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The Woman Fantastic in Contemporary American Media Culture$
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Elyce Rae Helford, Shiloh Carroll, Sarah Gray, and Michael R. II Howard

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781496808714

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2018

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496808714.001.0001

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date: 19 December 2018

Forced Glory: Katniss Everdeen, Bella Swan, and Varieties of Virginity

Forced Glory: Katniss Everdeen, Bella Swan, and Varieties of Virginity

Chapter:
(p.193) Forced Glory: Katniss Everdeen, Bella Swan, and Varieties of Virginity
Source:
The Woman Fantastic in Contemporary American Media Culture
Author(s):

Rhonda V. Wilcox

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496808714.003.0012

Rhonda V. Wilcox’s “Forced Glory: Katniss Everdeen, Bella Swan, and Varieties of Virginity” contrasts Twilight’s Bella Swan and The Hunger Games’ Katniss Everdeen. There are many parallels between the characters, from triumph despite low self-esteem within a first-person narrative to being forced to wear elaborate outfits that serve as signs of power. In early repudiation of marriage and the mother, they reflect the pattern of independence illustrated in Janice Radway’s conceptualization of the romance heroine. Virginity is also central to this pattern, where mental impermeability offers a metaphoric echo. Ultimately, where the characters most differ is in agency. Bella’s protection from (mental) penetration is an inborn ability that helps assimilate her into patriarchy. By contrast, Katniss pretends to have sex while being able to choose virginity. She purposefully and much later chooses procreation, while Bella and Edward assert that in their love, they had no choice.

Keywords:   Twilight, The Hunger Games, Janice Radway, Romance Heroine, Virginity

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