I don't think Peeta manipulated Katniss into having kids. Katniss tells Gale that she never wants children because of THG. She never wants to see them reaped, even says in CF that she imagines a world without THG, 'where Peeta's child could be safe.' Seeing as she's supposed to be pregnant, I think it hints that Katniss was considering becoming a mother, if the Games didn't exist. Maybe she never had a strong want for her own children, but she thinks about the concept a lot. What do you think?

Answer

You present a good viewpoint for that and I think this could be supported given the story and text. It’s been a while since I’ve read the books, but when I read the part where Katniss imagines a world “where Peeta’s child could be safe,” I think I read it thinking she was speaking to the future life Peeta could have and that she was speaking about the world a real child of Peeta’s could live in but you make a good connection. I think what you pointed out is supported or could be argued given the text. It does not seem that she had a strong want for her own children but since she had that thought in Catching Fire when she was supposed to be pregnant and she included that she imagines a world without The Hunger Games, it could hint to or read that she was considering the idea of becoming a mother or that she had thoughts of motherhood as they related to a real child of Peeta’s.

I re-read the epilogue and I don’t think “Peeta manipulated Katniss into having kids” accurately captures the dynamic, based on both the epilogue alone and based on the epilogue combined with the points you made about Katniss not wanting children because she never wants to see them reaped. The lines most related to this are “It took five, ten, fifteen years for me to agree. But Peeta wanted them so badly.” The fact that it took five, ten, fifteen years for Katniss to agree suggests that Peeta was pushing, requesting, and letting his desires known to Katniss in those years and that Katniss was against having children in whatever forms she communicated to Peeta that she was against having them and then after all that time of him pushing and communicating his desires, Katniss gave him what he wanted because he wanted it so badly. She eventually got tired of pushing back and she gave him something that he wanted so badly but that she did not want because she loved him, she didn’t have the heart to tell him no anymore, and he wore her down with what he wanted. Her doing this does not negate that she did not want children or that Peeta did not respect her wants and boundaries, does not negate her reasons or rationale for not wanting children (i.e. not wanting to see them reaped), does not negate the possibility that she might have considered motherhood, and does not negate “the joy of holding her [daughter] in [her] arms” but it shows that she made a compromise, gave in, and gave someone she loved something he wanted after he kept pushing her to get it and it shows that all of these items exist together, which makes it much more nuanced than just “Peeta manipulated Katniss into having kids.” I’ve updated the article to reflect “it does not stop him from pushing his wants on her in the future” to try to better capture that.

Thank you for sharing your perspective and those parts of the text. It adds more layers to Katniss, her thought process, and to the nuanced nature of Katniss’ and Peeta’s relationship.

Updated on June 25, 2020

Original Article:

Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark: A Realistic
By Nalini Marquez
working

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