CHARACTER MEME → Peeta Mellark → asked by anon
UUGHH PEETA. This kid and all his feelings I can’t I ACTUALLY CAN’T. I think that it’s almost impossible to read The Hunger Games and come out with a favourite other than Katniss, but Peeta comes really close for me because he’s so immenselu likeable that you get attatched to him and then he goes and breaks your goddamn heart.
The postmodern setting of THG is interesting in regards to the different values and roles of characters, and Peeta comes into this mostly as a reflection of Katniss. We are introduced to him as he’s chosen for the Hunger Games, which instantly makes him a character that is going to be compared and contrasted to Katniss, as they are both “chosen ones”. We then find out they he and Katniss have history, but Katniss leads us to believe that it is only significant to her; Peeta is has been a symbolic reminder of hope for Katniss since she was young. More than that: Peeta’s kindness reminds her that there is good in the world, much as Prim reminds her of her former innocene - these are things Katniss holds on to mentally and emotionally to survive.
So we have Peeta and Katniss, two vastly different characters connected by the Hunger Games. As the book progresses it is made clear to us that the two of them are a pair in the narrative sense - this is given many layers in the text, with them constantly being put together as the tributes from District 12, the star struck lovers, the two victors, etc. What is interesting about Katniss and Peeta is that they are a reversed traditional couple, with Katniss having the more masculine traits and Peeta having the more feminine. Katniss is a hunter, Peeta is a baker (essentially, a cook); Katniss excells in confrontation, Peeta is good with disguises; Katniss is straightforward and finds trouble acting, Peeta is not only good at putting on a show, he relies on it to survive the Hunger Games; Katniss does not like to address her emotions and is rather closed off; Peeta is not afraid to broadcast himself for (literally) the whole world to see. This is why it is Katniss/Peeta, why they rely on one another to survive the Games; they are two parts that make up the whole.
I just… this kid has a pretty shitty life, like most kids in the Districts. He’s not memorable like Katniss, and he knows it: he tries his best to look out for himself in the Games, but all in all he knows he doesn’t have much chance of winning, so he tries to look after Katniss as much as he can. And then he goes and volunteers for another Hunger Games because he doesn’t want her facing it alone. Obviously he cares for Katniss, but he extends that to his friends, to Rue, to so many people, because that’s who he is.
Mockingjay, as a book, is about the destruction of innnocence - as Katniss sees herself as someone who abandoned innocence a long time ago, it is taken from her via Prim and Peeta. The resolution of Mockingjay is that, despite everything they’ve been through, the Katniss and Peeta that survive are the same people who went into the Hunger Games, and that in the end they would rather be together than apart. That’s love, bitch.