First, most people consider "love" in a certain context, as a feeling of romantic attachment and affection. I would argue that love is a choice, an action, rather than an emotional reaction



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First, most people consider “love” in a certain context, as a feeling of romantic attachment and affection. I would argue that love is a choice, an action, rather than an emotional reaction. That to love, one chooses to stand by another, through thick and thin, and chooses to devote oneself to the other, regardless of what they may feel. So, if we consider love as an action, as opposed to a feeling, then first and foremost, the answer to this question would be yes. But I’m going to delve a little further. Katniss is far from a passive character. She acts, and she survives, but when she acts, is she being reactive or proactive?

During The Hunger Games, Katniss reacts to everything. She reacts when her sister’s name is called, by standing up and taking her place. She reacts in the games in order to survive. She reacts to the hints that Haymitch sends in regards to how she should act towards Peeta, creating a false romance in order to save them both. She acts, but it is reactive.

Now, the heart of the argument, Peeta. Peeta’s love is initially a feeling, an emotion, overwhelming, that inspires his loyalty and devotion. But at the end of the trilogy, it is something else. By the end of the trilogy, he does not trust his emotions, does not trust his memory, and to a large extent, does not trust Katniss. But he makes a choice. He chooses to stand by her. At this point he has seen her at her worst (whether it’s because of his brainwashing or because of her kind of mental breakdown in the Capital). This decision cannot be made because of his initial “love” at hearing her sing, his initial loyalty and affection, because he cannot trust those memories or feelings completely. Instead, this love has to be a choice to invest in someone, Katniss, completely.

This same choice is presented to Katniss — choose to invest completely in Peeta, or do not. Again, she has seen him at his worst. She has seen him worship the ground she walks on. She has seen him gnashing his teeth at her throat in desperation to kill her. She has seen the boy with the bread, but she has seen the boy who cannot control his hardwired impulses to kill her. She knows that this is not the boy with the bread anymore. It is not the boy willing to die for her during the games. It is not the boy willing to die to kill her during the revolution. This is a new man, and she has a choice, invest in him, or do not. She chooses to invest in him. She chooses to love him.



In conclusion, Katniss does love Peeta. She loves as an action, not as an emotion. This is not to say she doesn’t have affection and desire and other emotions connected to Peeta, she does. But her choice is what defines her love and she chooses Peeta. She chooses to love.

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