Mockingjay Themes and Analysis

‘Mockingjay’ is the riveting conclusion to the “Hunger Games” trilogy. In this novel, the Hunger Games have been brought to a halt and the districts are in full-scale rebellion.

Mockingjay explores the themes that were introduced in the prequels, including war, manipulation, the struggle for control, and love and relationships. Many symbols are introduced in this novel, with Katniss herself turning into a symbol of hope for the rebels.

Mockingjay Themes and Analysis


Mockingjay Themes

War

The primary theme of Mockingjay is war. The districts are in full-scale rebellion against the autocratic Capitol, and Katniss is bent on unifying the districts enough to take down President Snow. However, the Capitol is not going to go down without a fight. President Snow uses his arsenal to bomb the districts, razing Katniss’s hometown, District 12 to the ground. He also attacks District 13, which is the organizing force of the rebellion. The military fleet of both the rebels and the Capitol is called into action, and many lives are lost.

Military tactics and war strategies are discussed and put into action from both sides to gain the winning edge. In the end, the rebels prove successful, and President Snow is captured. The totalitarian regime is overthrown and democracy is established.

Manipulation

Mockingjay continues the theme of manipulation that was so evident in the prequel, Catching Fire. The Capitol uses Peeta to control the rising tide of rebellion, making him call for a ceasefire. President Snow also tortures Peeta to curb Katniss’s dangerous actions.

The rebels engage in their share of manipulation too. They film a set of ‘propos’ or propaganda shots to influence the people in the districts. The propos strategically feature Katniss to create a bigger impact on the people. President Coin, the leader of the rebellion, also carries out manipulation to establish control over the nation of Panem.

Struggle for Control

Before Mockingjay, the control over the nation of Panem was firmly in the hands of the Capitol. Now, however, the control is up for grabs. President Snow wishes to maintain his authority and will stop at nothing to do so, while the rebels wish to take over the Capitol. However, President Coin has her own agenda, which is to set up another autocratic rule with herself as the leader. Amid this power struggle is the protagonist, Katniss, who quite possibly holds more power than anyone else in Panem. It is perhaps for this reason that both President Snow and President Coin want her dead.

Analysis of Key Moments in Mockingjay

  1. Katniss is taken to District 13 to recover from the atrocities of the Quarter Quell along with Beetee and Finnick. Peeta is still under the control of the Capitol.
  2. Katniss is asked to make a set of propos or commercials for the rebellion. She agrees in exchange for immunity for the captured victors. 
  3. Peeta calls for a ceasefire in an interview with Caesar Flickerman. He is deemed a traitor by the rebels. 
  4. Katniss and Gale go to District 8 to film a propo. The hospital they visit is bombed and Katniss calls for justice. 
  5. Peeta looks tortured in an interview. He calls for another ceasefire and warns Katniss of an impending attack by the Capitol. 
  6. District 13 goes into lockdown. Everyone survives the attack.
  7. A rescue mission is organized to rescue Peeta and the captured tributes. 
  8. The rescue operation is successful. Peeta is back, but he attempts to strangle Katniss upon seeing her.
  9. Peeta has undergone extensive fear conditioning by the capital and now sees Katniss as a threat. The doctors in District 13 begin treating him.
  10. Katniss and Gale go to District 2 to capture the base there. The mission is successful but Katniss is wounded. 
  11. The rebels decide to storm the Capitol. Katniss begins training and is put on the Star Squad. 
  12. The commander of the squad is killed in an accident and Katniss is made the leader of the squad.
  13. She and the squad head to the President’s mansion to kill him. Finnick is killed in an encounter with mutts.
  14. Katniss reaches the Capitol but a bomb goes off near her, knocking her out and killing her sister. 
  15. The rebels have won. President Snow is captured. President Coin suggests a last Hunger Games with the children of the Capitol. 
  16. Katniss kills President Coin. She returns home and eventually marries Peeta. They have two children together.


Writing Style and Tone 

The writing style of Mockingjay is very similar to the prequels in the trilogy. Collins makes use of the first-person limited perspective, as she tells the story through the eyes of the protagonist, Katniss. The entire trilogy is written in the simple present tense, making the readers a part of the action as and when it is happening. The tone of the novel is dark and gloomy, with elements of horror within it. This reflects the dystopian nature of the setting and the grave themes that the book portrays.

Someone joins me, his body tense. Finnick, of course. Because only a victor would see what I see so immediately. The arena. Laced with pods controlled by Gamemakers. Finnick’s fingers caress a steady red glow over a doorway. “Ladies and gentlemen…”

His voice is quiet, but mine rings through the room. “Let the Seventy-sixth Hunger Games begin!”


Symbols and Motifs

Katniss

Katniss is both the main character and a symbol in Mockingjay. She is simultaneously a symbol of the failure of the Capitol, as well as the symbol of hope for the rebellion. She embodies the Mockingjay bird, which is also the appropriated symbol of the rebellion. Speaking of Katniss and the Mockingjay, Collins has commented,

Now the thing about the Mockingjays is that they were never meant to be created. They were not a part of the Capitol’s design. So here’s this creature that the Capitol never meant to exist, and through the will of survival, this creature exists… Symbolically, I suppose, Katniss is something like a Mockingjay in and of herself. She is a girl who should never have existed. And the reason she does exist is that she comes from District 12, which is sort of the joke of the 12 districts of Panem. Katniss is the Mockingjay. She is the thing that should never have been created, that the Capitol never intended to happen.


FAQs

Did Gale kill Prim?

Gale does not kill Prim directly. However, he might have had a big role to play in her death. We do not know for sure whether it was one of Gale’s death traps that killed Prim or not, but the likelihood is high enough for it to be true.

How did Gale die?

Gale does not die in The Hunger Games trilogy. Toward the end of Mockingjay, he is captured by the enemy. He mouths “kill me” to Katniss before being taken away, but Katniss does not kill him.

What is the meaning of Mockingjay?

The Mockingjay is a fictitious bird In The Hunger Games universe. It is a hybrid between female mockingbirds and male jabberjays and is capable of imitating a wide range of sounds produced by humans.

What is Katniss’s mother’s mental state?

After her father died in a mining accident, Katniss’s mother went into a state of depression. She shut down from the rest of the world and was unable to care for her children. However, she slowly recovered enough to reestablish her relationship with Katniss.

About Neesha Thunga K
Neesha graduated in 2020 with a degree in MA English. Before that, she has spent several years teaching English and writing for various organizations. As a lover of English literature, she truly believes that crafting stories through words is the greatest achievement of mankind. She is now pursuing her passion for literature as an Expert on the Book Analysis team.
Send this to a friend