To Kill a Mockingjay…

I’m going to assume that anyone who would read Suzanne Collins’ book Mockingjay, or a review of it has already read the first two books in the trilogy, so I won’t summarize what they are about.  Instead I will go directly to the events of the third and last book.

In Mockingjay, majority of the districts of Panem are in an all out rebellion against the Capitol, and Katniss, now a resident of the controversial District 13 is faced with the task of rallying the people to stand up to the Capitol; to strengthen the courage of those who have already chosen to rebel and to encourage the few who have yet to make up their minds.  She must become the face of the rebellion.

In Mockingjay, author Suzanne Collins ties-up loose ends and concludes the story of the Hunger Games trilogy.  There is the issue of the rebellion against the Capitol and the fate of Panem, and of course there is the issue of the personal lives of the main characters, such as Katniss, Peeta, Gale, Haymitch and an assortment of characters introduced throughout the trilogy.

As the mockingjay, Katniss must now use her powers as a “celebrity” victor to defeat the Capitol.  Unfortunately, instead of training and fighting for Panem’s cause, Katniss has become a total wreck who spends most of her time in the hospital, drugged and in poor mental health.  She contemplates to no end of her uselessness to the rebellion and the untrustworthiness of everyone around her, including her so-called closest friends and family.

Because Katniss is the main character and narrator of the trilogy, I think it’s only natural that the critique be mostly about her.  In The Hunger Games, I found Katniss a bit annoying, but tolerable.  Her false modesty but savior complex was understandable, considering her family background, upbringing and environment.

In Catching Fire, she had successfully increased my irritation tenfold.  She showed herself as an immature, self-centered, rather manipulative girl.  Now, in Mockingjay, she has fully matured to be quite an unlikeable character.  Adding to her false modesty, her self-righteousness, immaturity and manipulative ways, she is also hypocritical, finicky and easily swayed by others.  It makes me think how unlikely it is for a girl with these qualities to be chosen to represent the rebellion which will ultimately change the world.

But then again, that’s fiction for you.

Throughout the book, she constantly questions the motives of those on her side, including her “best friend,” and anybody willing to help her.  Her selfishness and total disregard of others causes her to make wrong decisions and behave rather stupidly.

Most of the time, her opinion towards those around her are influenced by how much she is loved or worshiped by them –  like Gale and Peeta, or of how much use they will be to her, in the long run.

Though I read the whole trilogy, I never became attached to any of its characters, but if I had to pick favorites, it would have to be Peeta, Haymitch and Finnick.

I was never really interested in Katniss’ love triangle, and whether she ended up with either Gale or Peeta was never an issue for me.    Quite frankly, I don’t think she deserves Peeta or Gale, and it amazes me how both of them could be so attracted to someone like her.

The best thing about Mockingjay and the Hunger Games as a whole is that Suzanne Collins was not afraid to create flaws in her characters’ personalities and to ruin their lives.  She was not afraid to show in her characters the insanity and psychological damage caused by participating in the Hunger Games.

The ending of Mockingjay and the trilogy, though not perfect, is realistic and satisfactory.  It’s realistic to end with Katniss still damaged and beyond repair, living a so-called normal life with an equally damaged boy, who, truth be told, is too good for her.  I can only imagine the kind of unstable and emotional wreck Katniss has become who her family must constantly deal with and comfort.  Through much effort, they must all find ways to live with their past, cope and go about their lives…

…And live happily ever after…sort of.

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3 thoughts on “To Kill a Mockingjay…

  1. Perfect review. I thought Katniss was a selfish, warped, manipulative brat. By the second book, I was hoping she would be maimed or permanently injured so she would finally SHUT UP and stop torturing everyone around her with her egotistical “angst.” I was rolling my eyes at the “love triangle” the whole way through but I did enjoy the series. Peeta, Haymitch, and Finnick were my favorite characters as well (in that order). The rest of the characters I couldn’t be bothered to care about.

    • yes, it’s a good series considering…I wasn’t too happy with the ending, because I still felt that Katniss just settled for Peeta even though Peeta loved her so much. But I guess it’s as realistic as it’s going to get.

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