SparkNotes Blog

Katniss Everdeen, Commencement Speaker

Swoon: Gender Themes in The Hunger GamesHello graduating class of 2156!

Today you embark on your the first day of the rest of your lives in Panem. Will you become a mason, or a fisherman, or a doctor? Perhaps a a baker, like my husband? The choice is yours! With the horrific flames of revolution come free choice, and free wigs and furs from the looted homes of the Capitol. What a glorious new world we live in. Take advantage of it! Make cronuts!

When I was forced to kill in the arena, I thought, “What I wouldn’t give for a real college education.” It would have been nice to learn about the Renaissance or taxonomies, but instead I had to learn how to shoot squirrels. Oh, we had district-specific strengths, but was there a MATH DISTRICT? Not really, unless nuclear science takes your fancy. Was there a CONSERVATION DISTRICT, and cute ranger outfits? Nay! There was only the mining district, and that was pretty old-skool.

Thankfully, none of you hear today will have to hold your dear friend Rue in your arms as she slowly bleeds out and dies. That was my college education. So, remember your blessings here today. No one will send generically engineered bees after you. You won’t have to almost commit suicide on national television. None of you will have to see your sister blown to bits by a Capital bomb. None of you will have to…. sorry, I’m starting to trail off here. My point is. Now, you have a choice. Take advantage of it.

Who here are fashion majors? Oh, that’s great! I never had any interest in fashion before, since I lived in poverty and could only afford one-armed sweaters. But after my stylist, Lenny Kravitz, showed me what a statement a beautiful outfit could make on the world I grew appreciate it like never before.  That’s what a broad understanding of the world will get you. Since you now can travel outside your district without fear of death, go out there and see how other people are living and make your own new fashion statement. However, I have a trademark on all “Girl on Fire” merchandise. That’s my thing.

The future is bright. There is no more reaping. President Snow is dead and the districts have been reunited. Use your education to teach others. Let us not make the mistakes of the past. Let us grow and share and work together to make sure what happened during the hunger games NEVER happens again. Unless, of course, Susanne Collins writes another sequel!

Congratulations class of 2045! And remember, if you make your own luck, the odds will forever be in your favor!