The Pin – Part 1


It was the most curious little thing.

The golden pin was introduced to the readers as Katniss and Gale were interacting with Madge, Mayor Undersee’s daughter. The tesserae system was mentioned not long after and we had a glimpse of the invisible division between the rich and poor; the merchant and the people from the Seam.

Nonetheless, Madge did not seem to care about it and apart of Katniss, I was quite surprised when she gave her the pin. Token from the district, she said. It sounded insignificant at first. Who would worry about a pretty brooch while being trapped in the arena with other 23 kids trying their best to murder you? Call me insensitive but I would have not even cared.

But the thing about Suzanne Collins was that she is a master of simplicity. It’s all in the little things. How love actually started an uprising. How a handful of berries fueled the revolution. How a whistle started a collective stand. How an innocent song translated as a tool for action. How a flower suggested hope. How a painting made powerful men cringe. How a book full of lost memories healed broken people.

O.K. Focus.

Back to the pin.

It was once belonged to Maysilee Donner, Madge’s late aunt who was Mayor Undersee’s wife’s twin sister. She was reaped 24 years ago in the 50th Hunger Games, otherwise known as the 2nd Quarter Quell. Unfortunately she didn’t make it back home and the victor for that particular year was none other than Haymitch Abernathy, Katniss’s and Peeta’s drunken mentor.

You could tell that Madge wanted to be just like her aunt, another brave soul. Unfortunately the odd was not in her favor. Theoretically, she could have waited for the coming year, when she would stand another chance in The Reaping but she decided to give the pin to Katniss. I do wonder that if for the briefest moment, she’d failed to do so…What would happen then? Would Katniss still be The Mockingjay? Will the bird stand a chance to be incorporated as the symbol of the revolution? Assuming everything else went according to the story; Katniss would still be recognized as The Girl on Fire. Wasn’t fire enough? Why did the writer have to invent a long story for an accidental hybrid bird mutt for the simple purpose of fueling the revolution?

Say we reverse the situation. Say Madge was picked by Effie instead of Prim. Would there still be a revolution? Was there really a plot designed by the rebels? Would Madge even survive the 74th Hunger Games and gave the same impact to Panem as Katniss did?

Very curious indeed.

Personally, I think fire is not a good choice because it could easily manipulated, tamed, crushed and put out. It doesn’t have the will and reason to survive, like the mockingjay.

As shared by Katniss, it was a slap in the face for the Capitol. The Jabberjays, a carefully engineered weapon backfired as the rebels figured out their sneaky purpose. The birds were left to die but they found new life instead by mating with the mockingbirds. The mockingjays, the instant result of two species had the best of both worlds. They can repeat a range of human vocal sounds and recreate songs.

This is foreshadowing another string of stories.

We perfectly knew that The Hunger Games was designed as the ultimate weapon by the Capitol. Imagine their surprise when a boy had such an impact in his interview only by using simple words and then a girl sang her heart out for her fallen ally. Like the mockingjays, they used love as their defense.Together they survived the looming death by protecting each other. Can’t you see? They are the mockingjay.

Of course we will go into this as one.” [Catching Fire, Chapter 15]

Chapter 2 – Part 2

–          Peeta is always potrayed as the rock, warmth, the sun, golden hues, yellow, orange, gentleness and steadiness. I noticed the first fire when she told us in the flashback with Peeta. That particular time, the Everdeen ladies were in a tight spot. They ran out of coal and all she had was a smoky fire from damp branches. She was losing hope. She went to the public market to try to barter the baby clothes but ended up at the bakery’s backyard. There was a glow, fire, the smell of breads. A baker is someone that controls and manipulates it to make bread, food for sustenance. Curiously she mentioned in the Games that Peeta is a whiz with fire, coaxing fire out of damp branches. He was hope. He coaxed hope out of her damp soul. When she said she didn’t want to lose the boy with the bread she meant that she doesn’t want to lose hope.

She also mentioned that the baker, Peeta’s father had burnt scars all over. She did not mention anything of the sort about Peeta, just ‘arms that made her feel safe‘. She mentioned that she trusts Gale’s hands. I love hands (I normally judge people by looking at their hands. Guilty pleasure!) so I think Collins is up to something but I think I have a theory coming.

Well, it’s a shallow one. You normally shake hands with a friend but arms are more private. Not everyone can wrap their arms around you. It’s saved for someone intimate or special. In the baker’s case, his wife ‘burned’ him. That’s all.

I noticed that when the Prep Team came to style her for the wedding dress she casually mentioned that she felt like a dough (Chapter 12, Catching Fire) being kneaded and reshaped again and again.

Well played, Collins.


–          Peeta always talk fondly about his father and they seemed quite close. I wonder how Mrs. Mellark felt when Peeta announced that Mr. Mellark had a thing for Mrs. Everdeen on national television. Must be really awkward for the 3 of them back home. Mrs. Mellark probably got that figured out long before. Maybe that is one of the reason why she was so bitter. I picture this man was just as kind as his son and would not treat him like his mother. I think he always brings a pack of biscuits for the child who has been reaped. It’s the last thing he could do – to cheer them up. He gave them to Katniss anyway as if saying that it’s okay. It’s not her fault. Whatever happens, he would not hold grudges, he would not think of Katniss as the murderer of his son.

–          Peeta, being abused since young probably grew up idealizing a loving mother and wanting a loving spouse/mother for his children. He did not have a good role model but why was he so convinced that Katniss would make a great mother? We did not have his point of view but this much we know is true. Katniss took care of Prim and she’s determined to do anything for her. She’s loyal and fiercely protective. Like the Mockingjay, (as forshadowed by Rue) is very protective of her nest.

We didn’t know if Peeta was close to his brothers but their love didn’t surpass Katniss’s for Prim. She was willing to die for her. Besides unconditional love for Prim, what else that might trigger love for Peeta? Apart of the singing that he declared ‘he was a goner’?He declared that he was infatuated by the little girl who sang the valley song, the one his father pointed out. Will he still like her if Mr. Mellark failed to do so? We will never know. I can safely say that he admired her, how she singlehandedly turned to be the head of the family (breadwinner, pun intended) and she continued to impress him.


It was lovely when he told her about his father and him taking their time admiring her squirrels (Mellark men and Everdeen ladies. It’s genetic!) I remember his expression when Mr. Mellark told him that Mrs. Everdeen ran off with a coal miner. It’s as if that’s the most ridiculous thing in the world. He probably wondered why and ended up watching the Everdeen family and saw love. Maybe that was how he learned about love.

It’s amazing when you realized that both Katniss and Peeta never put themselves first. It’s always the others.

I try to imagine being in Katniss shoe. It’s family first. I would be very touched to know that a stranger had made me a priority. A debt must be paid. I try to be Peeta. A tragic case of unrequited love. I would never believed it that the girl of my dreams decided to sacrifice her life for me. That’s my job!

Conflicting values, complex characters and odds that favors no one.

Well, actually it favors love 🙂