Hunger Games- Characterisation

Applying Vladimir Propp’s character theory

Katniss is the Hero 

Seeker hero– aids victims of the villain, Victim hero– and targeted by the villain

President Snow acts as the Villain together with residents of the capital. Cato is the tribute form District 2 and leads the  ‘career’ fighters group in the Games themselves. Perhaps a henchman is a better term.

There are False villains who are the subversives amongst the Capital’s population. Haymitch Abernathy ,  Cinna  and Effie Trinket  eventually but better described as Enablers.

Peeta Malark is the helper.The Princess is more complex than the  distressed damsel narrative. Could be : Primrose Everdeen (the sister)  but she saves her at the beginning or Katniss saving herself at the end.

The Dispatcher sends the hero on their task/journey to restore the equilibrium. This is quite difficult to establish.

The process itself  of selecting a tribute or the history of the games perhaps. Effie who draws Prims name even.

Gale Hawthorne who with Peeta is the romantic interest is hard to label but perhaps this is because he appears spare. Spare lover is not a Propp  label. It feels that he could have been a false hero betraying Everdeen at some point because he was spurned but that plot line did not develop.


Propp’s theories take time to master and then not all characters will conveniently take up their labels.


I wonder if some authors write books with Propp labels then do a ‘find and replace’ at the end to insert character names . So much simpler for the poor students analysing their work. Probably not great for the future of literature and definitely not how Shakespeare did it.


The Hunger Games, [television programme, online], Prod. credit n.k., Prod. company n.k., Prod. country n.k., 21:00 21/6/2014, Channel 4, 170mins., (Accessed 14/05/2016).


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