Who is the Mockingjay? The Hidden Key to Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games Trilogy

[This post on Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games was written in Fenruary, 2010. A lot of discussion and theorizing has happened here since then — and I hope you’ll join that free-for-all where it is now rather than back here in February! Please check out this Round-Up post (and the Pearl Plot 2.0) so you can see what’s been written in one convenient list with links. Thanks for joining us at HogwartsProgessor, where serious readers discuss the meaning and artistry of The Hunger Games.]

A few weeks ago, two HogPro All-Pros wrote to me both asking me if I thought Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games books were written with intentional alchemical artistry. Forgive me, but I doubt I would have purchased the books, Hunger Games and Catching Fire, as promptly as I did except that I ignored a similar question about Twilight for more than two years, much to my loss, and except for the facts that both these writers are very serious readers, both praised the books without qualification, and they both came up with the alchemical reading independently of the other.

I bought and have read the two books in the trilogy now in print (the finale wil be published 24 August this year). I’ve even read them twice and made a lot of notes. The alchemy question is a good one, if the story scaffolding owe at least as much to television 3 act story templating and Dante as they might to Shakespearean drama. Now that I’ve read them and loved them, I hope you will read the Hunger Games books, too, and join me in conversation about them here. If you are a Harry Potter reader, I’m confident these books will challenge and delight you — and, in being a series-not-yet-finished, will draw you into speculation about what will happen in the next book based on patterns and events in the first two.

Yesterday we learned that the title of the Hungers Games trilogy finale will be Mockingjay and saw the cover of the Scholastic edition (US). Today I want to discuss what I think will be the surprise revelation of the finale and a key to opening up the meaning of the series. If you haven’t read the first two books, of course, or if you don’t care for speculative writing about novels not yet published, this would be the best place for you to stop reading. (Hey, a spoilers warning; doesn’t that feel like old times?)

At the end of Catching Fire, Katniss wakes up to the fact that she has, once again, been used as a pawn in someone else’s story. She is furious at Haymitch Abernathy, her Games and Quell mentor, because she is convinced that he is the puppet master and alchemical dramatist who has written her into the script of his subversive story within the Capitol regime’s Hunger Games narrative. Bad enough, she thinks, to have her sister chosen as a tribute and to have been forced to sacrifice herself in her first trip into the arena, an experience where she warred with the narrative line of her “real enemy” to write a rebellious story that ‘speaks truth to power.’ It is much worse to be manipulated by people you think are your friends to star in a second narrative as the rebellion’s symbolic leader, the Mockingjay.

Katniss believes that Haymitch is the rebellion’s story-teller and the author of the Mockingjay drama with good reason.

  • His gifts as her mentor are rarely just what they seem; her job as often as not when receiving a silver package gift is to interpret the “hidden messages” of the man directing the action outside the story action, i.e., he is the author and she is simultaneously character in and reader-interpreter of the story he is writing;
  • Haymitch’s Quell victory was based on his refusing to accept as fixed either the boundaries of the story in which he was placed, its metanarrative, or his role in that drama. He survived as a tribute because he played the game like a Game Maker or playwright;
  • In the hovercraft scenes of the Catching Fire last chapter, Haymitch says (and Katniss repeats) the line that seems to peg him as the rebellion’s ‘Mockingjay’ story author: “this is why no one lets you make the plans.” He then proceeds to tell her the story she has been living in (page 385) as if he were the one who had made the plans.

Katniss’ response to this demonstration? She attacks Haymitch with her fingernails in her agony and confusion on learning that “I am the mockingjay” (page 386).

This is the set-up for the last novel of the series we now know is titled Mockingjay. Judging from a quick look at the Scholastic cover and this set-up, the finale may be the story of Katniss winning her freedom at last from playing parts in plays for which she is never shown a script to her self-actualization and free choices as a character “writing her own plans.”

Maybe. Right now, though, I don’t think so.

Don’t get me wrong. Mockingjay will certainly be about the liberation of the story character who is the rebellion’s inspiration and the story will feature Katniss in a break out role. It’s just that I doubt that Haymitch is the story mastermind and that Katniss is the real mockingjay, as central as both these characters are.

The real mockingjay and true author of the rebellion story told within the regime narrative, like Ms. Collins the rebellious television writer, doesn’t appear in the story as a named character. I’m guessing the ‘Wizard Behind the Curtain’ will turn out to be Madge Undersee’s mother, the woman who is simultaneously

  • the twin sister of Maysilee Donner (or just Maysilee Donner),
  • childhood friend of Katniss’ mother,
  • the wife of District 12’s mayor, and
  • Haymitch’s “crazy girl” (Fire, page 115).

We only ‘see’ Mrs. Donner-Undersee once and then only in film as a young woman when her mirror image self is taken into the Games as one of the second Quarter Quell’s four District 12 tributes (Fire, page 196).

I think that the rebellion’s mockingjay symbolism and counter-narrative starring Katniss and Haymitch are stories written by Mrs. Undersee for these reasons:

  1. the origin of the Mockingjay pin;
  2. the privileged station and situation of Mrs. Undersee;
  3. the meaning of the name ‘Madge Undersee;’
  4. the necessity of a narrative misdirection ‘wow’ in the series finale; and
  5. the centrality of the series message that we are players in a drama whose author(s) we do not know.

One at a time…

1. The Mockingjay Pin: We first see the pin in the opening chapter of Hunger Games. Madge Undersee is wearing it then on her “reaping clothes” finery. Katniss sees Gale noting its value before his unkind comments about the unlikelihood of Madge being selected as a District 12 Tribute (page 12). Before it becomes the token of the rebellion that will eventually be stamped on something like communion wafers among refugees, not to mention its becoming fashionable in the Capitol, the mockingjay accessory has to be transferred from Madge to Katniss with a committment extracted from Katniss to wear it in the arena. It is an odd scene.

Madge brings this pin to Katniss after the Reaping and very deliberately, even “urgently” gives it to her, exacting a promise that Katniss will wear it in the arena.

My next guest is also unexpected. Madge walks straight to me. She is not weepy or evasive, instead there’s an urgency about her tone that surprises me. “They let you wear one thing from your district in the arena. One thing to remind you of home. Will you wear this?” She holds out the circular gold pin that was on her dress earlier. I hadn’t paid much attention to it before, but now I see it had a small bird in flight.

“Your pin?” I say. Wearing a token from my district is about the last thing on my mind.

“Here, I’ll put it on your dress, all right?” Madge doesn’t wait for an answer, she just leans in and fixes the bird to my dress. “Promise me you’ll wear it in the arena, Katniss?” she asks. “Promise?”

“Yes,” I say. Cookies. A pin. I’m getting all kinds of gifts today. Madge gives me one more. A kiss on the cheek. Then she’s gone and I’m left thinking that maybe Madge really has been my friend all along (page 38).

Katniss doesn’t understand the power or meaning of this pin’s symbolism until well into Catching Fire but it is clear from Madge’s urgency and insistence in how she gives the token to Katniss that Madge believes or has been instructed that it is critical to Katniss’s success and survival that she wear it. Madge’s instructions, of course, are correct both in the short and long term. Rue chooses to trust Katniss because of the pin, most obviously, and then the symbol becomes both spark and catalyst for the rebellion when Katniss humiliates the Games Makers by stepping outside their narrative at story’s end.

Using the Red Hen model of literary speculation, namely, that implausibly unlikely events coming to pass are the marks of design, my assumption in coming to interpret the seemingly providential happenings of Hunger Games is that they were planned by someone within the story. For starters, Prim’s and Peeta’s names being chosen at the District 12 Reaping was too much of a dream match to have been arbitrary or random. Effie, I’m guessing, was told which names to pull or all the names in the bowl were the same. Given the love Peeta has for Katniss and Katniss’ singular qualifications for surviving, even thriving in the arena, skills she alone has among all District 12 women, their selection and the consequent counter-story of the star-crossed lovers was almost certainly written well in advance of their Hunger Games. A key piece in this seditious narrative is the mockingjay token because it is the symbol of the counter-story the Capitol couldn’t anticipate or control. She has to be wearing it for the story to work as written.

Who could have instructed Madge to get Katniss’ promise to wear it in the arena? I think the believable possibilities have to be restricted to Haymitch Abernathy or her mother — and the latter seems much more likely. Though the Maysilee-twin and Haymitch share a motivation to avenge Maysilee’s death (and would want the token to mark their taking revenge), Madge tells Katniss in Fire that the pin “was my Aunt’s” “but I think it’s been in my family a long time” (page 91), i.e., it was a gift from Madge and her family to Katniss.

2. The Privileged Station and Situation of Mrs. Undersee: There is a curious scene during the post Games tour when Haymitch takes Peeta and Katniss through the labyrinth of the District 11 Justice building to find a place for them to talk without being monitored (Fire, chapter 5). We’re not supposed to believe that Haymitch is able to do this because he remembers so vividly his own visit as touring victor to that building in District 11 25 years earlier. How then does he move with such surety, speed, and confidence through the maze of rooms and seemingly sealed doors? It’s not plausible unless he’s been there sometime, even many times, in the intervening years.

Or if someone else has.

We learn from Madge that even the Mayor’s wife, her mother, cannot travel to the Capitol for medical treatment and medicines without special permission. Obviously, though, Mrs. Undersee does get this kind of allowance. She “spends half her life in bed immobilized with terrible pain, shutting out the world” (Fire, page 196). She has enough pain killers on hand consequent to her medicinal trips to the Capitol that she is able to send a box to Katniss’ house in the Victor’s Village when Gale is whipped close to death by the new Head Peace Keeper, Thread.

Knowing that she does get to the Capitol because of her illness means she gets around. I think it’s safe to assume that she goes to other Districts as Mayor Undersee’s escort. I would bet she knows the major political players in every district as the First Lady of District 12 and has relative freedom in the Capitol to meet important people there.

Even promising dress designers. Cinna repeatedly returns the mockingjay pin to Katniss and is an essential figure in creating the “girl on fire” phoenix imagery that is the heart of the token’s meaning. Someone has initiated him into the mockingjay conspiracy. If not Mrs. Undersee, who?

I bet she meets men like Games Maker Plutarch Heavensbee, too, with whom, because of her sister’s history in the Games, she could have conversations quite different than those he would have with magistrate’s wives. Who could enlist a Games Maker into a rebellion than another person from his caste, a person who understands the power of story?

In brief, the ability to craft a rebellion counter-narrative within the Hunger Games spectacles requires a story teller with the ability to travel or otherwise communicate with the other districts, especially the Capitol. Mrs. Undersee is the only character we know with these privileges. Her illness, given that she has a full, spare box of precious pain killers may just be a front to facilitate her travel and invisibility.

3. The Meaning of the Name ‘Madge Undersee:’ There are two or three key symbols in the Hunger Games novels, all of which I hope to explore here eventually, of which the most predominant is the mockingjay token, a pin with a bird flying within a golden circle. There’s much too much there to unpack now — the alchemical and religious meanings alone are two long posts — but there is a secondary symbol that is immediate relevant to this discussion: the pearl.

Effie Trinket, something of a ditz on the surface but a woman who understands symbolism better than most, introduces the pearl imagery in Hunger Games:

“Everyone [with whom I’ve talked about being your sponsors] has their reservations, naturally. You being from the coal districts. But I said, and this was very clever of me, I said, ‘Well, if you put enough pressure on coal it turns to pearls!'” Effie beams at us so brilliantly that we have no choice but to respond enthusiastically to her cleverness even though it is wrong.

Coal doesn’t turn to pearls. They grow in shellfish. Possibly she meant coal turns to diamonds, but that’s untrue, too. I’ve heard that they have some sort of machine in District 1 that can turn graphite into diamonds. But we don’t mine graphite in District 12. That was part of District 13’s job until they were destroyed. (Page 74)

This is odd, no? The idea of Peeta and Katniss as pearls, though, returns in Katniss’ wedding dress at the Quell interview (linked beautifully with her phoenix-mockingjay role and her love for Peeta; Fire, page 247), and finally in the gift given by Peeta to Katniss that she accepts in the Quell arena. Peter repeats Effie’s comment word for word when he finds the “glistening, perfect pearl” and Katniss’ thoughts then are instructive:

“Hey, look at this!” [Peeta] holds up a glistening, perfect pearl about the size of a pea. “You know, if you put enough pressure on coal it turns to pearls,” he says earnestly to Finnick.

“No, it doesn’t,” says Finnick dismissively. But I crack up, remembering that’s how a clueless Effie Trinket presented us to the people of the Capitol last year, before anyone knew us. As coal pressured into pearls by our weighty existence. Beauty that arose out of pain. (Page 365)

The Pearl, then, is no small thing in Hunger Games as a symbol of the transformation of Peeta and Katniss in the Games and Quell crucibles. But why a pearl as the product of this transformation rather than diamond — and what does this have to do with Maysilee Donner’s twin?

In brief, I will argue (elsewhere) that the pearl is chosen, not only because it is a strange conceit, even perverse and stupid, just like the Hunger Games, but because of the pearl’s traditional meaning, namely, the “pearl of great price,” Matthew 13:45-46. In Ms. Collins’ story the pearl that Peeta-Katniss have become by the Quell’s crisis point is unconditional, sacrificial love, the “love hunger” that Katniss experiences on the beach in Fire when Peeta appeals to her to stop trying to protect him (pages 362-363).

And the Maysilee link? I will unpack this more in another post but it is important here just to note that “Madge” is short for “Margaret” which is the anglicized form of margarites, the Greek word for “pearl.” Mrs. Undersee has named her daughter “pearl” and this is a key symbol within the story-line that the as-yet-unnamed rebellion puppet-master is crafting.

Madge’s last name is meaningful, too. ‘Undersee’ means “under the ocean.” I think in Hunger Games it means something like “submarine,” as in “beneath the surface” or “out of sight.” Which is saying that what Mrs. Undersee wanted first for her daughter was for her to be a “hidden treasure” safe from the Reaping as the Mayor’s daughter in a way her twin sister Maysilee wasn’t. More important, I think, is the suggestion that Mrs. Undersee is “out of sight” and the Pearl beneath the surface, the secret genius creating the rebellion by re-writing the narrative that took her sister’s life

4. The Necessity of a Narrative Misdirection ‘Wow’ in the Series Finale

The story of Hunger Games is told from the first person perspective of the story protagonist, Katniss Everdeen. The key virtues of this voice are:

  • we readers identify with Katniss, which identification or story-engagement, our “poetic faith” consequent to “suspending disbelief,” is very strong; and
  • the author can deliver the postmodern message “don’t believe what you think” (among several other PoMo messages) via narrative misdirection.

In short, Katniss is a brilliant young woman, but most especially when she comes to the understanding that she doesn’t understand and doesn’t know what is really going on. (See Fire, pages 356, 378.) She is a player in someone else’s story — “Used without consent. Used Without knowledge.” (Fire, page 385) — even when she thinks she is writing the rebellious story within the Capitol’s Hunger Games and Quarter Quell.

All story-pointers at the end of Catching Fire direct our attention to Haymitch Abernathy as the alchemical dramatist who is the playwright for the play-within-the-play. And for just that reason, that so many clues point to him and that Katniss believes it sufficiently to attack him physically for the plans she is convinced he has made about her without her consent, I’m pretty sure the master planner is not Haymitch. Simply put, it’s not misdirection if it turns out to be who you thought it was going to be.

I’m betting instead on the twin sister of the girl who saved Haymitch’s life in the Quarter Quell and whose life he couldn’t save (he found the metanarrative boundary and the secret that defeated both his opponent and the Capitol but not in time to save Maysilee from the deadly, animated lawn flamingos). Even more of a ‘wow’ finish than having Mrs. Undersee just step out from behind the curtain as author-in-hiding would be learning that Maysilee’s surviving mirror reflection fell in love with Haymitch years ago — but that she married Mayor Undersee to insure that her child would not be made a District 12 tribute.

This Reaping possibility would have been dreadful to her not only because of her sister’s fate but also — egad! can it be? — because Madge is Haymitch’s daughter and a Victor’s child is too often chosen for the Games. Katniss has all but decided against children for just this reason. Both Haymitch and Mrs. Undersee play the parts they do because their lives turn on making the kind of impossible life-and-death choices Haymitch tells Katniss she’ll “have to make” someday as a Hunger Games victor and mentor (Fire, page 67).

Too much? I’ll concede that a Haymitch-as-Madge’s-dad revelation at Mockingjay’s finish (or opening) is a stretch. There are shades and hints of this possibility in the echoes of Haymitch’s relationship with Maysilee in the relationships of Katniss-Peeta with Rue and of Finnick with the mad Annie Cresta. That plot-point speculation, though, isn’t what I’m reaching for, really.

The narrative misdirection consequent to our being suckered quite naturally into accepting Katniss’ beliefs as reality is the point. The jolt we receive along with Katniss as she wakes up to her being a pawn is a big piece of the Hunger Games postmodern morality (see point 5) — and the bigger the jolt of surprise, the stronger the message hits home.

And I cannot think of a more credible and still surprising candidate for secret-story-mage than Mrs. Undersee.

5. The Centrality of the Series Message that We are Players in a Drama whose Author(s) We do not Know

As I said, a big piece of Ms. Collins’ aim in writing Hunger Games is to create the shock we feel as readers sharing Katniss’ shock about being a pawn in someone else’s story. The message here isn’t surprise just for surprise’s sake but as dramatic confirmation of the usual postmodern beliefs we share: things aren’t what they seem, the core cultural metanarrative is the fount of prejudice, injustice, and evil in the world, self-actualizing choice is the means to freedom, only speaking truth to power is a free choice, don’t believe what you think, etc. Ms. Collins within this reinforcement of the generic beliefs of our age is making attacks as well on specific targets, most notably, television and the American consumerist anti-culture.

I hope to be writing here in coming weeks about the postmodern themes in Hunger Games and the satirical quality of Ms. Collins’ dystopia (Animal Farm meets Rollerball), especially about television and its uses in Panem by both the Capitol and the rebels. But in the speculative discussion of whether Mrs. Undersee might be the real story Mockingjay, I need only note the theme in Hunger Games that we are actors in a drama whose parameters and meaning were created by other people, more powerful people, that we don’t know.

Katniss in the 74th and 75th Hunger Games is leading, as she says herself again and again, the life of a “pawn.” Her victory in her first Games is, like Haymitch’s insight in his, to step outside the boundaries of the fixed-story. She succeeds in this by her willingness to sacrifice herself rather than submit to the ending given her by the Games Makers. The berry-bluff and near suicide, however, trap Katniss into a relationship with Peeta and another story that is, like the demeaning arena narrative, not her story to control or change.

More intriguing and mysterious, she discovers that her star-crossed lovers sub-plot has become an inspiring act of rebellion to the people of the Districts. She meets the author of the evil regime’s Hunger Games story-line when President Snow visits the Victors Village to exact with threats her enthusiastic co-operation in the tour and associated events. But who is the author of the Romeo and Juliet ‘Mockingjay’ rebellion narrative? Who brought Cinna into the game? Who made the connections with men like Plutarch Heavensbee in the Capitol? We know the players in the regime’s drama; who is producing the rebellion’s show?

Katniss doesn’t know. She assumes at the end of Catching Fire that it is Haymitch Abernathy but her agony isn’t so much in the realization that she’s been tricked by her mentor. What causes her to all but despair and die before Gale’s appearance at the very end of Catching Fire is that what she had imagined was a dangerous game being played to defeat the regime’s Quarter Quell was actually a drama whose other players knew they were on a different, larger stage to overthrow the regime itself.

She became a story symbol of love transcending self and power despite herself in her first Games. By the Quell, she understood clearly that playing this part was taken by Capitol leaders as an act of rebellion and she played it willingly and deliberately despite the risk. Katniss learns, though, in the hovercraft that she has been the unwitting accomplice — and the featured performer! — in the real world rebellion taking place outside any fixed arena. And she is furious.

Collins’ point for her readers? I think it is a call, first, following Katniss’ example, to reject the soul-slaughtering message of the regime’s entertainment as we have it on commercial driven television. More to the point of this post, though, is her main character’s struggle to know the roles she is playing and to choose deliberately when and as much as she can to step out of roles that are demeaning to her or to those around her. This struggle requires recognition not only of the obvious political metanarratives (“Capitol, good; Districts, bad”) but the scripts we follow in all our relationships, roles we have from family, community, and culture.

In real life, we don’t get to meet the author(s) of the plays in which we act and which we stage in our lives. They’re either dead white men (the Founding Fathers, Marx, Freud, Dewey, Roosevelt, Friedman) or talking head media corporations (CNN, FOX, MSNBC, NPR). Katniss, though,will meet in Mockingjay the real Mockingjay who has written the story she is in, which meeting will highlight for us how little we know about the stories we are acting out and who is pulling our strings.

Conclusion: The Pearl Theory

My ‘Pearl’ Mockingjay theory is that the secret story writer of the Hunter Games books is one of the Donner twin sisters. We know that Maysilee Donner was called but, because they were twins, we cannot know whether she or her sister went to the Capitol. Madge tells us that the golden mockingjay pin belonged to Maysilee, her aunt (or mother), but Maysilee either didn’t take it with her to the Quell or her sister took her place.

Either survivor, of course, would hate the Games. She would know, too, how a sister would respond if a weaker sister were chosen at the Reaping. That surviving twin, if in the proper position, could plan how to defeat the Games using Haymitch’s strategy of attacking the story boundaries and humiliating the Games Makers.

I suggest for your consideration through Madge and other contacts, especially Haymitch, Mrs. Donner-Undersee knew about Katniss’ archery abilities and Peeta’s affection for her. The idea of a love-story inside the arena was natural to her because of her sister’s relationship with Haymitch, if not her own. Again, the idea of Katniss heroically taking Prim’s place was if anything more obvious than a love story to the twin sister left behind at the Reaping to wish she had been chosen or volunteered.

Rue and Thresh were selected because of their strengths but also also because of their places in the District 11 community (i.e., that their deaths would incite rebellion). Rue was told about the Mockingjay token.

Cinna was recruited during trips to the Capitol; his choice of District 12 was anything but arbitrary and his ‘Girl on Fire’ designs at both Games and Quell were deliberately incendiary. Plutarch Heavensbee the Games Maker after being recruited to the mission was able to help manipulate the District 12 Tribute training scores and eventually even the rules of the Games so that Peeta and Katniss’ story could play out as it did. Haymitch had recruited the Victors he wanted to the cause over a period of 25 years during his mentoring times in the Capitol.

Through her husband’s office and communications, Donner-Undersee was tapped into everything happening in Panem that the Capitol shared with District leaders. She arranged Katniss’ and Peeta’s selection and she wrote the script for Haymitch to produce. He did the job so well a la Foster Brookes that no one suspected he had a part in it until the end of the Quell and even then Donner-Undersee’s role was obscured.

In Mockingjay, though, I expect two things: Katniss to insist on writing her own script and the revelation of the real mockingjay, Madge’s mother.

Ms. Collins, I suggest for your comment and correction, is saying that as watchers of television we are all twins, after a fashion. Part of us is sucked into the commercial metanarrative and the postmodern relativist messages of this medium and all the entertainment and news programming it delivers. This part of us — a large part of us — dies to what is real, good, and beautiful about life as a human being.

Our surviving twin, though, can defeat the Beast and protect our children from it by creating a counter narrative, the story of Diana-Katniss, the woman-warrior and nature-goddess, who is not a child of the City but of the Seam, where heaven and earth meet and are joined. This child, nourished by the androgynous and asexual men of her life — ‘Gale,’ the Wind, nature, and Spirit with ‘Peeta,’ the bread of communion, art, culture — is the anti-victim, a young woman who provides for her family and responsible for her thinking and understanding — whom the regime cannot control or destroy. She speaks loudly and vividly of love’s transcendent victory over power and self via her very existence and the trappings the hidden rebellion’s alchemical dramatist gives her in dress through Cinna and in story-production through the Games Maker and her mentor.

Like her character Maysilee Donner-Undersee, Suzanne Collins is writing this counter-narrative to the regime’s televised culture of death in Hunger Games. And she is calling us to write a similar counter-narrative in our lives by nourishing our inner Katniss in resistance to the anti-culture’s story tellers in whose Cave we live, chained mentally to the shadows they cast on the walls.

Comments

  1. Excellent post! I finished Catching Fire last night.

    I’ll say this about your predictions: I’ve found the books very predictable so far. I’ve yet to really be surprised by a plot move. The scene on the roof before the 74th games began was enough of a hat tip that Katniss/Peeta would be staging a rebellion at the end in which they refused to kill one another. Plutarch Heavensbee’s name meaning and flashing of the Mockingjay watch said to me that he was an insider, working for the rebellion, and wasn’t going to let the 75th Games go down as the Capitol intended. That these key moments were predictable enough tell me we’ll get tipped off early in Mockingjay about its finish, and that we’ve probably been tipped off already. I think your Donner/Undersee theory is right on the mark.

    And I don’t think it’s a stretch to imagine some kind of Haymitch/Donner relationship. I was certain, as we were watching Haymitch’s Games with Peeta and Katniss, that we’d see Haymitch/Donner as a forerunner couple.

    By the way: You can place me firmly and unshakably in the Team Gale camp.

  2. The Scholastic cover of Mockingjay suggests it would be imprudent to take a Team Gale or Team Peeta stance, however predictable you found the books, Travis! Note that the token is balanced between two other circles on the covers of the first two novels in the series, which I assume is a nod to the tension within Katniss of her love for both men-with-women’s-names. The last book has the bird flying free of both the token ring (its life as a symbol?) and its attendant constraints.

    I’ll definitely want to go through the books again before going out on a limb as you have for Team Gale. Just a quick note about why that choice could be wrong: when Madge appears with the medicine for Gale in Catching Fire (pages 115-116), Peeta and then Haymitch suggest that Madge has done this because of her feelings for Gale. Katniss resents this and lashes out that she has done it because Madge is her friend.

    Katniss wants this explanation to be true and the men to be wrong because she certainly doesn’t want to believe there can be any other woman in Gale’s life than herself. Haymitch is eager to follow up on Peeta’s suggestion because it obscures Mrs. Undersee’s part in the medicine provision (from this slant, it was Madge’s idea and her mother only allowed her to take the medicine; no discussion of her having this medicine, where she got it, or the danger of the Mayor’s family comforting for a whipped criminal).

    But Peeta is the closest thing to an honest man or truth-teller in that room (if he lies professionally!) and his observation shouldn’t be discounted. The Gale-Madge match, Seam Country-Man and City-Woman, is the polarity resolution pairing we know in Katniss’ father and mother — recall Peeta’s dad’s comment to him about the miner who could sing the birds out of the trees — and, I think, Haymitch-Maysilee. Gale-Madge is almost a foreshadowed match which would make Team Gale a wrong turn.

    Which observation does not, repeat, does not make me a Team Peeta advocate or partisan. I’m not taking sides yet. You know me well enough, though, to know that I’ll have more to say on this subject before 24 August.

  3. I got only part way through your comment before I realized I needed to make a clarification. My being in “Team Gale” has nothing whatsoever to do with a prediction, but with preference.

  4. Forgive me for showing my having grown up in Harry Potter fandom! Can you imagine being a Ron/Hermione ‘shipper and being able to make the distinction between having a preference for and making a prediction of this romantic outcome, say, in 2004?

    Anyway, I got it. I’m sorry to have pigeon-holed you so quickly. Is anyone out there a real Team Gale or Team Peeta partisan? What do you make of the Pearl theory?

  5. Ha! No, I can’t imagine that. Honestly, my preference for Gale boils down to (a) liking his character, and (b) not liking Peeta one bit. There’s just something off about that character. I can’t yet put my finger on it other than to say he’s just too good. I’d start to assume there’s a big misdirection set-up there, but he’s been too consistently good – even from childhood, with the loaf of bread – for there to be much of a trick played.

    Anyway, on to more serious analysis. Yes, I think the Pearl theory has a lot of merit. Ever since we hit the moment where Peeta and Katniss watch Haymitch’s Games, I’ve been expecting a big reveal from the backstory of Haymitch and Donner, and I think your theory is well-constructed and fits the bill.

    Logistically, we have to factor in the fact that “there is no more District 12,” so Donner-Undersee, if she has been using the mayor’s office and contacts, no longer has that ability. Look for the real HQ to be underground District 13 (where the rebellion is able to see from underground because of their District 12 Undersee mockingjay?). I’m not expecting any actual nuclear threat, because I assume that would be quelled rather quickly. Whatever’s going on in D13, I don’t think the Capitol knows what it thinks it knows.

  6. Peeta, whose name is a play on ‘Pita’ and ‘Peter,’ not to mention again it being androgynous, is a Christ figure — the Artist Who is the long-suffering Bread of Life Himself. If that seems too much, then I think it helps to think of him as Culture, not snooty museum stuff but the vessel of meaning through which communities communicate sacramental depths pf goodness, truth, and beauty. He is the story-teller that moves people’s hearts, whose words, Katniss observes, “can make people believe anything” (Fire, 346). Peeta is the Cosmic Word or Logos. He is male-female because he is the resolution of contraries or love-on-legs as Christ is neither male nor female, Jew nor Greek.

    The good news, Travis, is that Haymitch, Gale, and every other honest character in the books shares your feelings of discomfort of his being super-human in his love and patience. As you’d expect in a character playing the part of Church, the Body of Christ and the greater part of true culture in the West.

    Why does Peeta love Katniss? Because of her purity and because she is the Girl on Fore, the Phoenix figure of the books, promising the resurrection of the Districts and the greater life. As Mockingjay, she, too, is a living resolution of contraries who struggles to love one person carnally, though she loves the archetypes of Nature (Gale) and Culture (Peeta) profoundly, simultaneously, and equally. I think Peeta as Logos recognizes his reflection most powerfully in her.

    Collins is writing a Morality Play and Archetypal Drama inside the more obvious political allegory and dystopia commentary. Great stuff. Check out that HG3 cover again!

  7. Peeta, whose name is a play on ‘Pita’ and ‘Peter,’ not to mention again it being androgynous, is a Christ figure — the Artist Who is the long-suffering Bread of Life Himself.

    And this is what makes me uncomfortable. I think your interpretation is quite right, but I’m glad to be in the company of Katniss, Gale, and Haymitch. A fault-free Christ figure works when it’s an Aslan – a true “other.” Something just doesn’t ring true about another human character, a peer of the others, in the story being the “Bread of Life” unless I’ve also been told he was pre-existent and born of a virgin. Perhaps I’m drawing my archetypal lines too harshly.

  8. I think so. He’s not a Jesus of Nazareth figure as much as he is a Christ-logos and Mother Culture-Church story-cipher, no? I find his being a baker and painter is a beautiful way of representing this reality so it acts in the drama, supporting, protecting, even dying for the pure soul, Katniss.

    On this note, I’d have to caution Team Peeta partisans, characters like this in literature do not get good rates from life insurance adjusters because they don’t tend to die in their sleep from natural causes. Think “Billy Budd.”

  9. He’s not a Jesus of Nazareth figure as much as he is a Christ-logos and Mother Culture-Church story-cipher, no?

    Precisely. This is why I want the kid to have a few flaws. 🙂

  10. It’s tough to give this character flaws, because he is meant to embody conscience. Even when he is disappointed or hurt, consequently, the predominate voice in his head is the sound of our “shared knowledge” of truth or con-science. How far wrong can he go, then, except for righteous anger (as in District 11’s Justice Building attic) and the “righteousness” Katniss complains of to Haymitch when Peeta begins their Quell training program? Not very far.

    Given Peeta’s name (Pita/Peter) and the Bread connection with the Church and Christ, I’m curious to know if Ms. Collins is Catholic. Anybody know?

  11. We’re getting pings and readers from Hunger Games fan sites like JabberJays.com, Team-Peeta.co.cc, and Hunger-Games.net — Welcome to HogwartsProfessor.com, aka ‘HogPro’! Please let us know what you think of the Pearl theory!

  12. wow awesome post! I could never have been so observant. Please Write more of your theories!

  13. Thank you, Astlyn! I’m working on a piece about the story structure: 3 books, 3 parts each, each part with nine (3 squared) chapters for books that have 27 (3 cubed) chapters. Ms. Collins is writing 3-act dramas as she did in television (see her Scholastic.com interview) but she has laced in a story formula, Dante touches, and quite a bit of alchemical coloring to make her story a ‘wow.’

    I’m wondering, though, if Hunger Games readers are up to this kind of interpretation… The author has an MFA from NYU so it’s no stretch to assume she knows her Shakespeare and The Divine Comedy (and what makes the one’s plays and the other hero journey work). What do you think?

  14. That would be very interesting, I can’t wait to read it!

  15. I never would have thought that there was anything more to the books than dystopian fiction. Your post is so interesting and headache inducing;(In a good way=]) but has some really stirring ideas.
    There is a whole lot of stuff that you said that I don’t think I understood. But one thing I’m curious about: what do you mean when you say “…with intentional alchemical artistry” or “…alchemical dramatist…”?
    Sorry, I’m not very educated…
    I’m guessing it’s something to do with alchemy..? =]
    Anyways, I really enjoyed reading your thoughts. I’m definitely going to have to re-read the first two books!

  16. Just posted up your Pearl theory on my fansite, http://www.Mockingjay.net!

    AMAZING theories, you’ve got talent. 🙂

    Posted here:
    http://mockingjay.net/?p=598

  17. Hello, John!

    I love your reasoning and the points that you have made here. However, I have one question, about this point:

    “We learn from Madge that even the Mayor’s wife, her mother, cannot travel to the Capitol for medical treatment and medicines without special permission. Obviously, though, Mrs. Undersee does get this kind of allowance.”

    This does not necessarily hold true. I had always assumed that the trip to the Capitol would cure Ms. Undersee’s illness completely, whereas the pain medication simply keeps it at bay. So, couldn’t the pain medication simply have been shipped from the Capitol to District 12? If the Capitol can create mutant wolves out of the body of dead tributes, they would have to be able to cure depression.

    However, this can be favorable towards your opinion. Perhaps the Capitol does not allow Ms. Undersee into its city because they suspect her, or at least are wary of her connection to Maysilee Donner.

    Thank you for a wonderful article,

    Sanna Sharp,
    hungergamestrilogy.com

  18. John,
    I just finished Catching Fire this evening, having read the entire book today. I am thrilled to have found your blog, and detailed theories on the two books. I too read with analitiacal theories running through my subconsious as I ingest the plots, subplots and host of primary and secondary characters. I am amazed how close our two minds work, and I too see evidence that Mrs. Undersee, Madge and Haymitch are to be more important characters in the up-and-coming Mockingjay; which isn’t coming out soon enough.

    Thanks for your detailed insight and thoughful analysis. I must say, for a book written for young adults, I found it richly entertaining….maybe I just have a young mind, but I’m in my 40’s, and I loved this read.

    Keep blogging. You do a great job.

    Sincerely,

    Marianne Hyde
    sevierUT girl

  19. I think that……you guys are reading too much into the whole Donnor/Undersee thing. Your theory could be possible, but I highly doubt that it’s true. Why not just settle for a simple theory and twist it around a bit?

  20. Hello! I just found your blog and loved reading your ideas. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Undersees had a much bigger role to play, but I don’t know if I’m convinced yet that it’s quite that big.
    And I hate to admit it, but the mid-20’s med doesn’t see Peeta having a long life span. I think it will end with a Gale/Madge pairing and Peeta sacrificing himself for Katniss. But me 10 years ago would have wanted nothing more than the “happily ever after” ending with everyone nicely alive and paired up. If Collins goes that route, I don’t see how Katniss could pick anyone but Peeta.

    I wonder, what do you make of some of the secondary characters? Johanna almost seems like an anti-Katniss to me (a “good guy” who isn’t really that good)

  21. Arabella Figg says:

    Perhaps Johanna is a bit like Snape–unpleasant, even hateful, but a sacrificial white hat nonetheless.

    I plan to comment later. Great post, John!

  22. AMAZING! I knew to expect something good when I found this link. 😀 (I adored your book that outlined the alchemical and Christian elements in Harry Potter.)

    I suspected the Haymitch-Donner connection while reading CF — that’s not too much of a stretch for me. I wouldn’t even be surprised if Madge turns out to be Haymitch’s daughter. Your theories ring with the tone of truth in my ears. 🙂 (Everything else on the Donner front fits too with the hints we were given in THG and CF.)

    The pearl theory . . . I believe the pearl was there for a reason, personally, a subtle drop of a hint to be on the look-out for red herrings and the truth behind the scenes. Writers like Suzanne Collins have reasons for every little thing they place in their plots, and the pearl was one of those hints to us readers.

    I also agree with those who have commented on the Peeta/Gale/Katniss front. The Gale/Madge pairing was hinted at for a reason; I wouldn’t be surprised if they somehow paired together while Katniss and Peeta were in the Quarter Quell. Due to Peeta’s stance as the Christ-figure/sacrificial love-archetype in these books, I also wouldn’t be surprised if he does sacrifice his life for Katniss. (Also, in CF, we were given a “coming back to life/from the dead” scene after Peeta’s heart stopped in the Arena. That also cements his role as a Christ-figure if anyone was doubting that.)

    I could see the same with Johanna — akin to Snape in HP as Arabella pointed out.

    I look forward to reading the rest of your theories as the days until MJ slowly tick down. 🙂

  23. Thank you for your very interesting thoughts on this excellent series! Unfortunately, I am not persuaded by your theory about Madge’s mother.

    First, having read Collins’ other series, I am skeptical that she believes in “the necessity of a narrative misdirection ‘wow’ in the series finale.” While she certainly pulled some surprises in her Gregor books, she’s not writing mysteries, where the goal is to misdirect the reader (how annoying I find it when the reader is truly surprised because insufficient foundation has been laid is a topic for a different discussion!), and the overal theme in the Gregor series felt Hero’s Quest-like to me, with the teens growing up and learning to make the right choices. I get that same flavor with these books.

    Second, Madge’s mother is just not a major presence in the books – to the point where we don’t even know her first name. That makes her as Ultimate Puppetmaster hard for me to accept; I think the reader would feel cheated if someone apparently that insignificant turns out to be pivotal. In contrast, we saw all along that Haymitch seemed to be more than met the eye; even the example you give of Haymitch knowing the labrinyth of District 11 clues the reader in to his hidden depth. (And c/would he really know the layout of a building because he’d been told by someone else?)

    Third, I did not read the books to suggest “that she does get to the Capitol because of her illness means she gets around,” let alone “it’s safe to assume that she goes to other Districts as Mayor Undersee’s escort.” Rather, I read that “cannot travel to the Capitol for medical treatment and medicines without special permission” to mean that, even as the Mayor’s wife, she was denied the ability to go to the Capitol to be cured, and accordingly was forced to “spend[] half her life in bed immobilized with terrible pain, shutting out the world.” She could certainly obtain medicines without freedom of movement.

    Fourth, I think your assessment that “it’s safe to assume that she goes to other Districts as Mayor Undersee’s escort. I would bet she knows the major political players in every district as the First Lady of District 12 and has relative freedom in the Capitol to meet important people there” is very implausible. The last thing the Capitol would want to do is allow the leaders of the different Districts to meet with each other and thereby have “the ability to craft a rebellion.”

    But I certainly enjoyed reading your theory, and look forward to reading any further ideas on these books that you’ll share.

  24. Geth Trefoto says:

    I admire your ability to analyse a book in so much detail but i was wondering whether maybe you make too much out of nothing? Or, perhaps, overlook the obvious in favour of the hidden?

    You say Prim and Peeta were meant to be called.
    If Katniss were the ultimate object, why not cut the middle part out and place her name in the bowl? I understand that volunteering for her sister gave her some extra attention, but not enough to justify this, i think.
    Let’s assume you’re right and Mrs. Undersee is the eyes of D12. There’s still only a possibility that she’s noticed the depth of feeling Peeta holds for Katniss – it’s possible he hid it well anyway. Besides, there are enough people wandering District 12 that i doubt she had enough time to analyse it all.
    And anyway, surely the Reaping bowls would be checked? By other Capitolians? Would Effie get away with rigging it? I doubt it.
    The Peeta/Prim dream pairing – because it is a book perhaps? Surely having Katniss volunteer for her sister and then discover a secret love is far more gripping than Katniss being called alongside a random guy who gets killed 1 minute into the Games.

    You argue that Rue and Thresh were picked on purpose. Rue is 12, with a loving family. I just don’t see her family consenting to it. Rue would be too young to want to agree as such. Would you let your 12 year old daughter give up her life on the slim chance that she might be able to help a Rebellion, assuming everything else works as planned?
    Why would their deaths spark rebellion? They are but 2 members of District 11. Their deaths would be tragic, end of. The district is so large that they probably weren’t known before-hand.

    As someone has said, Mrs Undersee probably couldn’t get to the Capitol. If she was there, i doubt the Capitol would let her talk to Gamemakers and other influential figures – she’d be getting her medicine.

    I’m not saying your overall idea is wrong – for all i know, she IS the mockingjay. And you have some interesting ideas with excellent research. But, perhaps you should step back from the minute detail occasionally to consider the ‘goes-without-saying’ aspects?

    Geth Trefoto

  25. I wrote a reply at the end of the responses I made to this thread’s comment boxes at Q&A, Part 2.

    If you’re just arriving at Hogwarts Professor, the conversation has moved on to other threads. Please be sure to read Parts 1 and Part 2 of my responses before commenting, if you’re so moved, at the end of Part 2 or Part 3. I won’t be reaching back here to catch up with latecomers, sad to say!

  26. Well, Mr. Granger, you certainly know how to sell a theory. What an amazing post! And pretty good following discussion w/ Travis in the comments. That was a bonus.

    Though I never thought of Haymitch as the master planner of the rebellion (at least not the rebellion outside of the games), I neglected to ponder about who may be that person. His/her existence is pretty much mandatory at this stage. (In my defense, I tend to coward away from in-depth theorizing as I’m read. I’ve even been guilty of reading theories, while internally hoping they don’t turn out to be to be true in the end. Oops! 😕 )

    That said, I find the theory of Mrs. Undersee being the “true mockingjay” completely plausible, with only minor kinks. You definitely have giving me a lot to think about. I fear now I’m left with an itch for a re-read.

    @Kathy, I don’t see Peeta having a long span of life, either, but I’m not sure if that’s because I have similar issues to the ones Travis has with his character. I try to to keep away from the whole Team debate, but sometimes I catch myself rooting for Gale, who I find to be the more believable character of the two. I feel as I’m supposed to like Peeta, which only ends up with me rebelling to that, or at least leaves me with a tinge of hesitance and suspicion towards his character.
    I’m aware that so far this feelings seem to be deeply unfounded. 😆

    “Ms. Collins, I suggest for your comment and correction, is saying that as watchers of television we are all twins, after a fashion. Part of us is sucked into the commercial metanarrative and the postmodern relativist messages of this medium and all the entertainment and news programming it delivers. This part of us — a large part of us — dies to what is real, good, and beautiful about life as a human being.”

    I agree, and I think Ms. Collins will agree with you, too.

    She has said in previous interviews that she sees the “reality TV” aspect of the books as a character itself, and how we, as readers, are made spectators of the Games, as much as the people of Panem.

    I quote, Then there’s the voyeuristic thrill—watching people being humiliated, or brought to tears, or suffering physically—which I find very disturbing. There’s also the potential for desensitizing the audience, so that when they see real tragedy playing out on, say, the news, it doesn’t have the impact it should. (Scholastic Press, 2009)

    There’s a present commentary on reality TV, television & entertainment in general, and the commercial metanarrative that you speak about.

    John, I hope that you continue to explore the themes and possibilities inside of the series. Please, don’t stop with this post.

  27. I really wish you had posted this wonderful composition where I asked you to in the note right before you posted! So few people will see it here because the conversation has moved on. You get an A for content and a D for following instructions.

    A question for you, though, to answer here or elsewhere: do you think it credible that Gale has been part of the rebellion for years and that he has been training Katniss for the Hunger Games? His androgynous name and Platonic relationship with Katniss all these years — and his taking that one kiss in front of the cameras, deliberately? — make me wonder, however much he loved her, if his higher allegiance isn’t to the Mockingjay revolt. Hence his torment at the house by the lake.

    Just thinkin.’

    And, no, this won’t be my last comment on Hunger Games. Please check out all the links in the comment box just before this one (the one directing you to post where people wil read what you write!).

    Grateful John

  28. Ah, sorry, John. That was a big Oops. See, my first language isn’t English, so it takes A LOT of time to construct a post like that thing up there, 😆 I guess you posted while I was writing, and I didn’t see it until after I did. I take my D, though. 😆 My apologies.

  29. Who else remembers when Katniss talks to Peeta about him giving her the bread?
    He then says, “Haymitch said you would take a lot of convincing,” and I’ve been wondering… does this mean he’s in on the plan too? That he and Katniss were both chosen on purpose?

  30. @Jeremy:
    No…I don’t think so….he just meant that it would take a lot of convincing for Katniss to believe that he was actually in love with her and not just putting on a show for the audience. Remember, he and Haymitch planned for him to declare his love for her at the interviews, and Peeta told her that, so she thought they just did it for the attention (which they did), but Peeta actually did like her. She just took forever to figure it out.

  31. wow.. either this was absoloutly brilliant or completely overthought.. predictions arent really going to do us any good. i mean the wait isnt getting any shorter and we really dont know what will happen but i am sooo excited!

  32. Wow. Of course I knew there was a conspiracy, but the symbols and clues you’ve figured out and described just kinda blows my mind. Your theories were so fun to read and probably dead on. However, I was waiting to read something about Haymitch’s excessive drinking. Then when you speculated that Donner-Undersee was really the sister and the possible long lost love, and daughter, I thought that you could be correct and the drinking is his way of dealing with the loss of both of them when she had to marry the mayor to keep her daughter safe.
    I look forward to reading more from you, especially when Mockingjay comes out!!

    Oh, one other thing…..all of this seems rather deep for a YA series, don’t ‘cha think?

  33. Brandy and Kallie —

    You’re a couple of Hunger Games posts behind: Check out the Deeper Meanings and Pearl Plot Version 2.0. Be sure to let me know what you think on those threads!

    John

  34. StrictlyTopSecret says:

    Repeated reference to “sunsets” with respect to Peeta suggest that the “Team Gale” predictive camp may be right on the mark.

    “Snow coats” are the one of the few (or only) remedies available to D12 citizens. It seems possible that President SNOW’s surname may not be coincidental. The smell of blood on his breath could suggest a respiratory (or other similar medical) problem – possibly induced from too much childhood exposure to (D12?) coal dust.

    Your thoughts?

    ~STS~

  35. President Snow has been president a LONG time…anyone else disturbed by this bit of information??? The Capitol citizens being what they are (self-absorbed, youth/perfection oriented, etc) would the idea of the man bearing the title NOT actually being the real President Snow have crossed anyone else’s mind????

    I was creeped out by the bloody-breath the first time I read it; guaranteed the feeling didn’t change the second time through!

  36. It’s Elizabeth, actually, sitting in for John:
    In On Agate Hill, Lee Smith presents a dreadful schoolmaster, Dr. Snow. I wonder how many other “snow” men literature contains. After the horrific winter we’ve had in Appalachia, I’m reminded of the duality of snow; what some see as beautiful or a great recreational opportunity, we have come to see as dangerous and a serious obstacle to our everyday lives. The use of the snow as medicine versus the dangers it presents (i.e. revealing Katniss’s tracks if she is not careful) also reflect this contrast. President Snow is doubtless popular with the general Capitol population, which sees him as charming and kindly, but Katniss know him for what he is; blood and roses never bode well in literary circles. The Elizabethans, though described ultimate beauty with the phrase “snow and (or in)roses”–super white skin and pink cheeks and lips. That was actually my first thought upon the mention of the artificial rose smell, which, just like the artifice of Elizabethan beauty, is not natural.

  37. For some reason, these books haunt me. I hope you will forgive me the indulgence of discussing an admittedly unlikely potential parallel.

    I wonder if it’s possible that Portia’s name could be a reference to the Portia of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice.

    Portia’s absence at meetings/gatherings seems to coincide with the absence(s) of Cinna and Haymitch (and sometimes Effie, if I recall correctly) during the preparation period in the CF novel. Their joint absence lead me to believe that perhaps that time was spent planning and/or arranging aspects of the Game to the advantage of the Rebellion.

    This further lead me to suspect that Potia may be more of a key player than her limited audience in exposure in the book belies.

    If Portia were indeed a reference to Shakespeare’s Portia (SP), we might expect some additional parallels, as well. For example, the gold, silver, and lead coffins (choose the RIGHT one and win “her”/Katniss’?? hand) could refer to the gold (mockingjay pin / choosing risk), silver (silver parachute / saving objects / what it’s worth) and lead (yet to be defined – possibly in the third book?) we see in CF.

    In addition, SP is wealthy (Capital folks are), brilliant (perhaps enough so to assist in masterminding a rebellion under the nose of the Capitol), and beautiful.

    SP manages to surreptitiously aid the friend of her winning suitor in a legal battle which had threatened to cost him a “pound of flesh”. Could this be foreshadowing some legal challenge to the Games? One of the Quell tributes actually mentioned this during what I believe was the opening ceremonies.

    If the “friend” was Cinna (assuming he will be punished severely for his actions), maybe this theory is worth exploring.

    Your thoughts?
    ~STS~

  38. StrictlyTopSecret says:

    Addendum:

    “Lead” (the right choice for SP’s suitor) could refer to the graphite (the “lead” in pencils – interestingly – the tool one often uses to write – to write one’s OWN narrative, perhaps) mines of District 13 (seemingly a potential place of refuge for the Rebellion).

  39. StrictlyTopSecret says:

    The use of the name “Peeta Mellark” for a literary Christ figure is near perfection.

    The last name, in my opinion, seals the deal. Not only is the lark a symbol of hope and creativity, it is also (in myth) supposedly the first creature on earth, and is known as the “Spirit of Wheat” (see: http://users.netnitco.net/~legend01/lark.htm for a bit of interesting reading).

    Peeta as a Christ figure/ “Bread of Life” is hard to deny.

  40. Team Peeta all the way!

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