I'm reading Mockingkay, the final book of the Hunger Games series. I've only recently started it and I read fairly slowly so I'm not very far in yet. Still, there's something I've started to wonder.
Would I like Katniss as much if she were a boy?
Without giving too much away, Katniss has an awful lot of negative traits. She's suspicious of others, especially if they seem helpful or supportive. She casts broad assumptions about how other people deserve to be treated, even when she should know better. She can process information and deal with problems only in the immediate present, she has little to no ability to see the bigger picture or understand subtleties in conversation or intent.
All of these traits are understandable given the world in which she lives and her position in it, but I know that I've read books where male characters could be described in a similar way. Those traits, or at least how they're depicted, have bothered me. I think an awful lot of people would consider a male character with these flaws to be pretty dense and ignorant.
Is it just because Katniss is a girl that I overlook these flaws? Is it that extra level of vulnerability I feel in female characters? Is that sexist?
Peeta, on the other hand, is about the most decent person in the series. I would definitely have liked him if Suzanne Collins had chosen to make him the protagonist. But I wonder, would the first book have been as successful with a nice guy as the hero instead of a hardened girl?