Thursday, December 8, 2011

Match #9: Katniss (Seed #2) vs Fire (Seed #31) goes to Katniss!

After two excellent advocate defenses, the winner of this match is...


Welcome to the YA Sisterhood! Thank you in advance for your participation in our Tournament of Heroines! We hope you make some friends (and not too many enemies), discover some fantastic books, and have a lot of fun! 

Some general rules before we begin:

There may be some spoilers in the following post. We've tried to keep it fairly general, but overall, this Tourney will not be spoiler-free. So beware.

Secondly, You are welcome to write your own comments about either character in the comments section, but we will not tolerate rudeness. The minute it crosses over from logical argument into character bashing, your comments will be deleted and your vote canceled.  POLLS WILL BE OPEN FOR 24 HOURS AND WILL CLOSE AT 12:01AM EST ON DECEMBER 10th.

And now for the match....

My name is Penelope, and I run the book review blog: The Reading Fever. I am honored to be Katniss’ advocate, and will be blogging and tweeting about Katniss’ progress throughout the tournament. You can follow me using the links below for #TeamKatniss updates.

1. About Her
The bird, the pin, the song, the berries, the watch, the cracker, the dress that burst into flames. I am the Mockingjay. The one that survived despite the Capitol's plans. The symbol of the rebellion.

-Katniss, Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (pg. 386-387)
Credit: Entertainment Weekly
Katniss is the main character in The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. She is described as having long, straight black hair, which she usually pulls back into a tight braid. She has olive skin and gray eyes. She is an amazing hunter who has deadly aim with a bow, and has been using these skills to put food on her family's table--keeping them from the starvation that is so widespread in their district.

She is fiercely protective of those she loves, and has proven she will go to any lengths to ensure their safety. Not one to be easily swayed or broken, she proves to the Capitol that no matter their methods, they can't control everyone.

Also known as: Catnip, the Mockingjay, and The Girl On Fire.

2. Best Attributes
A mockingjay is a creature the capitol never intended to exist. They hadn’t counted on the highly controlled jabberjay having the brains to adapt to the wild...They hadn’t anticipated its will to live.

-Katniss, Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (pg. 92)
As tempting as it is to name Katniss' hunting skills and her innate sense of survival as her best attributes, that just wouldn't be completely true. Everything Katniss does in the series can be attributed to one of these: love, compassion, fear.

Her first act--entering the Hunger Games in place of her younger sister, Prim--was done out of her incredible love for Prim, and fear for Prim's safety. She is pushed to survive by fear of dying and leaving her family without a provider; called into action by compassion for Rue and Peeta (competitors in the hunger games); compelled to accept the title of The Mockingjay (symbol of the rebellion) by compassion for those enduring the destruction the Capitol brings. She takes what the world gives her and reacts to it in a way that benefits those around her; letting love, compassion, and fear guide her. These are her best attributes.

3. What makes your girl a true heroine?
I’m moving in toward the camera now, carried forward by my rage. “President Snow says he’s sending us a message? Well, I have one for him. You can torture us and bomb us and burn our districts to the ground, but do you see that?” One of the cameras follows as I point to the planes burning on the roof of the warehouse across from us. The Capitol seal on a wing glows clearly through the flames. “Fire is catching!” I am shouting now, determined that he will not miss a word. “And if we burn, you burn with us!”

-Katniss, Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (pg. 99-100)
The quote above is from Katniss. At this point in the story, Katniss has already been through the hunger games, has witnessed the pain, torture, and death, of loved ones, has been forced to kill, seen her home destroyed, and has witnessed the extreme lengths the Capitol will go to in order to have total control--and yet these things only empower her to act.

To me a true heroine is someone who rises above her circumstances, who keeps going despite being knocked down, and most importantly: a heroine inspires others to keep going as well. Katniss is a true heroine.

4. What makes your girl better than her competitor?

Credit: kara-lija on DeviantArt
Fire is definitely a tough opponent. She possesses great powers, yet she refuses to use them against the innocent. I admire that. She's a girl who knows her strengths, and when to use them. She is called Fire for a reason.

But let's not forget that Katniss is also called Fire--The Girl On Fire--and she, too, is called that for a reason. She may not have had supernatural powers to help her, but from the moment she came out dressed in an outfit of flames, her every act from then on would continue to light the fire that fueled the rebellion.

If Fire had no supernatural powers, would she still be as influential?

5. Anything else you’d like to add?

Show your support for Team Katniss! Grab a button and post it on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere else you think of. More button options can be found here.


Hi y'all, I'm Grace. I'm from the blog Words Like Silver, which I have been maintaining for around eight months now. If you'd like to follow me on Twitter, my handle is @beachtwin110 and my Facebook page is here. For each round that Fire advances through, I'll be giving away a copy of either Fire or Graceling. This is my first time being an advocate in the tournament. To be honest, when I first heard I was going up against Katniss, my first thoughts were injected with pure fear. Katniss is amazing and she has a bigger fan base, but today I'm here to talk about how much better Fire is.
About Her

Forget the girl who was on fire; remember the girl who IS Fire.

Not as many people have heard of Fire as the ones who have heard about Katniss. I know this, and I was afraid of it. But Fire is so much better if you would just give her the chance. She is much more modest, but much more extraordinary. She is subtle, but the strongest character that you could imagine.

Fire is a monster. She knows she is. But can anybody truly help who their parents are? She couldn't help that she was born with brilliant, pure hair the color of flame. Striking eyes, and a curvaceous body making her the envy of many women and the subject of leers from the men. It would be enough for anybody to deal with, right?

And yet Fire has to go through worse. Because she is a monster. Everybody hates her, and doesn't even give her a chance to prove herself. From the moment she was born, she was cursed to always be an outsider. She's dangerous and powerful, but she's quiet. She doesn't shy away from her fear, however. She embraces it, and uses that fear to grow.

Not to mention that she is a musical genius. Her fiddle is like an extension of her soul that she molds the music to, and uses it to make the world more beautiful. She plays the fiddle for everybody all the time, and it is with it under her chin that she is the happiest. Did I mention that she is also great with a bow and arrow? In fact, "great" is an understatement. She's just as good as Katniss, but nobody seems to give her credit for it. She's modest about her talents.

Fire has to tuck her hair into a drab headscarf every day, and when she's approached to consider helping the kingdom, she immediately decides to help. It is there that she starts to grow even more into herself and she is able to use her skills to the fullest.

Because although people hate her, she secretly does incredible things for them. She protects them without their knowledge, and killed her own father (who she loved dearly) so that people would be safe from him. She sacrifices everything for them and doesn't even accept any credit. Instead she is silent among their filthy jeers and heart-wrenching deeds. She is modest, but just as brilliant as flame herself.

Best Attributes

She has been given the gift of changing people's minds, and seeing their thoughts. Now this trait has popped up in many other books, but the problem is that it isn't treated like a special power, and people know that she has it. When you're around her, you can't help but ask yourself whether she's using it on you? So even the people that she's closest to are clouded in thick doubts and uncertainties. Her problem is that nobody will give her the simple courtesy of belief.

The best qualities about Fire are that she makes her own way in the world. Something about her that has been a huge part of the novel is Fire struggling to live her father's legacy of coldness and abuse down. Being a twin, I can identify her because WE ARE NOT OUR FAMILIES. We have the power to change lives and the world with ourselves, and Fire goes straight on her way trying to carve herself a new path aside from the one that people expect her to take - that of her father's.

Not only is she killer with her fiddle and bow and arrow, but she is empathetic. Whether it's because she's expert at reading minds or simply in tune because of her own disastrous experiences with people who judge her without knowing her. She is able to help people sort through problems. Although people may run screaming, she shows them comfort. No matter how many times they hurt her, she will always be willing to help them. She is incredibly loyal, and she's modest about it.

Fire is simply brilliant. From her physical appearance to her demeanor, there are too many amazing traits to name.

What makes your heroine a TRUE heroine?

This is the wrong question. The right question is, what doesn't? The official definition of heroine is, "a woman of distinguished courage or ability, admired for her brave deeds and noble qualities." Fire has courage. She is the most courageous person for not taking credit for her work. If she had, she wouldn't be going through the hate and awful surroundings that she does every day. Instead, she chooses to bear individual hardships and make her life hell so that it wouldn't be hell for other people.

It's a known fact that each person generally considers themselves the most important person in the world. The amazing part? Fire doesn't. She's the one person in perhaps all of history that has truly put others before herself in order to make the quality of life better for them.

Fire is simply brilliant. She takes things in stride, but reflects back on what she could have done better. She doesn't let regrets or selfish thoughts cloud her judgement, but instead uses these to her advantage. She learns to grow with it, and with every word about Fire, we learn more about her and see her grow. She is mature, and gets even more like an adult throughout the book.

This is the type of girl that people want to look up to. The type of girl that you would want your child, or your younger sister, or you when you were younger to look at with inspiration. Fire in their eyes as they think of the pure strength, dignity, and class that comes with being Fire.

Why is FIRE better than KATNISS?

Who is braver? The person who defies forces and fights back physically, taking credit for her work and flaunting it? Or the girl who works behind the scenes, and doesn't take credit for her incredible deeds? The girl who puts herself on a pedestal, or the girl who chooses to put others before herself, and works to make everybody else's lives better?

One of the reasons I was terrified to go up against Katniss was that everybody knows about her. Not as many people know about Fire. But think about it. There's the girl who was famous because she was on Fire. And then there's the girl who isn't famous, but is the actual fire.

Fire is selfless. Katniss is not. There's a quote from the first book - the original Hunger Games - at the time of the reaping. The only thought racing through Katniss's head is that it shouldn't be her, praying that it wasn't her. Then, when it's her younger sister, she steps forward to volunteer. Although that was her second action. Fire goes with her first actions, because they are always the right ones. There are no second chances in life.

Perhaps the quality of Katniss's that brands her the most is her talent with a bow and arrow. This quality isn't particularly unique. Fire is just as good with a bow and arrow, and uses it for more than meat. Not only this, but Fire can play the fiddle. She strives to create beauty, not violence.

Fire in both books symbolizes strength, power, and passion. Fire is the personification of all of those qualities and that's the reason that Fire

Fire learns from her mistakes and grows throughout them. Katniss tends to stick with her gut, and that can backfire. She doesn't truly reflect on what she does, and usually ends up living with regrets (there are examples throughout the book of this). Katniss is a great character, but if you truly look, you'll find that Fire has the true passion and strength.

There's a reason that in stories, the heroine is always a certain type of girl. The girl who yearns for something more to the world, something barely palpable that only she can feel, that feeling just beyond her reach of understanding and the thing that she always strives for. It could be that feeling that comes with the possibility of being famous. But stronger still is the girl who doesn't care about fame or creating chaos in mass doses. One will find that the more effective way is by changing the world one piece at a time. One person at the time.

Anything else you'd like to add:

I know that some people may skip these arguments, and go straight to the polls. You may not have read Fire, but most people have read The Hunger Games and will vote for the person that they are familiar with. But I think that you'll find that if you take the time to read this post, or even take the time to reflect back on the qualities that make a true heroine. Take a chance. Read the book. Forget about the girl who was on fire; remember the girl who is fire, and all the stunning qualities that go with it.

As they say, it only takes a spark to get a fire going.