Mockingjay : An Analysis
An original editorial by Tanvi Berwah
I finished with Mockingjay in approximately six hours. Going over the horrifying details in the plot is excruciating to say the least.
It’s been over an hour that I’ve finished the book – but there’s so much to think about that I couldn’t help but starting this right away.
Epic is too small a word to describe it. I thought the climax build up was better than even Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter – and these are EPICS.
Where Mockingjay separates from other books – in the YA genre or otherwise – is that it stayed true to the fact that when wars are over, nothing remains hunky dory. Lives are lost, and the grief is there to remain through the lifetimes of those who remain.
Whether the establishment, or the soldiers who fought.
The Capitol’s tyranny, for example, didn’t turn out that tyrannical as Soldier Everdeen thought. And the person who was the real villain in her eyes was the one who was instigating the masses against this “tyranny”, who was holding up her – the rallying point “Mockingjay” for the public. I won’t say the concept of Hunger Games wasn’t diabolical enough on its own – but what President Coin was doing was power politics and automatically, hidden evil. At least Snow’s intentions were clear.
From the very beginning of the book as the plot unfolded, we were clearly shown that no situation is stark black or white. There are shades of gray that cannot be ignored and are, in fact, crucial part of the whole situation. Plutarch, for example, wasn’t a perfect character. But he stays in the minds of people because he takes over things and understands things others couldn’t.
It’s not about being virtuous – because you are going to be criticized anyway.
The rebellion was against Peeta, was it not? What for – what was his fault except that he was locked in some dark chamber and tortured, injected with tracker jackers and was left in a condition certainly undeniably worse than death?
But in the eyes of the public, he was what was presented through Television – the media. A manipulated version of several things – just like Katniss’s propos were done now that we think of it.
Power politics is a tough nut to crack – and yes, that brings us to the moral dilemmas of cracking the NUT.
What were Katniss’s options? Did she really think they can leave these people and continue with the rebellion still? No. As a matter of fact, she was acting on emotions. Calling truce was Peeta’s idea. Or was it?
How do we know this is NOT what Snow might have done – when he was good and cornered? Don’t we hear how he was ready to surrender?
Prim needn’t have to die. But when we see this from a neutral point of view, Prim is the focus. The girl who was supposed to have a secure future was the one who paid the price. Katniss was sure nothing could harm her because Snow couldn’t reach her. Where in fact, Snow was sorry for the unnecessary loss. His words are perfectly political – what we hear politicians across the world speak of. Was he evil during those moments? I actually side with Snow here.
Also the irony in Prim’s death is that she was far more vulnerable in the previous two books – out in the open where Snow, Peacemakers – anyone could reach her, kill her within a second. But she survived that. Only to be sacrificed in a war. For her sister.
In my opinion, Prim’s death was the perfect catalyst in bringing forth Katniss Everdeen’s better judgement. Prim’s sacrifice was the focal point of the book which shattered the myths of any sense of security during the upheaval.
The solutions to the war could have never been simple. They never will be. But a full fledged assault on civilians as well was uncalled for on the rebellion’s part if they really were talking rights and protection from the Capitol’s evil doings.
So to speak – this book is a very good look into what state the world is in today. Look at Iraq, Afghanistan, Darfur or Kashmir. We read about things in the media. But like the heavily pampered public of the Capitol, we’re all lapping up what is shown in the media. This happens, but nobody would have the guts to voice their real opinions. If they do they’re drowned by the “powers that be” and media.
Truly, if you ever gaze into the eyes of a battle hardened soldier, you’ll think twice before you think of war.
To sum it up, Suzanne Collins dares to write what people just hear a whisper of. A truly marvellous writer, she deserves an applaud for this wrenchingly true narrative.
This is why Mockingjay is epic. It stays true to the spirit of the utter desolation of wars, emotions lost, lives suppressed and human rights violations.