Books I Want To Talk About discussion

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)
This topic is about Mockingjay
29 views
Archives > Mockingjay

Comments Showing 1-21 of 21 (21 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

Sarah (songgirl7) | 284 comments Mod
Please discuss Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.


Sarah (songgirl7) | 284 comments Mod
SPOILERS


What did you think of district 13 as you read this? Did your opinion of it change as you read on?

As I was reading it, I couldn't help but notice that District 13 didn't offer any more freedoms than the Capitol. In fact, in some ways, it offered less. At least in the Capitol, people were free to make their own schedules and eat as much or as little as they could afford. In District 13, every minute of every day was dictated to you. I wasn't surprised at all to find out that Coin was no better than Snow. I wonder if that was the thought behind her name? "Two sides of the same coin."


Robbie Bashore | 141 comments Mod
Sarah wrote: "SPOILERS


What did you think of district 13 as you read this? Did your opinion of it change as you read on?

As I was reading it, I couldn't help but notice that District 13 didn't offer any more ..."


Oooh...hadn't thought of the coin things. I wasn't all that surprised about her, either.

I agree about District 13. I kept wondering what they did to people who didn't follow their assigned schedules or otherwise broke the rules.


Sarah (songgirl7) | 284 comments Mod
Well, in the hallway where Katniss found out that her prep team were being imprisoned, there were a lot of other rooms. I'm betting that those rooms were also prisons for people who didn't follow the rules of District 13.


message 5: by Arctic (last edited Aug 30, 2010 10:41AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Arctic | 25 comments Sarah wrote: "When I was reading The Hunger Games, and again now that I'm reading Catching Fire, I can't help but be reminded of the Left Behind series. I know they're not exactly the same, what with..."

This is in response to Sarah's comment from the Catching Fire thread, but it contains SPOILERS for Mockingjay, so I thought I'd respond here instead.


MAJOR SPOILERS!!!




I haven't read the LB series, but here's my thinking during the whole set-up: The Capitol = Western Society and Capitalism. The 12 Districts = second and third world countries that provide the "bread" for much of Western Society. The 13th District = "terrorists" or the opposing side, and any ideology that questions or threatens the "bread and circuses" tenet of Capitalism.

The beauty and genius of Mockingjay is that in the end both sides are corrupt, no one is innocent. the "terrorists" (ie the 13th district) succeed in overpowering Snow, but they are shown to be just as corrupt as their predecessors. There is no perfect system in politics. I would love to read how the new regime after Coin manages things.

"Are you preparing for another war, Plutarch?" I ask.
"Oh, not now. Now we're in that sweet period where everyone agrees that our recent horrors should never be repeated," he says. "But collective thinking is usually short-lived. We're fickle, stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self-destruction. Although who knows? Maybe this will be it, Katniss."
"What?" I ask.
"The time it sticks. Maybe we are witnessing the evolution of the human race. Think about that."



Robbie Bashore | 141 comments Mod
Wow, Heather, that was awesome! I'm not 100% sure about labelling District 13 as terrorists, though. They were no more (nor much less) terrorists than the capitol. Sadly, I think Plutarch is right. The "bad guy" is power or whatever stands for power.


Arctic | 25 comments the word "terrorist" is a pretty subjective term I think, which is why I bracket it in quotes. It often depends on the perspective that you're viewing things from. Apparently there's not even an agreed upon legal definition of the term at the international level.

speaking of Plutarch though, it occurs to me that I didn't think twice about his name when maybe I should have, particularly given the author's professed interest in Ancient Rome and Greece. Has anyone read Plutarch or have any guesses as to why Collins named the character as she did?

I was reading about him on Wikipedia and he evidently lived at a time when Greece was in decline and being pillaged by Rome. His most famous writing, Parallel Lives, is described as "a series of biographies of famous Greeks and Romans, arranged in pairs to illuminate their common moral virtues and vices."


Robbie Bashore | 141 comments Mod
Impressive research. This is why I love reading groups! I was meaning to take a look at some of the names, too. Several people have pointed out Peeta=pita (bread), which I think is probably intentional. There are probably more that are deeper, like Plutarch.

This is embarrassingly superficial, but I am so glad they had a happy ending with this love triangle. I was so worried that both guys or Katniss were going to get killed. That probably would have been a more realistic scenario.


Arctic | 25 comments that's true, the pita thing makes sense on many levels, particularly if Collins is equating bread with sustenance. His name was kind of a pet peeve of mine actually. I kept looking at it as a derangement of the name Peter. (POSSIBLE SPOILERS - Upon this rock I build the church of Katniss would probably be a stretch, right? ;) and if he ever denied her, it was probably just the trackerjackers talking. I mean, katniss is no JC. so much for biblical references. /tangent)


DEFINITE SPOILERS!!!


about the love triangle, yeah, I kept expecting one or the other of the boys to be picked off at any moment. I also thought it was a tad too convenient that both of her love interests survived though, particular given the demise of my two favorite male characters, Cinna and Finnick. Nothing for it I suppose - either I would've been miffed that Collins copped out by killing one love interest off, or I'd be disappointed that she let both escape death against all odds. As it is, I think she resolved things pretty well anyway. Gale was always too violence-minded for Katniss, and Collins built up that aspect of him nicely throughout the books.

I tried researching some of the other names but haven't come up with much yet. There was an American civil rights leader named Ralph Abernathy(as Haymitch) who was a close associate of Martin Luther King, Jr. but that's about the best I've found so far and it seems to be a bit of a reach.


message 10: by Sera (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sera | 195 comments Cool - more MJ discussion!

I think that Collins' choice of the term "rebels" was intentional. In modern day, the term is used to denote when one group tries to overthrow an government. Even in the US, the South were called the rebel army during the Civil War even though in that instance the issue was one of succession instead of government overthrow.

Interestingly, the government attempting to be overthrown usually isn't good, and we've learned through recent history that generally the rebel army, if successful, tends to use the same practices of the former regime, which is why countries such as the US, are faced with a no win situation when trying to figure out which group to support. Oftentimes, it's the rebels, in hope I believe that the US can help influence change for the good if that group is successful in taking charge.

The term "revolution" is often also used (the American revolution and the one that Iran had in the 1970s comes to mind) and Collins uses this term as well when describing the uprising.

Collins' work in the HG provides an excellent political and social commentary of modern times. Our founding fathers got it right, I believe, when they said that "absolute power corrupts absolutely", which is why they were so interested in setting up a different type of system in America. However, it seems that we've lost that sense of what true representation means, and I often find that it's the people who scream the loudest who are heard rather then the masses. Why do you think that is? And, do you see that parallel in HG series? How is it that so few can control so much, even in a democratic society like the US?


message 11: by Sera (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sera | 195 comments SPOILERS


Heather, I agree. In the end, Gale was too extreme for Katniss. I noticed that Collins made sure that this characteristic came through in MJ.

Also, I love "two sides of the same Coin" - brillaint!


Arctic | 25 comments Sera wrote: "However, it seems that we've lost that sense of what true representation means, and I often find that it's the people who scream the loudest who are heard rather then the masses. Why do you think that is? And, do you see that parallel in HG series? How is it that so few can control so much, even in a democratic society like the US? "

I would love some answers to these questions also.

I guess one parallel in HG is the rewards and the sponsors that the tributes get when they "play the game correctly" by pleasing the audience the best.

Who wants to represent the middle ground when the carrot isn't very big? why not go for the gold and represent the extremes? is it ethically wrong to follow and/or take advantage of selfish tendencies? why did the hunger games go on for so long before the uprising?


message 13: by Alison (last edited Oct 20, 2010 05:56PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Alison BIG ENDING SPOILERS





I definetely thought a major theme was how District 13 and The Capitol began to look similar once the power changed hands. And I was SO afraid the series was going to end with Katniss agreeing to have a new Hunger Games.

Remember Orwell's Animal Farm...where the farm animal are oppressed by the humans, and they finally overthrow the humans, but then they start to look and act like the humans when they get control? (The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.)


I was very afraid that once the rebels got the upper hand, they were going to start to look and act like the people of the Capitol. But then in a characteristic surprise twist, Katniss kills Coin with the arrow instead of Snow. And we see that it will not be so. I really felt that was a stroke of genius.


message 14: by Alison (last edited Oct 20, 2010 05:56PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Alison BIG ENDING SPOILERS





I was a wee bit miffed of how Gale was disposed of. It seemed a bit too tidy. But I honestly cannot imagine another alternative. She had to choose somehow--I just kind of wish her issues with Gale had been made more obvious early on.


Robbie Bashore | 141 comments Mod
Alison wrote: "BIG ENDING SPOILERS





I was a wee bit miffed of how Gale was disposed of. It seemed a bit too tidy. But I honestly cannot imagine another alternative. She had to choose somehow--I just ..."


I totally agree with your message 13! I guessed and was very happy that she shot Coin. I don't remember how Gale was disposed of, but I remember being very glad of it!


message 16: by Alison (last edited Oct 20, 2010 07:46PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Alison BIG SPOILERS



Well, he wasn't really disposed of. She found fault with him, and he went to live in one of the other districts. I was kinda sad to see him go. :( He was such a hottie figment of my imagination!


message 17: by Sera (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sera | 195 comments BIG SPOILERS




I think that Collins made Gale out to be a bit of a psycho, or at least a real zealot, in order to push the reader to side with Peeta.

It sounds like you like the bad boys, Alison :)


message 18: by Meghan (last edited Nov 10, 2010 08:59AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Meghan | 423 comments Mod
Robbie wrote: "I'm not 100% sure about labelling District 13 as terrorists, though. They were no more (nor much less) terrorists than the capitol...."

That makes me think of a discussion we had in American History (back in my day when there was only one Gulf "conflict") as to whether or not the American rebels of the Revolution were "terrorists". I suppose one man's terrorist is another man's revolutionary-ist. It all depends on which side you're on.


Meghan | 423 comments Mod
Alison wrote: "BIG ENDING SPOILERS





I was a wee bit miffed of how Gale was disposed of. It seemed a bit too tidy. But I honestly cannot imagine another alternative. She had to choose somehow--I just ..."


Truth be told, I hated that Collins made Gale even a romantic figure for Katniss. I get that she needed a triangle but I always got this big brother vibe and so it felt on the edge of incestuousness that it went anything beyond "family" love.


Meghan | 423 comments Mod
Arctic wrote: "the word "terrorist" is a pretty subjective term I think, which is why I bracket it in quotes. It often depends on the perspective that you're viewing things from. Apparently there's not even an a..."

This review of MJ gives some interesting insight on Collins' influences from Greek mythology. I thought this was probably the reason why she went with the name Plutarch [She states that Theseus and the Minotaur is the basis for the Hunger Games]:

"Plutarch wrote in the Life of Theseus, "The ship wherein Theseus and the youth of Athens returned had thirty oars, and was preserved by the Athenians down even to the time of Demetrius Phalereus [a statesman who lived at about 300 B.C.E.], for they took away the old planks as they decayed, putting in new and stronger timber in their place." Throughout the centuries, the ship reinforced the Athenians' believe that Theseus was a real, historical figure, and excavations on Knossos confirm the existence of an impressive palace, although no labyrinth has been found."

http://www.bookbrowse.com/mag/nm_revi...


Meghan | 423 comments Mod
Oh, and if you're curious, here's a nice bio on Plutarch (the real Greek guy):

http://www.e-classics.com/plutarch.htm


back to top

unread topics | mark unread


Books mentioned in this topic

Mockingjay (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Suzanne Collins (other topics)