Mockingjay Discussion 1: Team Peeta?

Please note this thread and post were started in August, 2010, when Mockingjay was published. For a look at Hogwarts Professor articles that discuss the whole series at length go here and for discussion leading up to and about the Lionsgate film go here. Be fore-warned: Writing on this two year old thread or any of the ‘Mockingjay Discussion’ Points will not be seen by many readers.

The Peeta story arc took a dramatic turn in Mockingjay as Ms. Collins revealed Mr. Mellark as less the Christ figure of unconditional love on whom Katniss depends (see chapter 14, p. 195) than a shattered post-traumatic shock survivor that has been used and abused by equally brutal partisans in the Panem war. That we get a “happy ending” (?) with Peeta and Katniss raising a family in District 12 is not cause of celebration but for agonizing reflection about the broken lives wars leave in their wake, most obviously in the lives of the surviving soldiers.

My question for discussion is what do you think of the several Peetas we see in Mockingjay — the heroic resistor of his hijacking that saves District 13, the mutt-tation Peeta that is rescued, the recovering Peeta who with Katniss becomes a fire-mutt phoenix at the war’s end? Is his chrysalis and transformation under torture and during his struggle to regain his memory allegorical? Political commentary? Or is he a Christ figure?

Ms. Collins closes Mockingjay with these notes that suggest he is (chapter 27, p. 380):

What I need [to survive] is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again. And only Peeta can give me that.

Your thoughts?

Comments

  1. I find hijacked Peeta fascinating. My favourite passage is the first civil conversation between rescued Peeta and Katniss where he dissects her motivations and leaves her raw. Through Peeta of all people, we see Katniss not as the spirited hero but as manipulative and cold. Hijacked Peeta is no longer her savior or warmth — he is again a distrusted enemy. I think the loss of Peeta’s unconditional love played a huge role in Katniss’ transformation from struggling actress to mindless killer; her killing the innocent Capitol woman in her apartment without a thought really jarred my reading of what the war did to our protagonist.

    I was rooting for a literal sacrificial death after reading your posts about the Christ aspects of Peeta. A metaphorical death and resurrection of his old self was not as satisfying, but that is just personal preference.

  2. I am still wrapping my head around the changes in direction for Peeta’s character. But I like your idea that he is still a Christ figure just not in the way I expected.

  3. I think it’s very easy to get so wrapped up in one particular archetype that we forget how many others exist. As John has pointed out, there are many possible ways to interpret Peeta’s role in the book, when ultimately it isn’t as if he were officially slated as a Christ figure in the first place.

    Personally, I am of two minds about Peeta’s transformation (“hijacking”). From a purely academic, objective standpoint, it was fascinating to see a different side of Peeta. You almost get the sense that it deepens him as a character. Whereas before his struggles were almost purely physical, with none of the internal uncertainties that Katniss has to deal with, for the first time you see him as someone who is truly struggling with himself. It’s new, and it adds layers (and more importantly, vulnerability) to the noble, steady person we saw in the first two books.

    On the other hand, Peeta was one of the few truly “pure” major players, and what happens to him is like a direct blow to the heart of everything good in the books. So on an emotional level, it felt like sacrilege to take that last bit of good away.

    In that sense, it almost felt necessary that he be redeemed, because otherwise you are left with nothing left to hold. Killing Peeta, though, would have been a little bit too simplistic for the Hunger Games trilogy. The books aren’t about grand, bold gestures and symbols; they’re about surviving, and about finding ways to make life worthwhile despite everything.

    When it really comes down to it, the extremely non-intellectual pleasure-hunter in me was rooting for Peeta and Katniss to end up together. And you have to admit, the ending certainly does deserve a big, heartfelt “awwww”.

  4. It took me a while, but I have decided: I really like Peeta’s story arc. I know this is Katniss’ story, but really, Peeta’s development throughout the books, and especially here was just terribly satisfying. I liked seeing his bad side, I liked his new-found, hard pragmatism. And then I sighed, misty-eyed in the end.

  5. Although on one hand I am saddened (disturbed actually) by the breaking of Peeta, I think Collins does an incredible job detailing the pain and loss families feel when their loved ones return from war damaged. In this case, his fall from “Peeta the perfect” allowed the two to build a real relationship together instead of one based on his childish crush, her confusion/guilt and their traumatic experiences in the HGs. And while I admit I was hoping Peeta would end up happy in the end, I am left with the realization that today’s vets wearing the equivalent of Peeta’s shoes do not usually share his happy ending. I wonder what Collins’ would have done if she chose adults as her target audience.

  6. I woke up this morning thinking, “Of course I feel upset and angry that I didn’t get ‘romance’ and instead got bleakness and despair, since I’m essentially a citizen of the Capitol who just wants a happy ending.” And it’s a good point that Suzanne is making – that we were right there, glued to the metaphorical screen with the rest of the Capitol as Peeta professed his undying love to Katniss. I mean, if you looked at all the discussion boards before the release of MJ, it was mostly about Gale vs. Peeta. And then Suzanne smashes everything and, as you said John, the “happy ending” we get is really a devestating one.

    An important point and message…and yet, and yet – the way she handled it feels unnecessarily cruel, especially for YA readers.

  7. Sarah, right on. In fact my post was going to be similar. Except that I think her ending might serve as a well intended wake up call even for the youth.

  8. I felt, especially on the last chapter that the whole romance thing was way too inappropriate… At that point in time I was so saddened at the whole thing, that I didn’t care if she ended up with Peeta or Gale.

    I had to remind myself that these people and the story is not real..

    I really didn’t like how it ended, except the epilogue I did like; and I’m glad Collins put that in.
    Personally though, I feel played by her (Another “Plutarch”, who I started to hate in Mockingjay) She is like the gamemaker and puts what she wants in the story to make it what she deems is acceptable.
    This probably doesn’t make any sense… sorry.

  9. Jo Dale Guzman says:

    As a reader, I enjoyed the change in Peeta. He was always the predictable, kind, and pure character. I was often surprised by Gale, Katniss, Prim, etc. It was a nice change of pace to have Peeta as the constant surprise. And although he went through many phases of “development’ he still kept the honest and pure characteristics that make him Peeta.

    I wasn’t pulling for Peeta over Gale or visa versa and knew in the end I would be sad for either or both (or happy since Katniss kept falling in and out of reality).

    I think after reading about the lives of the other winners, which we didn’t have in previous books (not even Haymith’s story), I felt like a survivor of Hunger Games could only live out their live with another survivor. No one else could understand the pain, suffering, memories and nightmares.

  10. Peeta was interesting, sure. But am I the only one who thought she was growing more romantically attached to Gale in Mockingjay? I feel like it took her too short a time to finally decide, and I wish it hadn’t been Peeta.

  11. Peeta’s arc was weak, not well developed, and to be honest, not really believable. When Katniss chose him (even with the explanation), it did not make much sense, for either her character or the story. I went back several times to see if there was a chapter or section that I missed.

    Too pat. Too expected. Just like shooting Coin.

  12. Wow, I am not sure if I read the same story as you Sunshine. Peeta was the embodiment of hope from book 1 through book 2. There are plenty of references to this throughout the series. I found the outcome made sense for me. His story arc was done very well was made more interesting by the hijacking.

  13. I don’t think I could put it in better words than Katie.

    “Hijacked” Peeta was one of my favorite parts of the book. As a reader, I had been always expecting to see a new dimension to his character other than the selfless boy with bread, something different, anything. I think I got just that. For me, it was fascinating and unexpected.

    In a lot of ways, I bonded more with hijacked Peeta than the Peeta from in HG and CF). I felt as his ‘Mockingjay’ journey allowed me embrace Peeta’s character. I’d not allowed myself to fully do that before. It was disorienting, not really know which Peeta you were going to get, in complete juxtaposition of his former self. It stuck with me.

    I found the ending very fitting, and very truthful. S. Collins has lots of guts to do this, specially in the YA genre. When you think about it, there’s no place to be rejoice about which “team” won. That only cheapens the story and the circumstances. Everyone lost. Everyone is broken. Everyone is incomplete. No one is the same as they were before. Tragic, but that’s a reality of war.

  14. In all honsety the book went just like it should have and needed to in my mind. Peeta was never a Christ figure, no matter what anyone says (no offence). Im all for looking into and finding the deeper meanings in books but you have to realize that you cant over think them because then you ruin and miss the real meaning behind what the author is really trying to portray.
    Peeta was a boy who so strongly knew who he was and what he wanted and cared for untill the war started and someone else tried to alter him. In the first book Peeta specificaly says he dosent want anyone to change him, he wants to die as himself. What the Government does by “highjacking” him is change who he is, the exact thing that he never wanted to happen to him. It was a form of torture to him and to Katniss, to show them that they both are not who they once were, that no matter what, the experiances that you go through change who you are as a person.
    By Peeta being able to overcome the “highjacking” and see throught the false memories Peeta is showing that while we are changed by our experiances we can still hold onto what is and will remain important to us, no matter what. His dark self was, in my opinion, what proved he wasnt a Christ figure becuase it shows that Peeta has a dark side, but knows how to overcome it. The “highjacked ” Peeta also showed that even with Katniss’s imperfections, Peeta still loved her. He called her out, pretty much called her a bitch, but fell back in love with her anyway.
    The book was perfect, except for two of the deaths SPOILERS (Prim and Finick).The ending was exactly what it needed to be inorder to portray the full menaing and morals of the books, and if Katniss hadnt ended up with Peeta I would have been beyond Furious… so thanks Mrs. Collins 🙂

  15. I cry when I read books. That’s just sort of how I function. Mockingjay– read over two days while working (oops)– didn’t make me cry until I closed the cover. When I read the “happy ending,” and realized the sorts of implications it has, I bawled. And the first thing I did was take to the internet to discover the symbolism behind it. Even more so than the first two books, the symbolism in this story was hitting me hard (Bachelor’s in Writing/Literature), but not hard enough to slow down and take it all in.

    All that to say that I can still see Peeta as a Christ figure, even though the salvation he offers Katniss is not particularly wonderful. Seeing Peeta in that awful state of torture, and knowing that Katniss stays with him when he might “turn back into a mutt” and think he needs to kill her… I still can’t really formulate my thoughts on the devastation and symbolism and all the things that want me to read these books slower and more deliberately.

  16. ok i have wanted Peeta and Katnis since book 1. so when i heard they were going to recue him i was estatic. but when i found out he was hijacked i was upset. especially when he didn’t remember loving katniss. i mean it is a good arc to the story but it was upseting to Peeta/Katniss fans. but at the end when she says she grows back together with :Peeta does it mean he has come back as the old Peeta and he remembers loving katniss or have they needed to restart? PLEASE EMAIL ME AT ALIFSTED@YAHOO.COM IF YOU HAVE ANY INFO ON THAT

  17. @ Jo Dale Guzman – I had pretty much come to the same conclusion as well about the HG survivors needing to end up with another survivor in the end. In just about every step of the story it seemed like they all understood each other better than anyone else. They were a special population that was left horribly damaged by their experiences. Only another survivor could truly understand their pain.

  18. I’m with you, Shannon. I think Peeta is only a Christ-figure if someone needs him to be so they can finish their paper for high school English. In the actual books…. not so much.

    And frankly, I think that makes it a better story. The breaking of Peeta was devastating, unexpected, and exactly what needed to happen if Peeta was to lose everything as Katniss loses everything (all he had to lose was Katniss, whom he never really had, and his sense of self which he articulated so well on the roof in the Capitol before the 74th Hunger Games). Ultimately, they must end up together because they have both lost everything but each other and because, as Jo Dale and @Katy point out, because only victors can understand other victors.

  19. I think the Team Peeta resolution was natural. I don’t think Katniss ever fully “chose” Peeta as much as Gale dropped out of the running after inadvertantly killing Prim. (He was already losing ground with every fight over philosophical differences with Katniss anyways). Gale never came home to D12. Peeta did, and the shared experiences of the trilogy became the thing to build a relationship over.

  20. diva_alix says:

    I agree with people who have posited that survivors need to be with other survivors. In addition to everything else, Peeta and Katniss have so many shared experiences, sharing and surviving some of the most awful experiences a person can have together. They understood each other and had a closeness that no one else could share, and what makes it even more real is that even after losing everything, they still manage to find that closeness again.
    Peeta was always one of my favorite characters, and I did always want the two of them to end up together. Peeta always seemed to represent hope, a future, and unconditional love to Katniss, and as John quoted, he still does in the end. I thought that Peeta’s hijacking and redemption were well done and I think Collins got it right with this book, as much as I cursed her for tormenting Katniss (and me!) at the time. I never expected the hijacking, and the loss of his unconditional love for Katniss made me as well as her feel how much we took it for granted. I agree that his losing everything and is fight to redeem himself made him a more complete and believable character.
    I must say that although I was left with an ache for all the bloodshed, and the loss of so many lives, I thought the ending was beautiful. We’re left with images of rebirth, growth, fertility, and healing in District 12. Peeta and Katniss lose everything, they burn like phoenixes but rise again. They both carry permanent scars, but in spite of it all they find happiness and a better world for their children to inherit.
    And John, dang it, nearly 20 posts and 20 discussions to partake in? I’ll be on here all night. 😉

  21. Hi, Alix! Can’t wait to hear what you think of the Hanging Tree and Meadow Song posts — great that you’re here!

  22. The Peeta Lover says:

    i was halfway through reading Mockingjay yesterday when my mom called me and told me that I had to go school clothes shopping… which meant that i had to stop reading RIGHT when Peeta, Gale, Katniss, and the rest of their crew went into the Capital to get footage and set off pods. the entire time i was trying on clothes, i was thinking about how Haymitch was right. about how Peeta would never be the same. i felt hollow and beaten at some invisible game, because Suzane Collins managed to destroy my idol of the HG Trilogy. Peeta was the sweetest boy any girl could hope for, and she turned him into something that didnt even remember the train rides that left me in tears in Catching Fire. when Katniss, Peeta, Jackson, and Gale were playing Real or Not Real in camp the night before the crew ventured into the capital, i felt like curling up into a ball and mourning the loss of the Peeta i knew and loved, but of course i didnt. i saw how badly Katniss wanted and needed Peeta back when she said tge list of things that he liked, like always sleeping with the window open, never taking sugar with his tea, and double knotting his shoes before retreating into the tent before she started crying. when he tryed to kill her in the street, i knew there was no going back to the way things were. the Boy With the Bread was lost forever, buried in false memories by President Snow. in the sewer, when Peeta was finally starting to come back to Katniss, i was so happy i could barely think. but that all ended when i reached the part where poor, brave, sexy Finnick Odair was ripped apart by mutts. right after he was finnaly with Annie too! I know i’m getting very off topic, but i need to let out my feelings about this with someone, and my mom hasnt finished reading it yet. I loved the part where Katniss killed Coin. i never trusted her! And when Peeta was sent back to live in the Victors Village with Katniss back home in District 12, i felt like i could have never finished the book and be happy with it. I also love Peeta and Katniss’s kids, and how they played in the Meadow, oblivious of the death that lay under the and the hunting memories that lay hidden in the woods next to them.
    I ONLY HAVE ONE MAJOR THING TO COMPLAIN ABOUT.

    I AM FURIOUS THAT SUZANE KILLED SWEET LITTLE PRIM! SHE WAS THE ONE CHARACTER (besides Gale, Peeta, Cinna, and Haymitch) THAT THE BOOK WOULD NEVER BE THE SAME WITHOUT! I ALMOST DIDNT READ MOCKINGJAY BECAUSE MY 2nd FAVORITE CHARACTER (Cinna) WAS SURELY DEAD, BUT WITHOUT PRIM, THE WHOLE BOOK WAS RUINED FOR ME!!!!! ok, ruined was overreacting, but i was very depressed about it and i had a moment (or 39 minutes) of silent crying for Cinna, Finnick, and Prim after i read Mockingjay. but i am EXTREMELY relieved Peeta and Katniss ended up getting married and having kids.

    thanks for listening,
    Josie:)

  23. Shannon, you wrote one of the only sensible things I’ve read about mockingjay yet.  nice job. A moment of silence fore cinna, finick, and prim. May they rest in peace

  24. This book was just plain confusing.

  25. Josie, I completely agree with you. I have almost the exact same feelings about the whole book and was so upset when Peeta was hijacked, and I couldn’t stop crying when Prim died. I almost couldn’t believe it. And then, when that stupid cat, Buttercup, found it’s way back to Victors Village and Katniss fell apart, I burst into tears again saddened by the loss of Prim.
    In the first book, I was in love with Peeta, but then when we went on to Catching Fire I felt terrible for Gale and how he had to watch all the romance between Katniss and Peeta. We learn he was really in love with Katniss the whole time. Then, I wanted it to be Gale. But by the middle of Mockingjay, Gale had been changed. He wasn’t the same. He had too much fire, too much anger. And Peeta was hijacked, so that made me not want either of them. But when Peeta started to grow back to Katniss, I wanted it to be him again. I was semi-happy with the ending, and whenever I describe it to friends I say that I hated it and it was terrible, but also amazing. Even though it’s been a whole week after I’ve read it, I still can’t make up my mind. Why did Prim have to die! That’s my least favorite part of the book, I swear I didn’t completely stop crying for at LEAST half an hour.

  26. Mrs. Hawthorne says:

    In “Hunger Games” and “Catching Fire”, Collins makes it seem like she only loves Peeta to keep herself alive, and that she doesn’t really love him, even though she cares about him a lot. So you think that she will end up with Gale, especially when she kisses him in “Fire” and it seems like she has chosen him over Peeta. But then when she kisses Gale in “Mockingjay”, it is more out of loneliness than love. But Peeta is hijacked, and you don’t think he will ever be better. In “Games” and “Fire” I was “Team Gale” but in “Mockingjay” I started to think that maybe Gale wasn’t right for Katniss. For some reason, I never though Katniss would end up with Peeta, and I never wanted her to, but when she did, I was extremely happy with it and I thought it was perfect.

  27. I just finished reading Mockingjay a few hours ago, and here I am already! I think Peeta was the one character that I really held as the constant in the series. We see Katniss’s internal confusion, get frustrated with Haymitch and his constant state of drunkenness, and cry at Finnick, Annie and the other victor’s ordeals, but we never really feel that Peeta has been affected by the games. Academically, thats bad, so in a sense, Suzanne Collins was right to make him suffer so much in Mockingjay and giving him more depth.

    But on a personal level, I was devastated. I was just so frustrated that Peeta hadn’t appeared yet, and when he did, I just started crying when he couldn’t remember Katniss. I think its tragic, that our “Christ-figure”, the Boy with Bread that was once so pure, steady and talented, had just succumbed to the rest of the horrors that haunt the world. I feel like he’s been polluted, tainted, disfigured horribly, and then left to die.

  28. I thought it became fairly obvious early in Mockingjay that Gale and Katniss could never end up together. From the very beginning of THG, Gale is an angry boy. By early in Mockingjay, he is helping to plan atrocities to punish the Capitol. After everything that Katniss has been through, there is just no way for her to spend her life with someone so consumed by anger.

    Peeta gets tortured to the point where he can’t distinguish reality from a nightmare. However, his kind, loving nature is too strong to stay twisted beneath the lies. Ultimately, he makes the choice to turn away from his hijacking and love Katniss.

  29. I didn’t realize how much I liked Peeta as a character until he was absent for the first half of Mockingjay. Just like Katniss, I’d been taking him for granted. The first half was so bleak without Peeta, and then most of the second half was so heart-wrenching without the real Peeta.

    I thought the hijacking story arc was brilliant. In the first arena, Peeta took the first step of loving Katniss. In the second arena, they were on equal footing. In the final arena (the Capitol), Katniss has to take the first step of loving the hijacked version of Peeta. Each time she refuses to kill him or leave him behind, she’s risking her life because she loves him.

    The final arena has a wonderful symmetry with the first arena, and it made me feel that Katniss truly earned and returned Peeta’s love.

  30. ObsessedWithPeeta says:

    First of all, I have been a huge Peeta fan from the start. He was sweet, loving, and simply flawless…I know he might not be the muscular type of guy, but he is definitely a shoulder to cry on. Throughout the story, Peeta has always been there for Katniss and he comforted her. And at the end, that’s exactly what she needed.

    Peeta’s hijacking. Broke. My. Heart. I cried for days. I just couldn’t take it. Peeta, the loving boy with the bread, didn’t deserve the horrible torment that was thrown upon him. All the little memories that Katniss and Peeta experienced…I didn’t want them to fade away.

    However, I was comforted by the belief that he did change back to his original self. Did he? I really hope he did. Please comment!!!!!

    P.S. I was really happy that they got married and had kids. It would have been the best part but the mood was kind of gloomy. =(

  31. Dear Obsessed,

    Read the ‘big three’ Mockingjay posts here and find out all about Peeta’s allegorical and anagogical substance. Great stuff.

    John

  32. ObsessedWithPeeta says:

    thanks! i will check it out

  33. I just finished reading MJ. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it. My feelings on the ending is that the author was under tremendous pressure to finish this book as it was in such high demand and she left so many things hanging. Haymitch for instance, I vital figure in these books is left to being a drunk raising Geese. There is no mention of him or a finality to what he becomes or is for Peeta and Katniss. Gale has a similar loose ending. He goes on to a “big” job in another district. There last encounter was brief and flat. She could have expanded on his feelings for Katniss more than having him brush her cheek and turn away from her. It was too painful for Gale to even see Katniss over his guilt of Prim’s death, but she doesn’t give Gale his just due in the end. The one thing I do love about the Peeta story is that he not only fell in love with Katniss once, but twice. When I think about it that way, I think that his love for her for so strong, so deep that it made his character even that much more endearing! Katniss thought he would never come back to her, but he did and he loved her enough to want to be with her and go on protecting her until her dying days. The last 50 or so pages of this book were awful! They were written poorly and no doubt fast tracked. When you write a trilogy that is as popular and as deep as THG, you need to take the time to define and give each character clear closure. Collins didn’t do this. Rue’s death had more emotion and detail than Prim’s death – it was so matter of fact. The death of Coin or Snow was incredibly confusing as was her horrible struggle to find ways to kill herself. Next you know she is home for months never leaving her home, sitting by the fire and in a deep state of depression. Haymitch is barely mentioned, Gale has moved on and Peeta… Well, Peeta saved the day again! At least she did her best to give Katniss a happy ending – a very sad, depressing, with some hopes of happiness in the ending. The book left me sad and depressed. Katniss ended up having her first child at what, 33 years old? That made me wonder about those 15 years with Peeta. It sadly made me think of them as mental patients protecting each other from nightmares and flashbacks and images of their lives living in robes with the shades shut, doors locked and eating bread loafs. The epiloge helped salvage some assemblence of normality, but even in Collins descriptions of Katniss pregnant with her children, she could barely handle the thought of these lives in her womb. She leave the reader feeling empty and hollow and I felt myself mourning for the spirit of Katniss. But now, even 15 years later she is a broken woman…a disturbed woman…with a life that she just gets by in. Even with Peeta by her side. I want to cry again….

  34. KerryAnn Clare says:

    Regarding Team Peeta: I think Katniss needing to be with Peeta “to survive” is an arc that has been building clearly since the first book. The old Katniss, who hadn’t yet volunteered for Prim, would have been a partner for Gale. But Katniss went through horrors in both sets of Hunger Games (and everything in the political climate surrounding them) that Gale could never understand, but Peeta could. Being with Peeta was the only option that could abate her loneliness, just as it was in both arenas and on the train, because of what they shared.

    As for Obsessed being unhappy with the mood and Sally being depressed (though Sally, I do agree that the last 30 pages are somewhat sloppily written): there was no possible way for Katniss to be completely happy. She’s been through too much, been too damaged, lost too many and done unspeakable things. The ending is as rosy as it is possible to be without being downright unrealistic- the idea that Peeta and Katniss would just be all smiles, even if they were together in a new republic, is laughably implausible. (Also waiting a

    As far as Prim: Prim died so that Katniss could see who the enemy was, and how Coin really was no different from Snow. While the audience part of me who loves Prim and Katniss really wishes that another character had taken on that role (maybe Finnick, whose death was a bit inconsequential for my taste given his importance as a character), I’m not sure losing anyone less than Prim would have led her to that conclusion (She tries to keep Gale and Peeta alive at every turn but seems prepared to lose either one at this point- besides, Collins clearly wanted to keep both Gale and Peeta alive so Katniss would have to choose between them and not have her decision made for her). Prim is the only person Katniss is never prepared to lose, and the story comes around in a full-circle kind of way: The girl who inadvertently started Katniss’ journey by being a target of the enemy’s actions (the Capitol reaping) inadvertently ends it when the new enemy (Coin) strikes at her. Katniss gains the tools to end the war and change the world for the better when the new enemy takes away the only thing she has been trying to protect. (Remember, Katniss deduces that Coin must have personally approved Prim’s going into battle, clearly playing the last card she had to keep Katniss under her control, just like President Snow). In a way, Prim herself is responsible for the downfall of both the Capitol and the Capitol-like regime that threatened to replace it, thus ensuring a better future for everyone who remained.

  35. KerryAnn Clare says:

    Sorry for the unfinished sentence typo there- I was going to say, in response to what Sally mentioned about the epilogue: Also, waiting a while to have children is a foreseeable consequence of growing up around the terror of the Hunger Games- I believe it would take Katniss and Peeta that long to feel safe under the new regime, and to believe their children would not be born into the same suffering they themselves were.

  36. Raina Nichole says:

    I had some trouble understanding the section where Katniss kills Coin. Why would Coin want Prim killed? It’s not clear to me how she thinks that will help her keep control of Katniss. She would expect that Katniss would believe that the Capitol killed Prim – Katniss already hates the Capitol, so why would Coin need to try and make her hate them more? If anything, you would think she would want to keep control of Prim in order to control Katniss.

    Then I also don’t understand why Katniss votes to have another Hunger Games…. the only explanation I can come up with is she thought she wouldn’t have the chance to kill Coin if she didn’t agree… but they were taking a vote – I don’t think it would have changed anything if she had voted with Peeta and Beate, etc. Do you guys think she honestly wanted to have a Hunger Games? When she says she is voting that way “for Prim,” I again think this is tied into her plans to kill Coin, but it’s not very clear why voting that way is necessary.

    I really didn’t think Coin was so terrible. She seemed very pragmatic and had a “greatest good for the greatest number” attitude. She may have been double-dealing with Katniss a bit, but I think she was well intentioned. Was the whole point of killing Coin that then they would have an election? Also, when Snow started laughing, it made me think that he had manipulated Katniss into killing Coin and that she had just played right into his hands again.

    Snow basically tries to convince her that Coin is the real enemy and created the war to destroy everyone so that she could swoop in and take power… he says that there was no reason for him to kill the children… but he was still using them as a human shield! He said he was about to surrender, but that’s ridiculous. If he had any intentions of surrendering, he would have done so when the rebels first entered the Capitol – in order to spare lives.

    I think the real tragedy is that the book made it seem really pointless that she had killed Coin. It really didn’t seem like it benefited anyone.

    Like many others, I was left feeling empty and sad at the end of the book. It’s something that has really stuck with me. In a way I really liked the ending, but it didn’t quite feel real. I think I needed more of Peeta and Katniss “growing together.” I liked the hijacking story line, but I never got a compelling “return” of Peeta. I needed to see that connection being reforged a bit more.

  37. I feel that the “hijacked” Peeta made Katniss realize how much she loved him. I feel even though they had to be in love in the first two books, he was Katniss’ best friend. (even if it clearly stated that he best friend was Gale). He knew how to comfort her in ways Gale couldn’t. Peeta even came back for her when Gale didn’t. I also agree with you that the last 2 chapters of the book where sloppily written. I feel that the epiloge could have had much more detail. Espcially when naming her children. I feel that she should have told more about the “New” Government and more about what happened to Effie, Haymitch, … I hope that the movie will cover those things. Especially because Ms. Collins is helping write it.

    PS: I was online reading some fan made epilogues and I found one in the daughters prospective. It was really interesting you should check it out.

  38. As I started reading book one, I knew from the first 2 or so chapters eventually there would be a love triangle between Gale and Peeta. Like in other books, I automatically support the best friend, in this case Gale. But as the story progressed I fell in love with Peeta’s character – his kindness, his sense of humor, and devotion and love for Katniss. This carried with me for the rest of the book as well as CF. His absence in MJ left a hole where comfort used to sit while reading the series. Without him, there was no hope, no real sense of happiness and security for me. Anxiety built up in me every time Peeta was shown in the Capitol’s promos, and I cried every time Katniss reacted to the sight of him, to the memory of him. What broke my heart even more was the part where she ran the pearl he gave her over her lips as if he was kissing her. When I realized he was going to be rescued, my heart soared and for a second I was happy. His hijacking smashed every sense of hope I held dearly. Although this crushed me, and I wish it hadn’t happened – wished that Katniss and he stayed together in the jungle, wished the rebels saved him too, wished that he hadn’t changed, the recognition of love for Peeta Katniss was dealing with almost made up for it. The fact that Peeta loved Katniss ever since he was 5, and in the matter of weeks forgot most of it, destroyed me, however. For days I had nightmares of it happening. I am nostalgic for all the moments on the train, but I am beyond thrilled they happened, since a tremendous part of me believes that those moments, not in front of a camera but behind the curtain that Katniss always desperately wanted, assisted in bringing a big part of Peeta back, and proved that she really needed and loved him, too. I agree completely with you, Ali. I would have been more relieved, a little more happy had Peeta and Katniss’s relationship been expanded at the end rather than summed up in a few scrambled sentences that neither deserved. After finishing this book, like some have said, I felt depressed and empty, and kept thinking through my head moments that would have promised me the return of Peeta. When I did, part of me was ecstatic. On various occasions, the old Peeta emerged fighting with the new one. Like in the promos where he struggled to warn Katniss. Or when the mutts were attacking and he was supposed to as well, he fought the compulsion. Additionally, and the most important, I don’t believe anyone has touched up on this, but right after Katniss killed Coin, and she was going to kill herself with nightlock, somewhere inside of Peeta snapped and prevented her from doing so. When she said, “Let go,” he responded with, “I can’t.” Although Collins does not elaborate on Peeta’s condition byt the end, I feel (hope) as though this was her tiny little whisper of a message that said that although Peeta’s mentality was fuzzy, his body and being, responded to Katniss being in danger, and rejected the idea of losing her, and this brought him back (although never again normal), because all in all, by biologically being Peeta Mellark, he will forever be in love with Katniss Everdeen whether he realizes it or not.

  39. I think Peeta’s arc is just the recipe in order to break open Katnis’s steel trap of a heart and allow her to choose between humanity and revenge. My reasoning is this: Katnis has been abandoned plenty in her life to the point of shutting down her emotional world. Peeta’s predictable selfless actions of love simply did not translate into Katnis’s world of pain and loss. As Peeta says, she does not understand her impact. She does not understand herself, let alone others and how they interpret her. The hijacking brings Katnis face to face with a Peeta that finally makes sense to her and who reflects how she sees herself- cold and cruel. Faced with who she fears herself to be shakes her to the core and creates emotional overload for Katnis. She grows in a beautiful way when she actually challenges herself to step outside of her defenses and display her emotions via empathy and trust(risking her life in Peeta’s presence) to save Peeta in her mission to kill Snow. After this she breaks down about the mission to kill snow and realizes the pain she has caused her crew. With this lesson she becomes fully equiped to choose between humanity(Peeta) and revenge (Gale). She learns her fire is unlike Gale’s fire. Her fire only burns for humanity and not revenge. Without Peeta’s arc I am not convinced Katnis would learn this about herself.

    True: I still have chills from when Peeta stops Katnis from swallowing that pill, saving her even from herself. My heart is at peace knowing someone will finally be with Katnis, always.

  40. I loved that Peeta and Katniss ended up together, however I felt as if there was something missing. I wish Collins would have detailed their life together and the situation in Panem. I feel as if Katniss doesn’t play a role in the rebellion/ political situation and that she is of no use after all that she has done for the rebels and the country. Peeta has always been my favorite because he did what Gale could never do, which was to provide her with unconditional love and never leave her alone. Katniss was quite harsh after his hijacking and had almost no mercy; yet he tried as hard as he could to protect her and love her, like when he kept the handcuffs on so he wouldn’t lose control and harm Katniss. I am generally happy with the ending but it was rushed and could’ve been expanded. I cried during parts of Catching Fire & some parts of Mocking Jay, which mainly had to do with Peeta’s generosity, care, kindness, and love towards Katniss and everyone else. Also his burning desire to protect her from the bad of everything, especially when he confirmed Prim was alive during CF when the jabberhays mimicked her screams.
    He is almost to good for her, although I do love seeing them together I hate how Katniss still thinks of Gale and doesn’t forgive him for something she’s not completely sure he did.

  41. I think Coin really IS that evil….sending a Hijacked Peeta back into the Capitol where he would either kill Katniss, be taken hostage again, or both. Peeta’s presence in the final battle also served to impede Katniss’ mission of killing Snow and restoring peace with minimal collateral damage. The placing of 13-year-old Prim in combat, knowing that the bombs were set to detonate the rescuers firmly establishes Coin as the enemy of the Mockingjay, just as Snow is.

  42. okay so the end of mockingjay disturbed me to no end. i feel like there wasnt enough detail about what happens. i wanted to know if they found prim, or how katniss’s mother was doing, or what was going on with gale. i alyaws loved the love with peeta and katness but i didn’t feel any love in the end. the ending was supposed to be happy? because im like really sad. what does it mean by “there are much worse games to come” what is that supposed to mean???? what is going to happen!? in my opinion susan collins shouldnt have cramped everything into the last chapter and epolauge. she could have written another book elabroating on everything!!!! whyyyy???? its agravating that it just leaves everybody hagning. i loved these books with allllllll my heart!, nut the last one didnt really impress me….

  43. sally i 100000% agree with u the author rushed the ending and now i feel really depressed like i dont know what to do its sooo agrivating!

  44. Although I doubt any of the people who posted comments with questions will see this, I’ll try and answer some of them to the best of my ability in case anyone else has similar questions and reads this comment. The reason Coin sends in Prim and the bombs is NOT to control Katniss, it’s a cheap shot to end the fighting with the Capital. The people who were on the Capitols side immediatly stopped supporting the Capital after the children died in the bombing (remember Coin made it appear as if a Capitol hovercraft unleashed the bombs) This made the Capitol crumble immediately.

    The reason Katniss agrees to the new Hunger games is because she knows Haymitch will copy her vote, and their two votes break the tie on the decision. She says yes in order to get Coin to trust her more so she will get the opportunity to kill Coin. This part of the book is also used to show that Coin is in fact evil,. As a form of revenge she is going to allow more hunger games, which is a large part of why the war was fought in the firstplace, sacrificing thousands of lives, when she never even participated in them in the first place. SHe is doing this to try and show she has undisputable power, exactly as the Capitol tried to do.

    Also, on a seperate note. Maybe Peeta could be seen as representing the ‘ideal’ christian, instead of Jesus himself. Peeta isn’t perfect, but he tries to be as pure as he can possibly be. As indicated by his struggling to fight the ‘Highjacking’ instead of just succumbing to it. Just an incomplete thought.

  45. The best advice I can give for anyone who believed Mockingjay to be rushed (particularly the ending) in the manner it was written is to re read it once or even twice…preferably with the other two books right before them. Highlight passes,recurring themes, etc that jump out at you…. Many of those themes are brought in to those last few pages with surprising skill. Peers didn’t actually make much of an impression on me in my first reading of the trilogy, I have to admit…. But I hated the last hook and couldn’t put my finger on why. When I re read the trilogy, I figured out it was due to his arc, his torture…. And the need for Katniss to rescue him, to step up to the plate so to speak and be the rock for him that he had been for her for two books. I couldn’t see her growth at first and just saw his destruction…. Once I saw the balance, my appreciation of this volume grew tenfold.

  46. I’m not sure if it’s Peeta who redeems Katniss or visa versa. The Christ figure, at least in Mockingjay (and at least in this one relationship) is Katniss. Her love for Peeta redeems him even when it seems he’s a traitor and though it is deeply challenged by his changes it remains though he becomes “bad”. It’s easy to love Peeta in the first two books where he is kind, selfless and loving. But in Mockingjay, when he is broken and hates her and tries to kill her, she is still determined to save him.

  47. Christian says:

    I read the series first back in 2010, and reading it again now has given me new insight to it, but it is still has the same effect on me as it had before. To me, Peeta’s hijacking definitely allowed for growth in Peeta and Katniss, but there’s still something too sad about it. Of course, it showed Katniss and the reader that she needed him much more than she thought, but the real kicker for me is that it threw more light on their previous relationship. There are kisses and caresses and nights on the train that fall into a kind of grey area for what they meant to Katniss. They had to act for the Capitol, but they were so incredibly used to the kissing and holding that they crossed lines that ordinary friends don’t cross, and more importantly,ones she never crossed with Gale. For example In CF, right before they watch Haymitch’s tape, they have a very intimate moment (lips on the neck hugging something… I don’t remember the details) that is clearly not staged. If she didn’t love him romantically, this (and letting him into her bed)would be very inappropriate and borderline cruel, especially because they talk about trying to be “friends,” not lovers.
    Also, I felt like Gale almost became irrelevant. In the first two books he’s absent for a long time and his and Katniss’ “relationship” was mostly built on the preestablished friendship… The only thing that set it off was the Hunger Games/Peeta. Gale seemed to love Katniss “greedily” if that makes any sense, which to me is the opposite of what love actually is, selfless care about someone else more than yourself, not just wanting to be with them. Peeta embodies this, sticking around even after Katniss “chooses” Gale, and in the 75th HGs telling her to let him die and be with Gale, because he loves her and wants the best for her while Gale is just jealous. Back to Gale being irrelevant, there’s a moment in MJ where he eyes Finnick annoyedly, and Katniss states “Gale can think whatever he wants.” She doesnt care about his input and clearly is fed up with his misunderstandings and jealousy. It’s as if the only reason they maintain their friendship is that they were so necessary to each other in childhood. They don’t fit anymore, especially now when things have become serious and philosophical differences matter all of a sudden, because they each have power and influence, they’re not just powerless kids anymore.
    That being said, (and as the book states) she would’ve ended up with Peeta anyway and it’s really sad to only see that come together after they’ve both been so damaged, we never get to see them perfectly happy. The “pleasure seeker” in me as someone said above, felt cheated, that after the epic beach scenes and the nights on the train that they end up together almost anticlimactically. That being said, their quiet “reunion” has something very gentle about it, the life from the ashes, the hope when there is none. And when you think about it, the story is about surviving against all odds and maintaining humanity in the face of ugliness.

  48. I feel like Katniss has been the main problem in MJ – the blunt truth is presented by the hijacked Peeta who at first tries to kill her and then tears her apart for stringing both Gale and him along all this time. Even at this juncture, when Peeta’s been through so much at her expense, she struggles to realize this and responds just as bitterly to a clearly wrecked Peeta who doesn’t know any better.

    I liked her a lot better in the first book. By the second and last book, she’s turned from a selfless inidividual (with simple, striaghtforward goals like keeping Prim alive) to one who’s self-destructive and too consumed with the demons within herself. I guess Collins is portraying the damaging effects of having been through two Hunger Games but I get the sense that Katniss is a character who’s created to be inherently flawed while Peeta is a shining example of goodness and purity (not forgetting he’s been through the same ordeal as well).

    I agree that the ending appears hastily written and glosses over a lot of details – like how Katniss and Peeta reunite, despite having spent most of the book at arm’s length, each suspicious and wary of the other.

    Was it really true love for Katniss? After murdering Coin and prior to ending her own life with the nightlock pill, her final thoughts are not of Peeta. This brings to mind what Gale ominously foretold in his brief conversation with Peeta while they were hiding in Tigris’ basement – that she will pick ‘whoever she thinks she can’t sruvive without’. Cold.

  49. Before I say this I have to admit I am one hundred percent team Peeta, so I might be a little biased… but I was shocked and quite upset when I found out Peeta was hijacked in the Capitol. I think, though, it finally gave a chance for Gale’s character to come through. I feel that in the first two books it was really focused on Peeta’s character because they were in the perspective of Katniss. However, Gale is also a major role and a possible love interest for Katniss, but has always seemed outshined or not really touched upon in both The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. Peets being hijacked and completley different really gave Gale a chance to come through and have readers see just what he has to offer. And in a way, through Peeta’s torturing I think Katniss truly matured. In the end though I have always thought Peeta is a figure of Christ and always will be, and I’m glad that’s who Katniss ends up with, for she is right when she says only he can give her the hope of knowing that life goes on. I think Mockingjay really gave reader’s a chance to form any last opinions about all the character’s in such a creative way.

    I think there should be another book of Mockingjay, but told from Peeta’s point of view, so we get to know just what was happening and going through his head at the Capitol. Anyone agree?

  50. Absolutely!

    I was actually struck by how harsh Katniss was to Peeta in Mockingjay. She has her reasons of course, but i can’t help but think that Katniss should have treated him better.

    Truth be told, i am hoping the movies will make some much needed changes in their adaptions. Movie Katniss is WAY more likeable than Book Katniss. A changes thats for the better. I just hope Peeta gets more proactive scenes in Mockingjay. We need to see more scenes of him getting better and connecting back with Katniss in the end.

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