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, Boy With the,, and Team Peeta and has threads devoted to the Pearl Theory I brought up on forums at Hunger Games and 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…]

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?) [Read more…]