An Analysis of Main Character in Suzanne Collins’ Catching Fire

An Analysis of Main Character in Suzanne Collins’ Catching Fire

Edy Supriyanto,S.S.,M.Pd


This research is aimed to find the most dominant personality of the main character in the novel Suzanne Collin, Catching Fire and the effect to other characters and storylines using a psychological approach. To gain a deeper understanding of the results, the writer formulates the problem by making the following questions: (1) What is the most prominent personality types of Katniss Everdeen? (2) How does the character influence the story?. In the process of study and analysis of the main characters in the novel Catching Fire, the writer uses a psychological approach to analyze, examine and understand some of the main character’s personality in a novel. The writer also conducts library research in completing this analysis. The theory used in analyzing the character until finally find one dominant personality of the main character is a 16 Personality Factors by Raymond Bernard Cattell. Cattell explains that basically every individual has 16 personality factors. Following his theory, the personality of Katniss Everdeen can be categorized as follows; bright, reactive, dominant, restrained, non-conforming, venturesome, sensitive, vigilant, practical, private, self-confident, experimenting, solitary, organized, and patient. The authors found some interesting things from the character and the author can understand that basically every individual has a major personality factors.


Suzanne Collins is capable of carrying the reader get into the story, involving the reader into conflict in any story through the characters in it. And on the second book, The Catching Fire, it contains more interesting story which many conflict happened, both it was the conflict in the story itself, and conflicts that occurred in each character. The Catching Fire is published on 1 September 2009 and sold more than 19 million copy in United States. Catching fire also received positive reviews from some publisher. The New York Times, commented, “Collins has done that rare thing. She has written a sequel that improves upon the first book. As a readers, I felt excited and even hopeful: could it be that this series and its character were actually going somewhere?”. Many readers and critics praised how Collins presents the developments of each character in this second book, including a writer. Besides the Catching Fire has more developed story and character, the interest of science fiction story is partly why the author ultimately choose to analyze the characters in Catching Fire.

In Catching Fire, the seventeenth of girl, Katniss Everdeen grows up and has more developed personality. The distraction comes up inside her, to be a winner in the game by killing people is kind of something evil. However, by winning the game she can leads the resident in the place where she lives free from suffering and hunger, they can live with enough wealth. The question pops in the Katniss’s mind, is she true a hero or a killer? The polemic in how Katniss as the main character behave is something that attracts the writer to observe deeper. By using formalism approach and based on Raymond B Cattle theory “The Sixteen Personality Factor” the writer decides to study and analyze the main character, Katniss Everdeen of Suzanne Collins’ novel “CATCHING FIRE”.

Theoretical Review

Characterization is a literary device that is used step by step in literature to highlight and explain the details about a character in a story. It is in the initial stage where the writer introduces the character with noticeable emergence and then following the introduction of the character, the writer often talks about his behavior; then as the story develops, the thought-process of the character. The next stage involves the character expressing his opinions and ideas and getting into conversations with the rest of the characters. The final part shows how others in the story respond to the character’s personality.

How the character behaves or to know the character’ personality can be figured out through the way of characterizing, and it can be recognized by direct or explicit characterization and indirect or implicit characterization. In direct or explicit characterization, it takes a direct approach toward the character, the author specifically reveals trait about the character in a straightforward manner. The author simply presents the characters talking and acting and leaves the reader to infer the motives and dispositions that lie behind what they say and do. The author may show not only external speech and actions, but also a character’s inner thoughts, feelings, and responsiveness to events; for a highly developed mode of such inner showing, see stream of consciousness (Abrams, 1999:33). In direct characterization, there are five effective methods possible to be carried out. Simply, it is called STEAL (Speech, Thoughts, Effects, Actions, and Looks).

Another way of characterizing, it is when author describe the character in the novel or play using the dialogue, action, relationship and overall place in the world, this is called indirect or implicit characterization. In analysing a character, both major and minor, or another type of character, characterization method have an important role as it is a device to figure out in the detail technique.

            In a novel or plays characteristic is described both implicitly of explicitly from physic appearance, dialogues, actions, mind or thought, ways of life, attitude, and also through the direct description by the author. To know the personality of Katniss Everdeen as the main character, the writer will use the psychology theory. Psychology has contribution toward the literature criticism especially in analysing character’s personality.

The theory of personality is needed to assess how the character behaves and in this writing case, it turns to a result of revealing the personality type of the main character in a novel. The variation of personality theories had been developed by psychologist since psychological science discovered. Richard M. Ryckman in his book Theory of Personality, review, evaluate, and explore psychological theorist, include one the most prominent figures in trait theorist, Raymond Bernard Cattell. The traits and personality factor analysis based on Cattell which will be used as a characterization to measure traits and as well as its major of the main character on the novel. Cited from Theories of Personality Richard M. Ryckman (2008), Ryckman describe that Cattell defines “the traits are assumed to control a person’s behaviour, starting with factor A and ending with factor Q” (2008:305). From building block personality, the writer will analyse the character and categorize her personality to low or high range on each primary factor.


As indicated in the background, this study attempts to do the following:

  1. What is the most prominent personality of Katniss Everdeen?
  2. How do her personalities influence the story?


The writer analyzed the book, Catching Fire, where the main character seems having more interesting personality development. The character or personality Katniss Everdeen, as the main character in this novel will be analysed using the psychological approach. Using the psychological approach through Cattell theory, some characteristic of Katniss will be revealed and expected to the result what character she has.

In analysing the Catching Fire, the writer uses psychological criticism. Psychological criticism provides many different approaches to a literary works. One theory of psychology is provided by Raymond Bernard Cattell. His theory about building block personality is used to analyse the character. Through the 16 Personality Factor, it is expected some personalities of Katniss Everdeen will be revealed and analysed appropriately.

Randomly, each chapter of the novel read and find the related part with the object of analysis which is the main character’s personalities. By using characterization, in this case the writer uses STEAL method which has been illustrated in the previous chapter, some object of analysis is expected to be found properly. Form five method of STEAL, it is not necessary to pick all method, by finding what the character says or how the character speaks is sufficient enough to know which traits or what kind personality she has. However, this is kind of optional, the writer may use ‘(S) Speech’ method, or if that method 28 is not enough to find the detail data, it may go use another method, by ‘(T) Thought’ instead.

Findings and Discussion

STEAL method, analyzing from speeches, thoughts, effect to others, actions, and her looks which has been illustrated in previous chapter is very advantageous to analysis each primary personality factor of Katniss Everdeen as the main character in Catching Fire. Started by apprehend the personality factor based on Cattell’ theory, and understanding the traits in each factor, the writer tries to create personality mapping and tailor them to the Katniss’s characteristic. From each primary factor, it can be seen whether Katniss’s personality in low or high range factor. There are two findings that are elaborated in this chapter which are based on the research questions:

  1. The Personalities of Katniss Everdeen

There are 16 Personalities Factor that Cattell’s discovered which become reference in analyzing Katniss’ personalities:

  1. Factor A (Warmth)

Katniss is considered in a high range of Factor A since she is caring person, she has involved herself in close relationship and intimacy with others, though in the previous book she tends to be reserved. As the character in the high range, Katniss categorized as warm-hearted person besides her caring.

  1. Factor B (Reasoning)

A fast-learner and bright person is categorized in high range, so do Katniss. As a heroic character in this novel, Katniss have ability to learn quickly. Her childhood which forces her to have a lot of responsible to family drives her to the strong and independent girl that has to be learnt many more things.

  1. Factor C (Emotional Stability)

The writer found some narration which considers that Katniss is reactive. Her feeling is sometimes easy to be affected.

  1. Factor E (Dominance)

In factor E, Katniss is considered tend to be dominant means she is in high range stage. As she has strength and skill also her high intelligence, she is capable to lead the others.

  1. Factor F (Liveliness)

The writer finds any part of story that embodies the personality of Katniss on this factor. Categorized as person in high range, Katniss is more likely become the spontaneous person than being restrained.

  1. Factor G (Rule-Consciousness)

Analyzing this factor in Katniss, the writer found the data direct to the inference that Katniss is categorized in low range with her non-conforming traits. It can be found from this excerpt, “Maybe, if we had all played by the rules, they might have let him alive.” (27:380)

  1. Factor H (Social Boldness)

Her courage make her becomes less of fear in dealing with anyone or any social condition. It makes her be considered she is in high range of Factor H. Venturesome may be accordance enough to represent her personality.

  1. Factor I (Sensitivity)

She is categorized in high range where she tends to be concern about the other’s feeling. She has become more perceived according to the story in the novel when she apparently feels bad as she heard about condition of Beetee’s district while she told them about Twelve where no uprising happen, means not so much residents are suffered as others go through.

  1. Factor L (Vigilance)

In this personality factor, Katniss Everdeen is categorized in high range. High range people tend to be more concern to their around, and tend to be vigilant. This kind of Katniss’ personality is showed in the novel when she was in the wood and met two strangers from District 13.

  1. Factor M (Abstractedness)

Viewing the personality and behavior of Katniss Everdeen, it is possible to determine that she is in the low range on this factor, she more likely being a practical person rather than imaginative. Katniss tend to be simple in taking any situation she is dealing with.

  1. Factor N (Privateness)

Katniss is more likely become private and disclosing about her personal matter. Only to a few she can talk openly. As a private person, Katniss sometimes feel she has to deny to be accompanied and prefer to be alone.

  1. Factor O (Apprehension)

Katniss is such a self-confident which means in the low range of factor O. She is not too worried about the bad or even worse thing may happen. She has 45 well self-confident, and it ensures herself about what she can do or simply her ability.

  1. Factor Q1 (Openness to Change)

As Katniss behaves, her personality in this factor is considered more likely experimenting. Then she is categorized as the high range individuals.

  1. Factor Q2 (Self-Reliance)

Considering some narration in the novel, the writer found the speculation that Katniss Everdeen may be identified as the solitary person. It described precisely when she would prefer to have her lunch alone instead of all together with the others tributes.

  1. Factor Q3 (Perfectionism)

Katniss is inclined as the high range person with her organized thinking. Her childhood drives her into a girl who has to capable in any of things, and she has to plan everything ahead.

  1. Factor Q4 (Tension).

Even though Katniss has been insulted, she tries to be relaxed and hold herself from being tense. She is not easy to show her impulsiveness in her behavior. She tends to be more calmly than the other person in high range of this factor.

  1. How Her Personalities Influence the Story

The main character influence the story in two ways. First, her spontaneous personality influences others’ reaction. Some of Katniss’ behavior drives to distinctive condition. For instance, when her spontaneous comes up and she snapped Effie, the others stare at her directly even her mentor, Haymitch. The narration below shows how her behavior causes the reaction of other character in the story. “‘No one cares, Effie!’ I snap.’ Everyone on the table stare at me, even Haymitch…” (3:50). The effect of one person’ behavior does not always bring the negative values, some positive point may emerge as it is driven from someone’ behavior.

Second, her brave personality influences the event in the story. Showed in the beginning of story, in chapter 2, she has been visited by President Snow and talked about how she ended the 74th Hunger Games. “’In several of them, however, people viewed your little trick with berries as an act of defiance, not an act of love…”(2:21). President Snow said to Katniss, and tells us that when Katniss decided to eat poisoned berries in the game it takes to another event in the story. President Snow instructed Katniss to convince people that she is really madly in love in Peeta during the Victory Tour, because that is the only way to avoids the rebellion against The Capitol or she and her family will be in danger. The above illustration of the novel convey the idea that when the main character doing an action with all personality she is carrying on perhaps create and drive the story to another situation, either in the positive or negative values.


The result of this writing is to know the most prominent personality of main character, Katniss Everdeen. After passed step by step, comprehended relate theory, and prepared required technique, as the final point the writer analysed the character using the objective approach and reveals some personality of Katniss Everdeen in achieving the results of the most prominent personality. Completed with the Raymond Bernard Cattell’s theory through 16 Personality Factor, the 16 personalities of Katniss Everdeen is revealed and it is also considered into low or high level on each factor.

Starting from factor A (Warmness) Katniss is categorized in high range and she is such a (1) warm-hearted person. Continue to factor B (Reasoning) until factor Q4 (Tension), the personalities of Katniss are revealed as; (2) bright, (3) reactive, (4) dominant, (5) restrained, (6) non-conforming, (7) venturesome, (8) sensitive, (9) vigilant, (10) practical, (11) private, (12) self-confident, (13) experimenting, (14) solitary, (15) organized, (16) patient.

As the end point, there is only one personality which is revealed as the most prominent, and it is warm-hearted. Katniss has a heart of gold with all her caring and affection to others; especially to those who she loved or even to people she has just met. She always wants to keep people who she loved safe from every danger thing especially under the reign of Capitol. Some of her personalities also influence other character’s reaction and cause other event of the story. Let simplify by take a look when her spontaneous personality affect people’s reaction and directly staring her during lunch. Or because she is venturesome when she decided to suicide in the end of games, she causes the possibility of rebellion happen in Panem.


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