Hunger Games - MOCKINGJAY

MOCKINGJAY (Illustration) Civil Rights Film Government Ethics Fiction Dystopia or Science Fiction

When rebels from District 13 rescue Katniss from her second stint as a tribute in Panem’s “Hunger Games,” our heroine learns some important life lessons:

  • The rebels have an ulterior motive.
  • How they appear on the surface is not who they are in real life.
  • Leaders of District 13 are as manipulative as leaders of Panem.
  • Power resides in both expected and unexpected places.
  • The rebel leader (President Coin) may be as evil as Panem’s leader (President Snow).
  • As Mockingjay, Katniss has power even though she’s being manipulated.
  • It takes courage to live, not just die, for a cause.
  • Love, in all its forms, is based on friendship, trust and sacrifice.
  • Losing friends is tortuously hard, but damaged friendships can be rebuilt.
  • Admired as Mockingjay, Katniss can no longer just “be herself.”
  • The price of celebrity is high - perhaps too high for Katniss.
  • Sacrifice is part of life - and - it seems that one major sacrifice is never enough.

Katniss experiences, firsthand, that war is exhausting, disruptive and sometimes pointless.  Does she wonder why she keeps surviving, when so many of her friends do not?  Does she even have time to think about it?

War, and the constant worry about war, changes people.  War is a major theme throughout The Hunger Games.  Why is that?

We could put the question to Suzanne Collins, the author of the series.  She has a ready answer:

One of the reasons it's important for me to write about war is I really think that the concept of war, the specifics of war, the nature of war, the ethical ambiguities of war are introduced too late to children. I think they can hear them, understand them, know about them, at a much younger age without being scared to death by the stories.

It's not comfortable for us to talk about, so we generally don't talk about these issues with our kids. But I feel that if the whole concept of war were introduced to kids at an earlier age, we would have better dialogues going on about it, and we would have a fuller understanding.

What if Katniss wins the war but loses her own way? Is it possible for Katniss—or anyone—to hold onto her own identity despite crushing odds against it?

Katniss is the Mockingjay, but before she was the face of a cause, she was:

  • A daughter;
  • A sister;
  • A friend.

Beyond the challenge of being a leader, Katniss faces an even-greater challenge:  She must hold-on to being herself.

As she remembers who she is, she also remembers who she was by means of a song her father taught her. It's about a "hanging tree," where someone—who "murders three"—ends up.


As the mockingjays sing their own songs, Katniss sings hers. Perhaps it helps to connect her future, as the Mockingjay, with her past, as the daughter of a much-loved father.

Facing her, in the present, is one of the most-difficult tasks of all. Is Katniss able to hold-on to herself while she is the face of a nationwide rebellion?

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Nov 21, 2014

Updated Last Revision: Jul 20, 2019

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"MOCKINGJAY" AwesomeStories.com. Nov 21, 2014. Feb 27, 2020.
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