Peeta or Gale? July 12, 2012Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
Tags: Gale Hawthorne, Katniss Everdeen, Peeta Mellark, The Hunger Games
Silence Dogood here. Our friend Ben and I had a bit of an argument this morning about what we should post. Should we talk about the potential repeal of Obamacare? The findings against Penn State in the Sandusky abuse scandal? Either would certainly make for riveting and timely reading. The thing is, I’ve been wrestling with the heroine of The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen, and her choice of suitors Peeta or Gale. I agree with her, but I’m not happy about it.
Gale is tall, dark and handsome. He’s also extremely bright, innovative, and his own man, an independent thinker who’s never afraid to take his thoughts to their logical conclusion, even if that’s dangerous under a repressive regime. He has a tremendous sense of loyalty and protectiveness towards the people he loves, such as Katniss and his family. And he’s able to envision a big picture, such as a successful rebellion in Panem.
Peeta, by contrast, is short, stocky, and blond. He is heroic, like Gale, but for completely different reasons: He’s a good, kind person, a feeling person, a moral person, someone who knows the importance of being true to yourself even under hideous circumstances. He’s loved Katniss all his life and is determined to protect her, whatever the cost to himself (and in this respect he’s on par with Gale). He’s sensitive, an artist, a nurturer. Who wouldn’t love dear, sweet, kind, good Peeta?
Well, everybody. The problem is that loving Peeta means making a moral rather than a romantic choice: You choose the best rather than the most exciting person. Katniss makes this clear when she kisses Peeta repeatedly in the Arena, but never once describes the sensation; she kisses Gale just once afterwards, but can never forget the feeling of his lips on hers.
So what is the value of moral versus romantic love? If you were a woman tossed into the Hunger Games, would you be attracted to Peeta, Gale, Cinna, Cato, Finnick, Thresh, or even Haymitch?
Katniss chooses Peeta, her opposite, her quiet, strong supporter. Her choice makes perfect sense, especially given that the two have experienced shared traumas no one else could possibly experience (except, say, Haymitch and Finnick Odair). According to Suzanne Collins, they live quietly and resolutely ever after. Would that have been your choice?
‘Til next time,