Katniss Everdeen, Hermione Granger, and Bella Swan are often compared in order to show what a terrible role model Bella is. I’m not sure when or how it became necessary for every literary heroine to be a good role model and whose standards define what is good. It’s possible to learn things from characters that are totally anti-whatever it is you believe in.
I have a hard time putting the three in the same category.
I saw The Hunger Games today with Face, who whispered advice to Katniss and the other kids throughout the movie. Face knows something about wilderness survival –a hell of a lot more than I do. In all honesty, I’m more like Bella than Katniss or Hermione. I’m not the cleverest of anything. Hermione is scary in her ability to learn and to remember. Meanwhile, Katniss had to learn how to survive or die before she ended up doing it on national television. My story has a lot more similarities to Bella’s…at least before she turned into a vampire. ;) I relate to her much better, as a matter of fact. Sorry to disappoint.
I like characters similar to Katniss a lot better than those like Bella, but Bella didn’t disappoint me, either. Bella took it pretty well when her life got, well, weird.
A big part of my connection to Bella is how she feels absolutely ordinary. She gets dealt a lot of smack by well-intended critics over this, but how many of us were as special as Katniss and Hermione at sixteen? Me, I felt completely boring, too. I wasn’t the smartest kid in my class. I didn’t have any skills. I was pretty sheltered. If something weird happened to me…like the vampire boy in my biology class crushing on me…? Yeah, I’d be confused. Interested. Curious. Reckless. I’d be all of the things Bella was.
As for getting depressed when Edward leaves her? Yeah…be honest. If the person you love told you he or she was bailing, right now, sorry, and disappeared…tell me you wouldn’t be any better off.
I agree we need more characters like Katniss…but I’m not going to tear Bella down to make that point. I dare someone to make up a Bella-type PC. ;)