To Imagine A Mockingjay

Imagine there’s no heaven

It’s easy if you try

No hell below us

Above us only sky

Imagine all the people

Living for today…

Katniss Everdeen is trying to Imagine a better world, one with no senseless deaths, no pain from above, and above all else, no dead children.

Kat has transformed into the Mockingjay to achieve this.  Even if she has to destroy herself in the process.  The world changes.  She changes.  Who will survive?

Mockingjay is the third and final book in The Hunger Games journey.  The torturous odyssey that began in The Hunger Games with Katniss and Peeta thrust into a treacherous fight to the death, continued onto Catching Fire, wherein her act of love brings a wave of rebellion across the land, forcing her back into the games.  After her hellish escape from the arena, Kat is pushed to become the official symbol of the revolution.

Imagine there’s no countries

It isn’t hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion too

Imagine all the people

Living life in peace…

And then Mockingjay revs up.  Kat is still dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and it is getting worse.  The government in her refuge of District 13 are constantly pressuring her to take up the mantle of the Mockingjay.  And she is constantly resisting.  When it is revealed Peeta is still alive in the Capitol, she joins the cause.  Shaped, molded and morphed into a living symbol, Kat tries to project the image they require.  It is an arduous process, with results that electrify the rebels and horrify her.  Just when the war starts turning, Peeta is rescued but is massively damaged.  They may win, but will Kat ultimately lose?

The psychological terror experienced in the first half of this journey, become heightened with the physical terror added in the second half. As the war draws to a close, Kat and her team fight and die through the Capitol.  Her final moments in battle almost destroy her and lead to a choice.  She is the Mockingjay and she will bring the people from the tyranny.  No berries this time.  Just Katniss and her arrows.

You may say I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one

I hope someday you’ll join us

And the world will be as one

The decisions Kat makes are not easy.  She wants justice, but tempered with humanity.  Very few people in her worldview are truly evil, but the ones who are should be exterminated.  Someone who is conscripted, lied to, or tortured to join the enemy ranks elicits pity from her.  We should all be together in the fight.  The injustice perpetuated by an extremely small minority should be fought against by the just and massive majority.  The fact that not everyone sees the situation as she does confuses her.

Why people do not simply do the right thing makes Kat seem like a distant descendant of Scout from To Kill A Mockingbird.  The similarity of the two titles I am sure is not coincidental.  Scout cannot understand why people are not nice, thinks justice is simple, the opponent is defined.  Kat’s final act in the war is the most extreme way to extract evil from the world.  Scout would not go down this path, she would probably abhor it.  But Scout never entered The Hunger Games (thankfully), and was never twisted into what Kat has become.  They both try to live up to their ideals.  But Kat has a bow to enforce them.  And the need to.

Having devoured this trilogy over the course of a month, I found themes and commentary interwoven throughout.  The endless topics that could be kicked off by even a single volume could spark hours of debate.  Reality television being a horrendous disease on the intellect of the masses.  Child soldiers being used with impunity.  Rampant poverty with only death, prostitution, or extra “lottery tickets” as the cure.  The rules of war not existing, never thought of.  Sacrificing innocents to “ensure” peace.

Imagine no possessions

I wonder if you can

No need for greed or hunger

A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people

Sharing all the world…

One of the larger ideas that struck me, is how someone like Kat relates to authority.  When the “government” that is her father is referenced, it is with joy and happiness.  He treated her with kindness and taught her well, giving her skills that ensured her survival, both mental and physical.  The love of father to daughter is evident, as is the power being transfered from adult to child.  Her father represents benevolent authority.  President Snow and Coin are the direct counterbalance.  That is why she finds them loathsome.

Another idea rippling throughout the tale is the role of art in society.  Kat’s singing with the flowers to Rue cause a sensation.  Peeta’s floor art to the Gamesmasters disturbs them.  The therapy that cake decorating brings.  These little bits of magic gently express love for the fallen and oppressed.  But bring angst and discomfort for the ruling class.  The art that walks the line is what Plutarch practices, making war videos starring Kat.  Fake art that is met with disdain, but it does rally the people.  Real art creates the spark, fake art exploits it.

You may say I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one

I hope someday you’ll join us

And the world will live as one

The real art of this Trilogy is what it does generate.  Sparks of thoughts and feelings and ideas swim around inside me, pouring out here and to everyone I babble to.  The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay form a journey of love, hope, and redemption that many could learn from.  Multiple scenarios exhibited in this tale can be seen everywhere, every time, every person.  And the hope for peace they espouse is something we can all Imagine.

It is Real.


Learn how the story of Katniss began in The Hunger Games, then read my review here.

Experience part two of the journey of Katniss in Catching Fire, then read my review here.

And now with the tale complete, check out The Hunger Games Podcasts and my review of these great shows here.

P.S.  Mockingjay is written by Suzanne Collins.  It was published by Scholastic Inc and is copyright 2010.  The cover is copyright Scholastic Inc.  It is 390 pages in Hard Cover.

P.P.S.  “Imagine” is performed by John Lennon.  It is copyright 2011 by the estate of John Lennon.  It was released on the album Imagine in September 1971.


About scoopsmentalpropaganda

Married to beautiful wife. Always learning a ton of stuff. Geek with too much useless knowledge. fb page:!/pages/Scoops-Mental-Propaganda/192314550819647 twitter & twitpic: Scoopriches AboutMe Page: This site is an @Scoopriches production
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