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The Last Tribute: Chapter Seven - The Phantom Librarian — LiveJournal
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
The Last Tribute: Chapter Seven
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From: (Anonymous) Date: August 23rd, 2014 07:35 am (UTC) (Link)

It's crying time again?

I'm sorry, but Katniss crying after her shoot-the-apple stunt is totally out of character for her.

Remember in _Mockingjay_, how she dealt with the death of Primrose? She didn't cry, she yelled at Buttercup the cat.

So I would expect a similar response here. If she rode up the elevator thinking _Wow, I lost my temper and did something inexcusably stupid, and now I've ruined everything_, I don't see her as crying when she got back to the apartment.

Instead, I see this--

Katniss jerks open the door, steps through, then slams the door shut.

Katniss starts an argument with Effie, then tells Effie to STFU.

Katniss starts an argument with Haymitch, then tells Haymitch to STFU.

Katniss starts an argument with Peeta, then tells Peeta to STFU.

Katniss says to Lavinia, "I'm going to my room. Bring me a gallon of premium ice cream and a spoon. When you walk in my room, lock the door behind you, sit in the chair, and get ready to listen. But you might want earplugs for when I get loud."

-- Tom
persephone_kore From: persephone_kore Date: August 23rd, 2014 07:58 am (UTC) (Link)
"I actually make it back to my floor before the tears start running down my cheeks. I can hear the others calling me from the sitting room, but I fly down the hall into my room, bolt the door, and fling myself onto my bed. Then I really begin to sob." -- The Hunger Games, start of ch. 8
beceh From: beceh Date: August 23rd, 2014 09:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 23rd, 2014 01:45 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: It's crying time again?

Since Fern is clearly awesome and, as pointed out above, based Katniss's reaction on what was in the source material, I'm going to assume you meant that Collins's characterization was inconsistent. I think your analysis is flawed for 3 reasons. 1st you are expecting consistent emotional responses from a teenager. 2nd you expect the same reaction from someone over the devestating death of a younger sister as from taking a huge risk, possibly making a huge mistake, in essentially a life or death situation. That's not the same. But 3rd, most importantly, you're expecting the same reaction from someone at the beginning of the story as near the end. The Games change people. War changes people. In a good novel (or trilogy) the characters change in believable ways. They're still themselves, but they react differently based on their experiences. The Girl On Fire is not necessarily going to react the same way as The Mockingjay.

Fern, I love your stories. I tried to tell myself I wasn't going to read this one until I'd actually read THG. But I just couldn't help myself. I know if I ever do read it, I'll have all this back story in my mind. Thanks ~Karen
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 24th, 2014 04:36 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: It's crying time again?

Thanks, but it's okay -- I get the criticism. It was a weird action, and an odd sequence of events in the book!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 23rd, 2014 02:17 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: It's crying time again?

I agree, but it was in the source material, so that's what had to be there. She goes to her room and cries for about an hour.

It seemed like an odd overreaction, which is why I had Haymitch think that it's just everything finally catching up to her, more than anything that particularly happened in the test.

Edited at 2014-08-23 02:21 pm (UTC)
From: queen_bellatrix Date: August 23rd, 2014 08:43 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: It's crying time again?

It seemed like an odd overreaction

Yeah, most of my big critiques of this series come in Book 1. It's like Collins started to have deeper, more complex understandings of her characters (even later in this book), but then never went back and edited these first few chapters to bring them in line with the rest of the book. Or started writing before she really had a solid feel for the characters and then got caught by deadline, which I can somewhat understand.:)

The only thing that made this one somewhat redeemable for me was that Kattniss asks about whether they will hurt her family in the dinner chat, and then starts to cheer up almost immediately when Haymitch says no, which always allowed me to somewhat interpret the crying as more motivated by fear for Prim etc., which's always been a driving force for her.

But, I was as impressed by how you handled this one as the incongruous first morning on the train. Because yeah, when the high of saving Prim started to fade, Twelve's pretty bleak record would start to look pretty scary, so the it all catching up is a really plausible reaction.:d

Edited at 2014-08-23 08:55 pm (UTC)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 24th, 2014 04:39 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: It's crying time again?

I agree with you there. That's one of the reasons the first book left me a little nonplused (I read it, but forgot about it until the hoopla surrounding the movie, when I started hearing how great "Catching Fire" was, then I re-read and liked it). There seemed to be a lot of sort of feeling her way... which I get. And since I tend to post publicly chapter by chapter, leaving weirdness when I get a better feel later on, I totally sympathize.

But Haymitch hitting Peeta, Katniss going on a crying jag after the test, etc... yeah. They stick out a little bit in view of later characterizations. The constant flashbacks were a little irritating, too, though we needed them.
mirandabeth From: mirandabeth Date: August 23rd, 2014 08:48 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: It's crying time again?

But Katniss cries all the time. In stressful situations or in the anticipation of something terrible coming, rather than actual grief situations, eg the quell announcement. She holds back (or tries to) when there's a percieved need, like the cameras are on, or she needs to be strong for someone else.

Plus, the screaming at the cat is followed immediately by crying.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 24th, 2014 04:40 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: It's crying time again?

I think the reason this scene sticks out is that the jeopardy doesn't feel as real as the other times, so it doesn't seem as urgent.
persephone_kore From: persephone_kore Date: August 24th, 2014 05:07 am (UTC) (Link)
I... didn't really get that feeling, honestly. The jeopardy doesn't feel as immediate, no, not as urgent... but the sense of "I just ruined everything and they're going to punish people I love" was pretty convincing to me. Maybe that's partly in context of the occasions where they do it, both in the books and in fic, but even so.

Maybe I'm too in touch with my inner drama queen?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 24th, 2014 05:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Maybe I'm not in touch enough. ;p
mirandabeth From: mirandabeth Date: August 24th, 2014 07:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, it's also, I think, the first time that she perceives she's done something truly rebellious, and for all her poaching and daring to complain about the Capitol where no one except Gale can hear, that's a really big deal for her. It doesn't strike me as weird.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 24th, 2014 10:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Personally I’m with the people who understand why Katniss had a crying fit. Aside from general fear about possible bad repercussions for her family, she feels like she has ruined all her chances even before entering the arena. She fears either that she’ll be prevented from participating in the Games (because the Capitol will arrest her/throw her in prison/kill her) or that the Gamemakers will harass her with mutts and traps in the arena and kill her there, all of which means that she’ll be prevented from winning the Games and thus won’t return to home and to Prim (which is her sole goal at this point).

I also wanted to react to a comment Fern made in passing earlier in this thread, about the 'weirdness' of Haymitch hitting Peeta on the train: if we ignore for a moment Fern’s awsome characterization and backstory and only focus on the source material that is Collins’s book, I always figured that Haymitch throwing this punch was purely a drunken reaction. He has a glass of booze in his hand and suddenly someone strikes him and makes the glass fall down. For a moment in his drunken state he forgets that this someone is one of his tribute and just throws a punch at him because he’s angry at the attack and the spilled booze. Then he turns to the table to reach the remaining booze.
(This reading doesn't sit so well when we take into account Haymitch as characterized in Fern's fics -- even drunk, this Haymitch has too much backstory with Danny to lash at his son like this, which may be why it seems so weird in retrospect...)

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 24th, 2014 06:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
For me, the oddness with Haymitch is that we never again see him being randomly violent. He sulks a lot, and when Peeta actually dumps his supplies, he loses it (as opposed to the train, he now can't get any more), but mostly, we see him wake up with the knife (most likely from arena nightmares), and that's it. He doesn't seem prone at any other point to just taking a swing.

I'm not bothered by Katniss have a moment of panic, but the flinging herself around and sobbing did strike me as a little out of place with what we've seen of her.
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