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Ok, so I’ve got to get a few things off my chest.
Team Peeta vs. Team Gale
This really bothered me. This is not a story about love. This is a story about change and growth and brutality.
It is not about love.
I’m okay with the whole Team Edward vs. Team Jacob debate for Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, because, after all, that was a love story. It was a story about a girl’s struggle to choose who she wanted to be with.
Mockingjay was not about that at all.
It was about survival — how does a young girl survive when all the odds (and a country!) are stacked against her.
The Peeta vs. Gale love angle added depth to the story through Peeta’s unconditional love for Katniss.
Sometimes, it felt like we were taking a deep, dark, brutal story and diminishing it to a teenage love triangle.
I loved Peeta, and I wanted her to choose him, but I would have been happy, whomever she chose, if she chose them to further the deeper story.
And she did.
She chose Peeta because, as Gale put it so well, “Katniss will pick whoever she thinks she can’t survive without.”
Katniss realizes that, no matter what psychological damage the Capitol has inflicted upon Peeta, he will always be there for her. He will always be the good — the change — whatever she needs. And that may be selfish, but it is true to Katniss’ nature and character.
“What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again. And only Peeta can give me that.”
The Story’s Pace and Ending
I’ve heard people complaining that the story seemed rushed. That there weren’t enough details at the end. What happened to Panem? How did things play out? And Gale was just gone?
I must say that I disagree. Again, this story is told through Katniss’ point of view. We see what she sees. We learn about stuff she cares about.
The fracture with Gale was a long time coming. I think it first started when he lied to her (by omission) about Peeta’s condition. And then when he suggests collapsing The Nut. She can’t seem to come to terms with his destructive nature. His willingness to do whatever it takes for his side.
I was not surprised that he just moved away and she never heard from him. He was never really there for her emotionally.
And the love between Katniss and Peeta was also a long time coming. Yes, he hated her. Yes, he wanted to kill her. But she made a conscious choice on their (fake) mission to assassinate Snow to try to help him recover. You could see the real Peeta returning. And I’m not surprised at all that he returned to District 12 and to her.
I cried when I pictured Katniss singing Rue’s song to her children. I think that including Katniss’ children in the Epilogue was Collins’ way of showing us that things are ok in Panem. Katniss did not want to have children in The Hunger Games because of the possibility that they would facing the Reaping.
By agreeing to have children at all, Katniss is showing us that she sees hope in the future for her country.
I’ve droned on long enough. I could talk about this story for hours.
Let me just say that I think that Suzanne Collins is a genius. She is like Katniss is a way. She did whatever it took to stay true to the story — sacrificing Finnick and Prim, breaking Peeta, and showing us the the love between Katniss and Peeta is flawed.
But there is hope.
And that’s all we can ask for.