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Mockingjay is the final installment in the Hunger Games series. The book main revolves around Katniss’ plot to overthrow the Capitol. After surviving two Hunger Games, Katniss and her family/friends have to live in District 13 because the Capitol destroyed their homes and everything in District 12 with bombs. The book gets going with Peeta on national television (The Capitol was holding him prisoner) calling for a cease-fire. Katniss does not like that idea. She agrees to be the “Mockingjay” – the face of the rebellion against the Capitol. Trying to gain support for the war, Katniss travels all over the country. In District 8 the Capitol sends bombs and kills hundreds of innocent people. They are trying to prove they are still able to fight. This happens again back in District 13. The president of District 13 sounds the alarm just in time, thanks to a hint in one of Peeta’s cease-fire campaigns he is forced to do for the Capitol. Everyone in District 13 goes to the shelter miles below ground. While down there, they start making war preparations. The first is to kidnap Peeta from the Capitol. They succeed, but the Capitol has altered his memory and he attempts to kill Katniss. The next is to join forces with District 2. Again, many innocent people die, but District 2 joins the rebellion. Next, they start assembling a force to take the Capitol. Katniss, Gale, Peeta, Finnick, and a bunch of others go on a mission to assassinate President Snow, leader of the Capitol. They finally get to his mansion after many deaths, including Katniss’ sister. However, Katniss shoots Coin, the would-be-president, because she is just as bad as Snow. Luckily, Snow is killed anyways by a mob of people. Katniss cannot attend her own trial because she is locked up. Haymitch, one of her friends and her mentor during the Games, got her out of it and took her back to her old, nearly destroyed home in District 12 to live with Peeta.
One of the things I learned about myself reading this book is that I shouldn’t trust people easily. In our society today, many people are too outgoing and get into unfavorable situations quickly. For example, when Peeta returns to District 13 from the Capitol, Katniss should have been more cautious. Instead, she assumed that he had not changed at all. Of course, this is incorrect. After being beaten and threatened by the Capitol for nearly a year, obviously Peeta would have changed. He proves this when he tries to strangle Katniss at their reunion. If Katniss would have been more aware and realized the potential that there might be a problem, she would have not spent the night in the hospital. People should not assume things, either. It is just like making a prediction that influences the way you act. Many times, assumptions are wrong. Why? It’s just a guess. There was no prior conversation or anything, just a hunch. This is what happened with Katniss and Finnick in the second book. When Finnick gave Peeta CPR, she assumed that he was doing it to earn respect from her. She was angered at this. What was really going on is he was trying to protect Peeta. Because Katniss assumed that Finnick was doing this for himself, she had a bias against him. When she found out the real answer, she still found more dark clouds because she had assumed something negative. A final example of this is when Coin trusted Katniss at the end when she was to assassinate Snow. Coin trusted Katniss, and she was wrong in doing so. Because she assumed she could trust Katniss and was wrong, she was shot dead. Coin should have been more cautious and realized what she was up against, but because she was arrogant and consumed with herself, she was killed. From this, I learned that even someone I have known for awhile could be unpredictable. While I should not keep everything to myself, I shouldn’t give away information like it’s rainwater.
Not only did I learn things about myself, but in reading this I learned things about other people, too. One thing I learned about people who are different from me is that they don’t care. This really confuses me. They just do not care about human quality of life or natural rights. President snow is a good example of this. He doesn’t care about his country. All he cares about is getting to eat in a 5 star restaurant and sleep in a 10,000 sq. foot mansion. He became president for his own good, not for the people of his country. He tried to destroy them. He tortured their children in the Hunger Games. Doesn’t he have a sense of righteousness? How can he lie to himself? Does he go to bed every night and say, “Oh, everything will be okay”? Because it won’t. It amazes me how much people can hide things from themselves. Inside he has to know that something is wrong. People can’t just pretend that everything is perfect. He should wake up one morning and say, “Wow, I was stupid”. He was. But, because he doesn’t care, this won’t happen. But, of course, if he cared, this wouldn’t have happened at all. To paraphrase a quote, “A government that is big enough to take away everything is big enough to give it all back”. President Snow should do just that. Wise up. If he cared, then the country would function properly. If he cared, things would be normal.
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