Unlocking ‘The Hunger Games’: The Surface, Moral, Allegorical, and Sublime Meanings

[Please note that this post was written in 2010 before Mockingjay was published. For an updated discussion of the series in light of the finale, including the alchemical, allegorical, and anagogical meanings, please head over here. Enjoy!]

If you haven’t read the first two books of The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins and you don’t want to read the plot points of those stories before you’ve read the books (“spoiling” them), have a nice day. If you have read The Hunger Games and Catching Fire or you’re interested in a discussion of how to use traditional tools of literary analysis to understand contemporary fiction, then you are in the right place. Find yourself a beverage to your liking and pull up a chair.

Last Sunday, in a post called ‘Who is the Mockingjay?‘, I put forward a theory that the wife of the District 12 mayor, Mrs. Donner-Undersee was the mastermind-puppeteer behind the Mockingjay story being written within the Capitol’s Hunger Games. Many readers have embraced the idea, at least as many have objected to the theory, and I have spent most of the past week answering questions about and objections to it (see here and here and here and here). [Thank you to Arabella, JSavant, Ellie, Ally, all my friends at HungerGamesTrilogy.com and everyone else who checked in with ideas, comments, and corrections.] My task tonight is to explain the premises of my speculation before rolling out the 2.0 version of what I believe Arabella first called the “Pearl Plot.”

Got that beverage? Then let’s get started. [Read more…]

Welcome to the All-New HogwartsProfessor.com!

I suppose it looks the same but, really, this site is changing a lot.

I’ve neglected this weBlog for weeks because I’ve been on the other Professor blog I write, ForksHighSchoolProfessor, promoting Spotlight on Twilight, and reading non-Potter titles, most notably, Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games. That didn’t leave much time for more Potter reading, thinking, and writing than the preps I have to do for The Leaky Cauldron’s PotterCast Potter Pundit segments.

But late last week I realized I should focus all my public writing time in one spot — and of course that spot is here.

What that means for you if you’re a HogwartsProfessor regular (‘HogPro All-Pro,’ get the coffee-cup, t-shirt, and hoodie) or newbie is many more posts on a lot more subjects. [Read more…]

Q&A on “Who is the MockingJay?” Part 3 Corrections and Comments from Hunger GamesTrilogy.com and MockingJay.net

Back into the mailbag! The feedback to “Who is Mockingjay?” we’ll be looking at today, though, wasn’t sent to HogwartsProfessor (except for the opener that came in after I posted Part 2). It’s almost all from the two threads on this theory posted at HungerGamesTrilogy.com and MockingJay.net, two of the busier Hunger Games fandom sites with large forums. You have your SPOILER WArning and my advice to read the Hunger Games, Catching Fire, the Pearl Theory thread, and my responses, Part 1 and Part 2, before entering here. Good? Great.

First, though, this note from the HogPro comment boxes after the Pearl Theory post: [Read more…]

Q&A on “Who is the Mockingjay?” Part 2 HogwartsProfessor Reader Questions

Right into the mailbag, then; HogPro comments and questions first! SPOILER ALERT — stay away if you haven’t read Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games.

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 [Read more…]

Give-and-Take on ‘Who is the Mockingjay?’ Part 1


I posted my preliminary thoughts on Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games in a post here on Sunday called “Who is the Mockingjay?” It’s received quite the response in Hunger Games fandom with dedicated posts on Hunger Games.net, Boy With the Bread.com, JabberJays.com, and Team Peeta and has threads devoted to the Pearl Theory I brought up on forums at Hunger Games Trilogy.com and MockingJay.net. It has been a mixed response and at many sites (to include this one), so I’ll try to respond to the criticism, suggestions, and questions in one spot to focus discussion.

Before I jump into the mailbag and respond to the feedback, though, I feel obliged to sort the retorts into three piles: [Read more…]