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Suzanne Collins – Mockingjay

25 December 2011 No Comment
Suzanne Collins - Mockingjay

Suzanne Collins - Mockingjay

Mockingjay is a 2010 young adult dystopian novel by American author Suzanne Collins. It is the third installment of The Hunger Games trilogy, following 2008’s The Hunger Games and 2009’s Catching Fire, and continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, who agrees to lead the rebellion against the rulers of the futuristic society of Panem. The series was inspired by the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur and the Roman Gladiator games. Reviewers have noted that it tackles issues such as loyalty, war, and poverty.

The novel and audiobook were released on August 24, 2010, while the e-book was released six days earlier, on August 18. Mockingjay sold 450,000 copies in the first week of release, exceeding Scholastic’s expectations. It was also praised by critics, though one reviewer criticized the loose threads that had not been resolved.

Inspiration and publication history

Collins has said that the main inspiration for the series came from the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. As a punishment for past problems, Athens was forced to sacrifice seven youths and seven maidens to Crete, who were then put in the Labyrinth and were killed by the Minotaur. After a while, Theseus, the son of the king, decided to put an end to it and volunteered to go. Another inspiration came when Collins was channel surfing: on one channel, she saw people competing for something, and on another channel, she saw kids fighting a war. After a while, the stories blurred together and the idea of the Hunger Games was formed. Collins has said that there are also many Roman references in the fictional nation of Panem. She describes the Hunger Games as “an updated version of the Roman gladiator games, which entails a ruthless government forcing people to fight to the death as popular entertainment”. Collins also explains that the name Panem came from the Roman saying “Panem et Circenses” which means “Bread and Circuses”.

The cover and title information was revealed by Scholastic on February 11, 2010. The cover continues the previous books’ ornithological theme. The novel’s title, Mockingjay, comes from the hybrid birds that feature in the novels’ storyline. Publishers Weekly describes the bird as “the hybrid birds that are an important symbol—of hope and rebellion—throughout the books”. Collins describes Katniss as a Mockingjay because both “should never have existed”; the jabberjays were abandoned while Katniss breaks the law by hunting, but the laid-back security in District 12 protects her.


After her rescue by the rebels of District 13, Katniss is convinced to become “the Mockingjay”: a symbol of the rebellion against the ruling Capitol. As part of a deal, she demands that the leader of District 13, President Coin, grant immunity to all of the victors of the Hunger Games. She also demands the right to kill President Snow herself. In a daring rescue, Peeta and others previously captured are rescued from the Capitol. However, Peeta has been brainwashed into believing Katniss is the enemy and tries to kill her upon their reunion in District 13.

The rebels, including Katniss, take control of the districts and finally begin an assault on the Capitol itself. However, an assault on a “safe” Capitol neighborhood goes wrong and Katniss and her team flee further into the Capitol with the intent of finding and killing President Snow. Many members of Katniss’ team are killed, including Finnick Odair. Eventually, Katniss finds herself pressing on alone towards Snow’s mansion, which has supposedly been opened to shelter Capitol children (but is actually intended to provide human shields for Snow). Afterwards, bombs placed in supply packages kill many of these children and a rebel medical team, including Katniss’ sister, Prim. Prim’s death makes Katniss psychologically scarred to the point of great instability.

President Snow is tried and found guilty, but he tells Katniss that the final assault that killed Prim was ordered by President Coin, not the Capitol. Katniss realizes that if this is true, the bombing may have been the result of a plan originally developed by her friend, Gale. Katniss realizes that she will never be able to look at Gale the same way, regardless of whether or not he was directly involved in Prim’s death. Katniss remembers a conversation with Snow in which they agreed not to lie to each other. When she is supposed to execute Snow, she realizes that he was telling the truth and kills Coin instead. A riot ensues and Snow is found dead, having possibly choked on his own blood or been trampled in the crowd. A rebel leader becomes the new president of Panem. Katniss is acquitted due to her apparent insanity and returns to her home in District 12, along with others who are attempting to rebuild it. Peeta returns soon after as well, having largely recovered from his brainwashing. Finally, Katniss surmises that falling in love with Peeta was inevitable, as he had always represented to her the promise of a better future, rather than the destruction she now associates with Gale. She says that she didn’t need Gale’s fire, as she already had it herself; she needed Peeta, who symbolized the hope she needed to survive. Together with Haymitch they create a book filled with previous tributes and others who died in the war so that they will not be forgotten.

In the epilogue, Katniss speaks as an adult, more than fifteen years later. Katniss is with Peeta and they have two children together. The Hunger Games are over, but she dreads the day her children learn the details of their parents’ involvement in both the Games and the war. Peeta and Katniss experience flashbacks of the Games sometimes. When she feels distressed, Katniss reminds herself of every good thing that she has ever seen someone do. [Source]

Download ebook: Suzanne Collins – Mockingjay

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