Mockingjay and It's Theme

By Brandon Brown

"In War, There is More Pain and Less Glory."

Since the beginning of humankind, we have waged war amongst ourselves. We have gone from discovering the killing power of rock and bone to utilizing some of the most destructive weapons with the ability to destroy cities. Blood has been spilled for anything, from peace, justice, or liberty. Although victory may be achieved, many other lives have been altered so negatively that this new change may have no effect or even have a worse effect.

In Mockingjay, this theme can be supported by three quotes.

Page 1: "Almost nothing remains of District 12. A month ago, the Capitol's firebombs obliterated the poor coal miner's houses in the Seam, the shops in town, even the Justice Builiding."

Katniss's home district, District 12, was bombed heavily by the Capitol. Although many of her old companions such as Prim, her mother, Gale, and Peeta have been spared the horrors, many residents were killed in the name of "justice." The Capitol wanted to retaliate because the districts began to rebel. They rebelled because Katniss basically wrecked the Hunger Games by destroying the arena, which was an obvious sign of rebellion. Although Katniss began to pave the way for freedom, the Capitol will stop at nothing to make sure the rebel districts do not gain their freedom. To the left is a picture of the firebombing of Tokyo during World War II, to show just how much a city can be affected by a bombing.

Page 101: "The bombs have collapsed the hospital roof, and set the building on fire, effectively trapping the paitents inside."

District 8, as well as District 12, has been subjected to destructive bombings by the Capitol. Four waves of bombers stride across the district, and destroy a hospital. Patients are killed, and also trapped inside the hospital while the bombings frighten the wounded from receiving help at the hospital. Although perhaps the rebel districts will gain their freedom, they will be subjected to pain and suffering, both physically, mentally, and emotionally as well that may stick with them for the rest of their lives. This further supports that war will bring more pain than glory.

Page 347: "A badly burned girl with no wings. With no fire. And no sister."

Katniss and the rebels have landed in the Capitol, and has been badly burned by and explosion. Her sister, Prim, was killed in the explosion as well. This explosion was meant to be a trap against the Capitol, but backfired onto the rebellion. Although at this point they have captured President Snow and pretty much have won the revolution, Katniss has lost one of the most important people in her life in the name of war. Glory has been achieved, but so much pain has been brought onto the Everdeens. War has effectively brought more pain to Katniss rather than glory and success. Her memories of the Hunger Games, Prim's death, and other traumatic events will haunt her for the rest of her life, and that is just another example of the toll of war.

How do the events of Mockingjay relate to current events?

Currently, a rebellion has risen in Ukraine. The Ukrainians are rebelling because the government did not side with the European Union.
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Who?

The nations of Russia and Ukraine, and the Ukrainian region of Crimea.

What?

Ukrainian citizens are angry with their government for not siding with the EU. Violent protests occured from pro-EU Ukrainians that involve clashing with riot police. Pro-Russian citizens from Crimea are of course with siding with Russia, so Russia has stepped in to "protect Russian citizens in Crimea."

When?

Late February-ongoing.

Where?

The nation of Ukraine.

Why?

Some Ukrainians want to join the European Union, while others want to join the Russians, and some want to be just a sovereign nation as it has been for the past 20 years.

How?

Russia wanted to intervene to save pro-Russians in Crimea by annexing Crimea.

What theme(s) are reflected in this current issue/event?

War and conflict brings more pain than glory because at first people just wanted a better life so they tried to change their government by protesting. Things got violent, so people began getting killed, and now they may be losing part of their country and have a possible conflict with Russia. Another is basically that conflict in itself is bad, as people are dying and Ukraine itself is falling apart.

How do these connections contribe to the understanding of "Mockingjay?"

It made me realize that war is bad and while a good cause may be fought for, many other sorrows may be in bloom. In Mockingjay, many innocent people die in the name of war and so many lives are negatively changed. Only few good things result.

How do these connections contribute to my understanding of theme?

These connections help me understand that people do not want war, but are still willing to die for their cause. Whether the cause is good or not does not matter, but as long as a person gets what they want for a cause they will do anything. Also, it shows that a small person will stand up to the big one in the name of justice, liberty, or peace.

How have I witnessed this theme in my life?

I think watching stories on the news about the war on terror. The Afghani people were fighting to get away from terrorism with American support, but in the push for freedom people die, children are orphaned, and lives are altered so dramatically. In American, some kids will grow up without mothers or fathers who died from war or an act of terror. Although we have made a quite a push towards the eradication of terrorism, so many are killed or ruined in the name of war.

Symbol - Soviet Flag Over the Reichstag

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Why did I choose this symbol?

In World War II, Nazi Germany decided to try and invade the Soviet Union. For the most part of 1941 and 1942, Nazi Germany killed 1 million Soviet civilians and soldiers, but a Soviet turning point led the Soviets to victory. However, on both sides, millions died in the name of political and militaristic tension. Both succeeded a little in the war; the Nazis were close to reaching their goal of eradicating the Jewish and took over a lot of Europe, but lost and had it's cities destroyed and millions dead. In the Soviet Union, they were killed by casulties of war, starvation, and freezing because of the harsh Germans and the harsh Russian winter. They, however, gained some glory by pushing the Germans back to Berlin and ending the war with the assistance of the Allies. Although things returned to normal, so much blood was spilled in the name of a man who had a way with words that brought him to a dangerous amount of power. The picture above is of a Soviet Red Army soldier raising the flag over the German Reichstag, to signify the victory. Although it seems great, that is little glory compared to the fire, destruction, and death spread out across Europe.