her removal from an ‘active’,
public sphere of existence, her confinement to “the roles of lover and mother
that restrict her to the domestic sphere and eclipse her roles as protector
and rebel” () and the coming of age nature of the series which insidiously
serves to restrict her into a structure of stable passivity disguised as an
inevitable maturation into adulthood.

            At
the end of Mockingjay, Katniss,
nearly catatonic with grief over losing her sister Prim, undergoes a trial in absentia for murdering President Coin
instead of President Snow. After this trial, she is exiled to District 12. It
is not clear what the official duration of her exile is; nevertheless, she
presumably chooses to voluntarily isolate herself to the small community that
remains within district 12. The larger point, be it that her exile was
voluntary or not, is that it “relegated her to a life outside of the political
world she played such a central role in” (Tan 37) She is no longer a part of
the public realm where she could affect social change– her primary enterprise
as the protagonist of a dytopian narrative– and her willing withdrawal (due to
trauma or otherwise) from that space is as problematic as her forcible ejection
from it. In case of the former, the transition from a fierce agent of change to
a reclusive ex-rebel negates her value as ‘Katniss Everdeen’. In the case of
the latter, there is an obvious overriding of her agency and a loss of her
autonomy.

            A
similar loss of autonomy may be observed in what is the other side of the coin
to Katniss’ eviction from the political public sphere– her confinement to the
domestic space. This confinement manifests in her “easy subsumation” into a
heterosexual marital structure where she also maintains the “reproductive
status quo”. She conform to the dominant discourses of gender and sexuality and
furthermore, there is the fact that fantasy as a genre insists upon shattering
of societal norms amd conventions. The series’ resolution goes against the
spirit of this enterprise.