Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Defending Gale

First off, if you haven't read the Hunger Games, do so.

Secondly, I don't agree with Gale or his actions at all. I am merely procrastinating homework and I don't have the books in front of me at the moment. But I have seen people bash on him and I think some understanding of Gale needs to be said and even somewhat defended.

But what do we know of Gale? First off, he is the standard teenager when it comes to girls. He's kissed many girls, maybe a few girlfriends. I am surprised that Katniss didn't know that he has kissed a lot of girls, but then again, they are always hunting together and could have been perceived as a couple by others and no one said anything to Katniss. And we know Gale knows how to hunt to help provide for his family. A few siblings and his mom. I forget how he learned, but it is not important.

But before Hunger Games, before the mine explosion, what did Gale expect out of life? He expected to get out of school and provided he was not selected to participate in the Hunger Games, and work in the mines until too old to do so. He probably resented that a little, but that is speculation. We don't know how he felt about the Capitol, if it was any different than anyone else in District 12, until after the mine accident.

It becomes obvious through evidenced throughout the books that Gale looked at the mine accident and blamed the Capitol for it. And obviously he never got over it. Katniss? She had to get over it. She had no time to develop a grudge against the Capitol, she was busy providing for her family. But unlike Katniss's mom, Gale's mom didn't go catatonic. She worked, she provided for her children with Gale's help. Gale didn't have the burden that Katniss did to provide and shelter her family.

And so as a teenage boy, someone who hasn't gotten over the role the Capitol plays, constantly expressed violent statements about them. Katniss says she should not have been surprised when Gale took hunting and adapted it to the Rebellion.

So we could say that he is a mercenary. Actually we could say that Gale is a freedom fighter. Desperately wanting freedom, desperately wanting to fight off the yoke of bondage placed upon them. And unlike Katniss, he didn't live alone, he wasn't independent of anyone like Katniss was. He isn't a solo act. Having expected to work in the Coal mines, he knew most likely how to work in teams. Cause teamwork is required to survive in a mine. Look to the trapped Chilean miners if you have any doubt of that. So Gale has had to depend on people, to know how to depend on people. Katniss didn't. She had to look to herself for strength to provide for her family.

And the team work shows. It shows in Catching Fire at the Lake when Gale learns that other districts are rebelling. He doesn't just want to go off and them and their families and try and find 13, he wants to help everyone. He wants everyone to have freedom if possible, not just him. It shows in rescuing all those he could from the firebombs on District 12.

So yes, Gale is unhesitating and cruel. Yes, he misses the point to be better than your enemy (such as with the bombs that kill Prim) But what guides that? Pursuit of freedom. Of a better life. Pursuit of happiness. There are many reasons not to like Gale, but there are also reasons to admire him, for his bravery to be on the front lines, to not give up, to rescuing those of District 12. Even to not lying to Katniss and saying he was sorry that the bombs killed Prim (cause he wasn't), and not going back to Katniss pretending to be something he was not. Not to mention his constancy of being there for Katniss, him having to mature by going into the mines.

So while talking down Gale, we should remember that he isn't a silly oaf that bundled things up with Katniss. He has his good spots and qualities and the roughness shouldn't distract from that.


Allison said...

I agree- mostly. I would, however change the last paragraph to read "that he isn't JUST a silly oaf that bundled things..." because he was. And silly's kind of a nice word for what he did- EVEN if it was justified.

Bitten Usagi said...

Pretty sure I'm the only person in the world who hasn't read Hunger Games yet. O.o Lol. I'll get there, eventually. My to-read list is straight up outta control. *sigh*

Sam, The Nanti-SARRMM said...

You are right Allison, I am mistaken in that. Gale is not a silly oaf. He is a realist who will do whatever it costs for freedom. Even if it means becoming and doing that which he fought against.