I don’t know how to psycho-analyze but I saw the movie “Psycho” with Tony Perkins.
I can’t distinguish between my “id” and my “super ego” but I do enjoy Eggo waffles.
I don’t have a doctorate in psychology, but I do have my name “Tor” in the word docTORate.
Given those impressive credentials, I believe that I’m more than qualified to dispense clinical diagnoses for fictional characters.
Given the fact that today marks the opening day of the feature film version of The Hunger Games by author Suzanne Collins, it seemed appropriate to haul Haymitch and the gang on The Psychiatric Couch.
CASE HISTORY: The Hunger Games trilogy is set in a post-apocalyptic country called Panem, that’s run by a fascist leader who holds supreme power over the 12 other district-states that comprise the rest of the nation. The “Hunger Games” are an annual gladiator-style event in which a teenage boy and girl are selected by lottery from each of the 12 districts to compete in a brutal, televised game of mortal combat – and from those 24 teenagers there’s only one survivor. The Hunger Games are a tool to quell rebellion and keep the districts under control.
It’s safe to say that the “uplifting and jovial tone” of the book should generate ample Psychiatric Couch fodder for the main characters from The Hunger Games.
Katniss Everdeen: The 16-year-old heroine of the trilogy. She has genuine abandonment issues from the loss of her father in a mining accident, and a disconnected mother that forced Katniss to illegally hunt and rummage through garbage to find food for her and her younger sister during formative years. Additionally, she’s non-committal, with low self esteem and manifests an avoidant personality to a pair of teenage boys who love and save her life multiple times. This is compounded by acute stress disorder, pyromania, depersonalization syndrome, hypomania, oppositional defiance disorder and severe anger issues – all of which help her survive the Hunger Games. Other than that, she’s a great kid!
Peeta Mellark: He’s 16 years old as well, and is also selected for the Hunger Games along with Katniss and he sacrifices himself repeatedly throughout the trilogy to save her life. His love for Katniss drives his life-saving actions, yet she continual rebuffs his feelings which scars him emotionally. Peeta exhibits aspects of a savior complex and near-delusional idealism, which ultimately leads him to experience severe schizophrenia marked by disconnection with reality, paranoia, delusions and disassociative thinking and speech. He’s by far the most grounded and likable character in the trilogy.
Haymitch Abernathy: The mentor of Peeta Mellark and Katniss Everdeen, and is himself a past winner of the 50th Hunger Games when he was a teen. Post-traumatic stress disorder defines Haymitch’s personality along with his chronic alcoholism, nightmares, anti-social avoidance and hypervigilance. Ultimately Haymitch becomes a father figure of sorts for Katniss, which may also explain her stunted emotional development.
Gale Hawthorne: An 18 old teenager and Katniss’ best friend. The two were illegal hunting partners for years prior to Katniss entering the Hunger Games. Gale’s father also died in the same coal mining explosion that killed Katniss’ dad. They both share a dysfunctional, enabling relationship with virtually no communication and false attribution, yet they both find comfort in the ambiguity of their emotions. Gale also saves Katniss several times via his anti-authoritarian complex and innate rebellion. He’s like a psychotic Bear Grylls from the show Man vs. Wild.
President Coriolanus Snow: The autocratic ruler of The Capitol and all of Panem. He is a ruthlessly, paranoid sadist and psychopath corrupted by power who oversees the Hunger Games to maintain his control. Coriolanus has bloody ulcerative mouth sores from drinking a poison he used to kill off political competitors in his mega-maniacal rise to power – a quick sip of antidote kept Snow alive but left the oral ulcers.
Coriolanus is a combination of Mussolini, the Marquis de Sade and Hannibal Lecter all rolled into one. It’s unclear which Ring of Hell he would be relegated to from Dante’s Inferno because he’s eligible for so many. It’s interesting to note that the villian’s first name “Coriolanus” ends in the word “anus” – I’m certain that’s not an accident by the author – because snow is the living embodiment of that particular body part.
Question: Have you read the Hunger Games? Are you planning on seeing the movie?