My mother, a literature teacher, often says that literature is a reflection of reality.
So I think I get your drift, Suzanne Collins. You have made Katniss Everdeen an unlikeable character – selfish, undecided, stubborn, impulsive – as your heroine to drive a point that imperfection is real. And that in itself has made Katniss, and the entire trilogy, one commendable story – a reflection of the society we live in, flawed, but undoubtedly real.
Mockingjay is the last book in The Hunger Games Trilogy. In Catching Fire, I decided I don’t like Katniss that much. And that opinion still holds true even after I finished Mockingjay. Katniss is the same selfish, undecided, stubborn, and impulsive 17-year old girl from District 12, but this time she is recuperating in District 13 after being rescued by the rebels from the arena during the Quarter Quell. Yet despite her imperfections, she is still perfect for her role as the lead character. Or rather, it is because of her imperfections that she is perfect for the role. Wouldn’t it be boring to have a perfect protagonist? No thrill there.
Mockingjay speaks prominently about war. From the start of the story, there has been war, not just the war being prepared by the rebels against the Capitol, but the war that is raging inside Katniss’s being. War, indeed, no matter how noble the motives are, does not offer the best solution to problems. It is a win-some-lose-some way out of any dispute, and more often than not, it hurts the innocent ones the most.
***SPOILER STARTS HERE***
TOTALLY UNEXPECTED. This is probably the best I can describe Mockingjay. Most of my predictions turned out wrong, such as who will die and who will live, who’s the traitor and who is not. I have been rooting for the Gale-Katniss loveteam ever since Book 1 but then it turns out, Suzanne Collins had other plans.
One thing I noticed though is how some scenes that I think deserve more attention were a little bit rushed. I believe Finnick’s death deserves more page-time, if there is such a word. And Katniss’s trial, too. But then again, as I’ve said, the turn of events are totally unexpected. Which makes Mockingjay all the more an extraordinary story.
I especially love the ending. Of how it speaks of hope and the anticipation of a more perfect world. It is such a bittersweet finale that more than compensates all the dislike I felt with Catching Fire. The Hunger Games Trilogy may be imperfect, but it is its imperfections that make the series worthy of acclaim.