theravendesk replied to your post: i’m reading thg fanfiction rn how many times have…i never EVER understood why people found him so easy to villainize! he was the exact opposite of katniss in the best way! REVOLUTION! pro-active! while i love katniss, bc katniss didn’t choose him doesnt MAKE HIM EVIL and also I AM SO GLAD SHE DIDNT
wait you don’t like Gale x Katniss?? i love Gale x Katniss though I ship Peeta x Katniss as well.
i don’t understand either. he was the only person who got any shit done in MJ when Katniss and Peeta were still wandering in their PTSD and aftereffects of what the Capitol had done to them
and you know what i absolutely fucking hate? that the way the text portrays Gale is problematic and thereafter how fandom hates him is problematic. it’s problematic because Collins demonizes taking arms against an oppressor and/or treating them like they’re treating you in self defense. (re: Malcolm X and how people pit him against MLK.) and i fucking. can’t. with that at all.
I’m not actually sure that the text does demonize Gale? I think there’s a fair amount of sympathy for people who respond to oppression with violence. See: the fact that Katniss votes in favor of the last round of the Games. (As does Johanna, and I’m not sure how the general readership responds to Johanna, but I find her just excruciatingly sympathetic.) Seems to me that Gale and Peeta represent two different moral compasses: the one sort of grandly directed outward, toward the ideas of freedom and a just society, and the other more micro-scale and grounded in an idea of goodness that’s all about loving someone faithfully and giving them your best. And so the thing that is just stomach-droppingly disorienting about Mockingjay is that both of those compasses just start spinning like crazy. And I think there’s a pretty direct and intentional parallel between the two. Obviously Peeta is, in a very real and physical way, altered by his interaction with the Capitol, to the point that he has been, really, displaced/replaced. (I don’t think it’s just world-building preciousness that made Collins use the word “hijacked” where “brainwashed” would have been the obvious choice.) It’s not his choice, and it doesn’t really mean anything in terms of who he is, morally. It’s just that when you touch something it changes you (your body doesn’t end at the limits of your body, etc). I think of Gale the same way: fighting the Capitol becomes so much a part of his physical reality that it … replaces parts of him with new parts. (Think of how much of Mockingjay is about the daily drudgery of planning a revolution, about all the meetings and petty negotiations and how physically numbing all of this is; think about the schedules being tattooed on the arm; think about how actually dull and grinding all of this is, especially for an ultraviolent action-heavy book written for teenagers; it’s not accidental.) It’s not moral or immoral, precisely. It’s too material for that.
I mean, everything good in the Hunger Games eventually comes down to two people: Katniss taking care of Prim or hunting with Gale or allying with Rue or disappearing from society to love Peeta in seclusion. These books don’t have much to offer you if a just social system is your goal. They’re more about carving out livable niches in wider human societies, which are inevitably (the book’s view, not mine) pretty fucking horrible. I also think it’s a traumatized perspective, this pervasive and disruptive suspicion, which is why Katniss, who is seriously THE MOST TRAUMATIZED, is its focal point. And I really don’t like the implication that this traumatized worldview is politically unacceptable.
(Wow, that got into “unnecessarily defensive over a fictional character” territory really fast. I JUST REALLY CARE ABOUT KATNISS, YOU GUYS.)