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Revolution and Resolution in Panem
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"It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart." ~Finnick O'Dair
Katniss Becomes the Mockingjay
When Catching Fire ended, we were not sure how many victors had survived. We only know that rebels, including Haymitch and Plutarch, had rescued Katniss, Betee, and Finnick. Like Katniss did, we had to assume the worst: that Peeta was captured and taken to The Capitol. We also learn that District 12 has been destroyed, with only a fraction of the population surviving, and that they have been taken in by District 13--which is not supposed to exist any more!
After surviving two Hunger Games, Katniss and Finnick finally fall apart. At the same time the rebels, led by the cold and calculating Coin, president of District 13, need Katniss to be the brand and logo of the rebellion and rally the districts to overthrow The Capitol. This is hard to do when all you want is to hide in a closet and die.
Suzanne Collins does an excellent job of portraying a diverse group of rebels working together for a common cause despite differing agendas. The Capitol rebels have to learn what life has been like for all those who lived in the Districts and served them. District 12, always too poor and starving to think about rebelling, now has good reason to fight; They are not alone and President Snow must pay for all the death and misery he inflicted when he fire-bombed District 12. District 13, living literally underground for years, has finally decided it is time to challenge Snow's tyranny.
Katniss must journey from despair, to anger, to hope, back to despair--and repeat the cycle over and over. Will the fighting and death and destruction ever stop, and will Katniss survive until then? What will happen if they lose? What if they win?
There is plenty of action, conflict within the rebel community, and sadness even in victory. But there is also victory even in sadness--much like real life.