Guest Post: Was Peeta Right about the Revolution? Mockingjay Discussion Point 28

Tim Schock wrote on the Peeta thread a comment I thought worthy of greater attention and further exploration than it would receive there. He suggests that Peeta was right about Coin and District 13 in his interview statements to Caesar Flickerman and that Katniss only comes to appreciate his seemingly traitorous insights after Prim’s death and the Mockingjay’s conversation with President Snow in the Rose Room. Mr. Schock equates the fictional Snow and Coin with the real-life Presidents Bush and Obama, which equation will no doubt offend partisans of left and right; please keep your comments focused on the question Was Peeta Right? or they will be deleted. Here is the original Schock comment:

District 13 is very much a Huxley-esque world. It is itself a dictatorship that has simply been waiting for the right time to seize control of the Capitol and Panem as a whole. Coin and Snow are basically one in the same. Two sides of the same coin if you will. Much like the current and previous US Presidents. They talk differently and have differing social expectations but are still interested in the same things; theft and killing brown people.

Katniss (with Peeta’s help) began to understand that this revolution wasn’t a revolution at all. It was an invasion. It could be compared to the Nazi’s invading the Soviet Union during WW2. One evil power attempting to occupy another and subsequently rule all of it’s territory.

Peeta warned Katniss of this during his broadcasts from the Capitol. It wasn’t clear what the intent was at first, but eventually it became clear. His information wasn’t complete, and perhaps was totally false–but his warning was real. He made her think. He made her question the reality before her and seek answers to find the truth. In the end she realized what was really going on.

Your comments and corrections, please!


  1. I agree that the totalitarian regimes are two sides of the same coin, although I thought the parallel was that the Capitol was a fascist regime — including the typical very rich and very poor — whereas 13 is a communist one, right down to the uniform clothing.

    Opposite ends of the political spectrum, but from the viewpoint of democracy, very similar.

    One of the scenes that I was looking forward to, but we didn’t get, was when Peeta saw Katniss’ statement in the square to the soldier. She understands and agrees with him, and it would have been gratifying for him to see her agreement.

  2. I think the focus of Peeta’s argument was more along the lines of “do the ends justify the means?”, and not “who is the real good guy?”

    I doubt the Capitol fed him any real information on the character traits or true motives of President Coin. They turned him against Katniss, but there is no evidence that he had any kind of pent-up angst against anyone from the Districts (i.e. he didn’t try to strangle anybody other than Katniss after he was rescued). Furthermore, he clearly remembers the brutal tortures that took place around him while he was being held prisoner, and so it’s unlikely he formed any new sympathies towards the Capitol while he was there.

    So if he wasn’t given any true insight in to the inner-working of District 13, and was only given additional reasons to hate the Capitol, I can’t think of any reason why he would be warning Katniss about Presidnet Coin. More likely, the humanity loving Peeta was simply scared of the costs that would be associated with a full blown revolution, even if he agreed with the theoretical end result.

  3. I too do not think Peeta knew anything about the communist-like totalitarian workings of District 13. I think his rantings were just the propaganda and torture that he was enduring at the time. However, I also think the author uses those rantings to further lay the groundwork for the corruptions that Katniss eventually comes to see as a quest for power and control. Katniss moves from confussion over her roll in District 13, to becoming increasing aware of the lack of freedom, lack of joy, and grinding boredom in their safe but enslaved existance in the underground tunnels. Snow and Coin are two sides of the same dictatorship. A major point of the books, I think, is that leadership tends toward corruption, and citizens are too willing to give into feeling of revenge, insecurity. This willingness leads to become slaves of the next warlord.

  4. I agree that District 13 could have easily come from Huxley. The whole society, including the sterility, is very reminscent of Brave New World. I think that the plot of the series also has many shades of Animal Farm.

  5. I think that even though Peeta was being tortured he was still trying to protect Katniss. Gale even says this in the beginning of MJ. He has a very good understanding of Katniss and knows that she will never go in the lime light voluntarily, so he main concern is why she is doing it and what they are telling her to do the propos. Of course he is against the loss of life as he is our moral compass, but I think he instinctively knew something was happeneing without having to be told. The rebels had more planned than what they were letting Katniss in on. So in regards to whether he was right, I think he knew that there was a lot more going on then just getting rid of Snow.

  6. I would be hesitant to agree that there’s necessarily a Bush/Obama:Snow/Coin parallel, if only because the former are both cut from the same capitalist cloth, and though they both have their flaws, most rational people do not believe that either of the two are inherently evil.

    That said, has anyone yet pointed out that Snow and Coin were given names that better describe the other? Snow, as a symbol, signifies purity, but also sterility and coldness. Coin is, of course, money, and more specifically, the shiny kind of money. Both “snow” and “coin” point to death in classic symbolism, though. Snow more obviously signifies the end of the life cycle. The coin has appeared in death stories in many cultures, though, particularly as Charon’s obon in Greek mythology and in the 30 pieces of silver that Judas Iscariot was paid to betray Jesus.

    So, though they’re given each other’s name, so to speak, those names share a common underlying meaning. Two halves of the same coin, perhaps.

  7. It is amazing to me THE STATE didn’t censor this film. George Washington; Thomas Edison; Jefferson; Franklin etc would be labeled terrorists in our new order. Fear rules. The benevolent government listens not to the people, but to the money. Taxation without representation? You tell me. Do we make any laws anymore? You tell me.

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