Writing, Mockingjay 2, and Christmas

My week has slowed down considerably since my course is done. I was happy with the way the course went even though it was frustrating to get notes throughout the course. The frustration was worth it in the end. I have taken basic Creative Writing or fiction courses before so I was looking for maybe an art course I could take in the afternoon but all the courses I’m interested in are at night and like with academic courses, it is even more difficult to draw or paint at night. I’m not sure why because it use to be so relaxing but I end up doing most of the work in the day because I’m not able to do art for long at night. Thus, I have opted for a writing course, a general course on fiction online through Simon Frasier University. There is a course in spring about finishing your works of fiction when you have your manuscript, which looks informative too. I don’t have a full manuscript though it has been a long time since I have felt like I could work on my book. I have some revisions to do first on the chapters I have, due to some critiques from a course I submitted it for. As well, I have been stuck at this one section where my main character is going to her boyfriend’s office party. I have to work out some aspects about setting too. I was picturing a Vancouver like place but I have never been to Vancouver besides in the airport. I am building up some Airmiles so maybe I will have to take a week trip there this year. Perhaps, one of my brothers would come with me or my Mom. Anyways, I am getting ideas for my book so Christmas maybe a good time to begin work on the revisions to start.


Yesterday, I met my brother and his girlfriend for a movie. We went to see Mockingjay 2 from the Hunger Games movie series. I had seen part 1 with both my brother and his girlfriend and she immediately went home and read the books and saw the earlier movies.

SPOILER ALERT: if you haven’t seen the last movie or read the last book don’t read on.

I loved Mockingjay Part 1 and I was anxious to see how in the movies they would complete the process of war against President Snow and the Capitol. I think Katniss is aware that she is being used by President Coin, District 13’s leader. But I don’t think she realizes to what degree until it is too late. Katniss is the figurehead, the face the citizens of each district rally for. She is the Mockingjay and Coin effectively uses her to distract President Snow, Katniss, citizens from each district, and any other people supporting the districts emancipation from the Capitol. Coin uses Katniss, and swoops in to be President of the Capitol, saying she will hold elections later, when the state of Panem has calmed down.

Ironically, President Snow knows he is facing defeat when he calls all the people of the Capitol city to come and be safe at his home where he will provide shelter and food. The worst part of the movie is when you think President Snow directs the peacekeepers to put all the children ahead of everyone else seeking shelter, in barricaded areas. Then little packages come floating down. The children think they are presents but they are much worse. They are bombs and it appears as if in a last act of tyranny, Snow has blown the children of the Capitol to pieces.

But Katniss discovers something when she talks to Snow in his rose garden after Coin and the Districts have taken over. Snow reminds Katniss even though he has few morals he wouldn’t kill all those children because it would be unnecessary. He was already defeated. It was Coin who bombed all the children, killing Katniss’s sister and making President Snow appear supremely tyrannical even to his own guards and citizens of the Capitol. What is more painful for Katniss is the fact Gale was apart of Coin’s plan, on purpose? I don’t know. Gale apologizes to Katniss for not taking care of Katniss’s family as he promised he would. But it is too late, the idea of bombing civilians who were powerless had been his idea to begin with.

I liked Gale and wanted him to end up with Katniss. But once Gale saw how the Capitol treated the people of District 12 and destroyed the District, he developed a kill or be killed view Katniss didn’t agree with. He believes it is okay to have civilian casualities if they are the enemy. But he sees how terrible his thinking is when he looses Katniss, his bestfriend and the girl he loves. Not to mention, the relationship between Katniss and Peta becomes apparent as Katniss and her military team fight their way to Snow so Katniss can kill Snow.

When Katniss finds out what President Coin has done she waits for her moment to strike. When Coin calls for a meeting of all the remaining Hunger Game participants to have one last Hunger Games with children of the Capitol’s citizens, instead of executing everyone involved with Snow’s government, Katniss agrees. Her and Haymitch sway the vote. But Katniss only agrees because she is allowed the honour of killing Snow.

Katniss is particularly brilliant in her actions. But little does she find out that she and even Coin are being used by the second Game maker of the Hunger Games, Plutarch. Plutarch is aware of the moves people will make even before they will make them; he is the ultimate game maker. So, everything goes according to plan when Katiness directs her arrow at  Coin instead of Snow. Snow is dying anyways, and a mob of people finish the job. Coin lies dead, no better then Snow.

But as Plutarch planned the 75th Hunger Games, he directs Katniss and Coin in their actions, as if he is directing a larger Hunger Games, the freedom of Panem. Katiness’s killing of Coin is pardoned by a new elected leader of Panem, one of the other District leaders. Her death makes elections a definite event that will continue to occur in Panem for the future. With Katniss, Plutarch directs the forming of a new government for Panem and a better life for all its citizens. He writes Katniss a letter admitting to using her, and not regretting it.

In the end, Katniss having lost Gale — her bestfriend, her little sister Prim, and a great part of herself, goes home to live in the victor’s houses with Haymitch in District 12. She is overjoyed to find Peta there one day planting prime roses in honour of Prim. The end of this series is wonderful because we see two people broken by the awful Hunger Games, war, and lost loved ones, be at peace in Disrict 12.

Katiness hunts again. She lives with Peta and they have two children together. How does she sort through all the tragedy she’s experienced? She makes lists of all the good things people have done in her head and these lists get her through her nightmares. The good in people make her journey worth all the people who have died in the Hunger Games. It makes it worth the people she killed, were killed for her, and because of her, all since she volunteered for The Hunger Games. Lists about the good things people do make Katiness able to live with herself and create a life for her family.

I loved the whole series. It was one of my favourite book to film adaptations I have seen. And I loved the vivid and creative costumes worn by the people in the Capitol. They were indeed lavish and vein, as they were beautiful. If you haven’t seen or read the series, I urge you to check out The Hunger Games. The first time I received the intial novel I thought what weird book did my friend give me. But I was hooked once I started reading and you will be too. Whether or not you read, or watch, or do both.

Mockingjay Part 2 Trailer:


Christmas is close, I’m looking forward to our family traditions of snacks and church on Christmas Eve and Christmas Dinner on Christmas Day. I’m trying to visit and talk to many friends who have some time off. I have lots planned. I am looking forward to getting my haircut and nails done next week and to getting my final shopping items. I am hoping everyone likes their presents and I’m looking to getting myself a nice tablet. My old one has had it! I want to do baking still and I would like to see a couple more movies. There are some good ones that are out besides Mockingjay 2 and Spectre which I wrote about in an earlier post. Joy with Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, and Robert Deniro looks great. Reminds me I have to watch a couple old Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper movies that came after Silver Lining’s Playbook. There is a great sequal to the Tim Burton directed Alice in Wonderland. If you’ve read the book you’ll know that the sequal is Alice Through The Looking Glass. Johnny Depp returns as the mad-hatter and Sasha Baron- Cohan an actor I never would have thought would go much of anywhere, shows his versatility by playing ‘time’ in this movie.

Anyways, that’s all for now.


©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.


A Hunger for Oppression – Some thoughts on The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games (film)
The Hunger Games (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last night, such as many of you did this week, I went to see The Hunger Games at the movie theatres. I had read the book by Suzanne Collins,  and was pleasantly surprised to see the movie quite closely resembled the book. My aunt had commented after see the movie that she was:

Having a love/hate relationship with “The Hunger Games”. Just loving the depth and interest of the story, but hating the kids dying. I guess that’s the sign of a great book; literature that arouses strong emotions in the reader. Doesn’t help being a parent of kids in that age group either.

And I would tend to think her reaction to The Hunger Games is a common one whether you are a parent or not – what kind of country sends teenagers, still children really, to die as tribute for their ancestors rebellion? In the Hunger Games a corrupt society in Panem, and its capitel city ‘the Capitol,’ has control over 12 districts. Each of these districts has some type of industry that the Capitol needs in order to maintain a lavish lifestyle for their citizens. Every year one male and one female from each district are chosen at the ‘reaping’ to compete against each other to the death in an arena controlled by the Capitol, its president (President Snow), and the ‘gamemakers.’ There are several themes that are predominate in The Hunger Games including the theme of a love triangle, a lavish and fake society, and most importantly the theme of rebellion and subsequent oppression. These themes stir up emotion and create strong feelings in the readers and viewers of The Hunger Games.

The love triangle (between Peeta, Katniss, and Gale in The Hunger Games ) is one of the most common plot lines, found in many movies and books; yet every time the love triangle theme is introduced people seem to become entranced by it, such is the case in The Hunger Games. While Katniss has grown up with with Gale and knows there is love of some kind between them, she must also consider Peeta as a potential partner when he announces his love for her at the interview before the Hunger Game’s competition. She also realizes that in order for her and Peeta to survive in the games she must act las if she loves Peeta even if she does not. I tend to think that Katniss herself, is not sure whether she does or does not love Peeta. The reality of her situation, fighting for her and Peeta’s life in the game, is influenced by the fact that she discovers, Peeta has always loved her, since he wasy a small boy. Still, a part of Katniss is always thinking about Gale her best friend, the guy who takes care of her family so they will not starve, and the guy she is more than friends with. I have not finished all three books yet so I do not know who Katniss eventually chooses – Peeta or Gale, but I think Katniss does find there are two important differences between the boys. While Peeta only wants for Katniss and him to survive the hunger games and not become a part of the Capitol’s decadent, wasteful, and violent lifestyle, Gale (we later learn) has no qualms about fighting back against the capitol’s evil. The same violent and oppressive way the Capitol treats District Twelve and other districts, Gale would act that same way against the capitol; an ‘eye’ for and ‘eye,’ so to speak, even at the cost of other Panemian’s lives. (Though I do agree more with Peeta’s way of seeing the situation, Gale is in my view “hotter” than Peeta so I hope Gale learns some morals before it becomes too late for him, and he loses Katniss).

Another important theme found in The Hunger Games is the theme the of the lavish lifestyle and narrow-minded views taken by the people who live in the Capitol. The people in the Capitol are characterized by Collins as having, colorful costume like clothing, artfully done makeup, and surgically altered bodies, to demonstrate their fakeness. They are empty shells without morals only wanting to be entertained. As long as they can live their expensive lives supplied by goods and services from Panem’s districts, they choose not to acknowledge the violence and inhumanity of sending twenty-four teenagers out to fight to a bloody and horrific death out in the hunger games. The Capitol’s citizens give up their right to govern justly or democratically by overindulging and letting President Snow do as he likes. In fact, the people of the Capital have a hunger for violence and drama at the expense of human lives. They do not understand that Katniss, and Rue, and even Cato, are people just like they are -still human beings. Just because the district citizens toil for resources for the Capitol they are still no different, and should not be treated any differently than the Capitol’s people. Although, I did enjoy the interesting costumes and grooming habits of the people in the Capitol, it made me angry that they would turn a blind eye to the injustice going on around them, particularly, at the hunger games.

Additionally, a life of luxury blinds the citizens of the Capitol to the evil of President Snow, who would stop at nothing to have control over all of Panem, and prevent the districts from standing up for their right to live and do as they please, to have their children survive and not be led to slaughter or overworked in their districts industry. The theme of a lavish lifestyle in the Capitol has a lot to do with the theme of oppression. The playing of the hunger games tapes over and over again for everyone each year, and the promo put together about how Panem was formed, all frighten the districts into following President Snow. Snow also tries to have Katniss killed in the hunger games, since he predicts, she could become a symbol for rebellion early on. Snow’s totalitarian form of governance comes at the cost of people in all the districts, and even in the Capitol. For instance, he has the head gamekeeper forced too kill himself with poisonous berries when both Katniss and Peeta pretend to do the same in the hunger games to survive. Snow also come’s up with the whole idea of the hunger games in the first place, killing teenagers – children – to die so no one will question the firm control he holds over Panem; so no person will try to rebel. Although, Snow thinks he has absolute power, he is wrong; Snow does not count on the voice of some citizens demonstrated by the people who rally around, Katniss and Peeta. So much so, that Katniss becomes the ‘The Mockingjay,” a point of hope and leadership for the districts who eventually try to take back Panem from Snow and his hunger for oppression. As I read the books and the watched the movie The Hunger Games I became more and more disgusted with President Snow. What kind of person could be so corrupt. As my highschool social studies told me, ‘Absolute power, corrupts absolutely.’

So that is my take on The Hunger Games and its major themes – the themes of a love triangle, a lavish society, and a oppressive government. I hope seeing the movie and reading the books helps everyone to consider why we must make sure that we to do not become blind to what is happening in our own government and the effects that oppression can have on people everywhere. Everyone here in Canada and United States at least, have the right to choose are governments and have the responsibility to stay involved in how our country is run. The Hunger Games may only be fiction, but it encourages us to not focus on the pursuits of power or luxury, but to put our faith in and to help, and spend time with ‘people,’ who always matter. We have the moral obligation to care about each other, to not discriminate, and to take off our ‘blinders’ so we know what is going on around us, and have the courage to stop a practice when it is wrong.