I just finished reading a book in which the heroine goes from everyday, non-threatening girl to key revolutionary player. I realized that this happens a lot in books, which makes sense. Obviously, if Katniss had been like “nah, pass”, the book would have been pretty boring, watching her just sit around and die (spoiler: she joins the revolution). Sure, a few start out as badasses, like the lovely Celaena Sardothien, Sophia in Rook, or Saba from Blood Red Road, but more often than not, these protagonists are thrown into scenarios way over their heads and have to make a choice: fight or flight, sink or swim. And because the book would end at page 34 if they gave up, they usually attempt to fight.
I can probably name a dozen of these characters off the top of my head:
- Katniss, who never planned on being anything but a hunter from the seam.
- Tris, who I think just wanted to check out a mirror, hop a few trains, and eat Dauntless cake?
- Vivian Apple, from the aforementioned book I just finished, who basically was a brat-turned-rebel.
- Tella from Fire & Flood who was just looking to help out her sick brother.
- Clary, whose entire background I don’t recall, but I know she didn’t sign up for Shadowhunter lessons.
- Charley from Nil, because no one asks to go to Nil!
- Risa in Unwind, didn’t she just not want to be unwound? Maybe play some music?
- Lena in Delirium just wanted to love for goodness sake!
- Jonas in The Giver never asked to be said Giver.
- Juliette from Shatter Me just wanted to not kill people with her touch so… kind of the opposite of fight, really.
- Alina just wanted to stare at Mal longingly for the rest of time.
- Penryn from the Penryn and the End of Days series just wanted to save her sister from insane flying angels.
And this is seriously just the tip of the iceberg, I could have probably filled a whole post!
So it got me thinking about a few things:
- Do you know of any books where the protagonist does say “the hell with it, I am going to eat pop tarts and watch the world collapse into anarchy from the comfort of my soon-to-be bombed out living room”?
- Would you take a stance in this hypothetical revolution? I think we all would like to think we would, but in reality, I would have probably been that moron in the woods that lit the fire in the damn beginning of the game in The Hunger Games. In a tree? Shooting arrows? Guys, the first cannon would have had my name on it.
But… would I? I don’t know. Maybe I would be able to get some gumption when things really mattered and you know…. not die? Maybe I could fight if it was something so huge and worth fighting for? I am shockingly level headed in actual distressing situations, even though if you ask me to choose what to make for dinner I have a panic attack. So maybe… maybe I could step up?
The question at hand is could you? WOULD you? Because those are two very different questions I suppose. So combining those things in a quiz to see if you OR I would be on Team Rebellion or Team Deserter seemed like the most logical step. Have at it!