Friday, June 3, 2011
The Mockingjay Society Part Deux
If you read my last blog, then you’ll already know that I am a big fan of there being more to the Hunger Games story than what we see through Katniss Everdeen’s first person narration. I believe that there had to have been an established structure for rebellion, groups ready to mobilize when the time seemed right. Last week, I talked about the idea that Katniss’s father was a member of one such group, and was murdered by the Capitol because of his participation. I also speculated that the Mokcingjay may have been a symbol of rebellion long before Katniss wore her pin into the Arena.
Since I wrote that post, I haven’t been able to get the idea out of my head, and, as a result, a couple nights ago I have an extremely vivid dream about Cinna, BeeTee, and Katniss’s dress that has launched me further down that road.
So buckle up, I’m not sure where this ride is about to take us…
Let’s start with Cinna.
Katniss’s prep team is exactly what she expects a group of Capitol citizens to be: fashion obsessed, self absorbed, and totally oblivious to the horrific nature of the Hunger Games and Katniss’ position as Tribute.
I definitely believe that there are nice and kind people who live in the Capitol—Effie and the prep team members come to mind—but even those who are capable of kindness or pity or admiration are never able to empathize. Capitol citizens have been born and raised to see the rest of Panem as separate from them—their only glimpses being through a television screen on Reaping days or during the Victory Tour. They have no idea of the suffering in the rest of Panem, which is kept secret from them; and they have been indoctrinated to believe in their own superiority. Those who live in the Districts are their lesser, not their equals, and because of this mindset, it is nearly impossible for them to seem Tributes as anything more than toys. They aren’t people, they are entertainment.
Painted, tattooed, surgically altered—they are everything that is disturbing about a culture that values appearance and entertainment above all else; and Katniss can only assume her stylist will be more of the same.
And then Cinna enters the room.
He is unlike any stylist she has ever seen. Dressed in plain black with his own naturally brown hair cut conservatively—he is the picture of normalcy in a world gone wild. But it’s not only his looks that are unexpected; his whole personality does not mesh with Capitol norms.
He is kind.
He is gentle.
He is able to understand that the Games are inhumane and cruel.
He is not from the Capitol.
Let’s rewind so I can explain my meaning. Let’s go back to the Reaping.
I don’t believe it was a coincidence that out of thousands of names, that Prim’s single entry was drawn. She was to be the sacrificial lamb, the innocent blood that would break the hearts of the nation. Katniss says herself that no one can help loving Prim, and I believe that. She would have been the love story that was needed. The Capitol, the other Districts, even her fellow tributes would have loved her; and her inevitable death would have rallied the nation against the cruelty of the Games because her loss would be felt in the hearts of every viewer.
The question then is who is behind this master plan to throw Panem into revolution? I think it was the same people responsible in the end: District 13- with help from the only surviving member of the District 12 Mockingjay Society: Haymitch.
District 13 needed someone with inside knowledge of the rebellion, of the Capitol, of the Games, as well as someone smart enough to implement their plan from the inside. They also needed someone who could be contacted covertly. Haymitch, whose status as a victor, a mentor, and as a drunk, fulfilled all of those needs, and the close proximity of District 12 to District 13 (as well as 12’s lax security) made him the idea man for the job.
It was Haymitch who selected Prim, the child of his friend and fellow revolutionary, to be the sacrifice. I believe that’s the reason he was so exceptionally intoxicated on Reaping Day-- the guilt of his action must have been insurmountable without the help of white liquor.
He would deliver her to the Capitol where other rebels were already in place. Together they would ensure that all of Panem would have no choice but to take notice of her, fall in love with her, and then watch her die.
But there was a flaw in the plan.
Prim was not able to assume the role of Tribute because Katniss volunteers to take her place. Surly, brash, and hard as nails, she was everything Prim wasn’t; how could a nation fall in love with her? The plan was on the edge of utter failure.
But then Katniss emerged from her goodbyes with a golden Mockingjay pinned to her chest; and across Panem, people began to talk in whispers about the girl from District 12 whose love for her sister was greater than her fear of the Capitol. It would be difficult, but the plan could be salvaged. If she could fight and win, it would be a slap in the face of the Capitol; and that could be enough. Which brings us back to Cinna.
He was a rebel plant from the onset. His initial task would have been to endear Panem to Prim, however, in the days following the Reaping, he had to change directions. Instead of presenting a lamb, he had to create a (symbolic) Mockingjay, a sign that would immediately register to all Districts that the time for rebellion had arrived.
Coal, that dull, downtrodden rock, formed out of death and oppression, but with secret power. Cinna’s flames were a loud announcement to Panem that they all carried the same capacity for defiance and rebellion that Katniss illustrated on Reaping Day within themselves.
Fire would be the right symbol, but the problem comes in the translation. How do you make a dress dance like flame? I believe that he found his answer in one of the other rebels planted within the Capitol: BeeTee. While I can’t prove it beyond more than my own gut feeling, I think it was BeeTee who engineered the flames for Katniss’s dress under Cinna’s direction. Again, there is no proof, but I just think the technology used has the ‘BeeTee feel’ to it.
Everything that followed, Peeta’s announcement of love, Katniss’s actions in the Arena, and her improvisation with the berries, were all icing on the proverbial cake that further served to cement Katniss as the rebellion’s call to action-- a call that was sparked the moment she took Prim’s place and that flared into action when she wore a dress made of flames.
Photo via the amazing burge-bug
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