In total, Katniss sang 3 songs that had huge significance in her life. These simple songs attracted the mockingjays and like always, her lovely voice was appreciated by recomposing the song in their brilliant manner.
The first song was the valley song. We didn’t know the exact lyrics of the song because she hardly remember the occasion but that particular moment cemented Peeta’s undying feelings for the girl with the red plaid dress.
“And I swear, every bird outside the windows fell silent.” [The Hunger Games, Chapter 22]
The second song was the mountain air song, the lullaby she used to sing for Prim, the same one she sang to Rue during her final moments. Not only she managed to fulfill her last wish, she realized what game the Capitol put them through and sent the message nationwide.
“Then, almost eerily, the mockingjays take up my song.” [The Hunger Games, Chapter 18]
The third song was The Hanging Tree. Caroline McCormick sang it beautifully on the audio book and I found some nice melodic version of it on Youtube too. I particularly liked the way Ms. Lost-on-cloud-9 dissected it here. It was perfect!
“Peeta’s right. They do fall silent when I sing. Just like they did for my father.” [Mockingjay, Chapter 9]
This is also the song in which Peeta showed some significant progress post-hijacking.
Just like the pearl from which we could relate beauty (that arose from pain) and purity with Peeta, the pin connected freedom and rebellion with Katniss. Note that both are gifts given to her and both are lost after Katniss went back to District 12. You can check her box. I tell you the pin and the pearl was gone, probably destroyed in the same fire that scarred Katniss and Peeta for life.
In my opinion, the writer omitted the reappearance of the gifts for some obvious reasons. The pearl symbolized Peeta and he was back in her life. She no longer had to kiss the pearl for missing him so badly. He is her pearl so she won’t be needing a substitute anymore. On the other hand, the pin symbolized the rebellion and there is no need for one at the time being. Panem is free.
I do believe that you never lost anything. It’ll just come back to you dressed in a different suite, different shape, different colors, so many different ways.
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.
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]
I give up. Stop speaking, responding, refuse food and water. They can pump whatever they want into my arm, but it takes more than that to keep a person going once she’s lost the will to live. I even have a funny notion that if I do die, maybe Peeta will be allowed to live.
Just like her mother when her father died 😦
A little bit about Peeta, quoting Katniss below.
It’s quite a stretch saying that Mr. Everdeen and our hero has a lot of things in common but daughters normally chose qualities close to their father so I put down some that I think should not escape us.
The Everdeens live in a section called the Seam. They are the poorest of the poorest people in the poorest district of Panem. The characteristics called for olive skin, dark, straight hair and grey eyes. The Everdeens are fairly an exception since Mr. Everdeen, a hunter/coal miner got married to someone outside of his circle, something unthinkable for the society. He chose the daughter of a merchant. Mrs. Everdeen left everything just to be with him.
One thousand points for Peeta for having one thing in common with Mrs. Everdeen – ditching family and friends for love.
O.K now let’s see if Peeta has a lot of things in common with Mr. Everdeen.
1) Both are really charming. We never found out if Mr. Everdeen was as good with words but his actions are often mirrored in Peeta’s. Like when he caught Katniss’s hand and kiss it. Katniss remembered that her father did the same thing to her mother. There is a paragraph in which Katniss tried to imagine being in love. Her only reference was her parents.
“Never been in love, this is going to be a real trick. I think of my parents. The way my father never failed to bring gifts from the woods. The way my mother’s face would light up at the sound of his boots at the door. The way she almost stopped living when she died.” [The Hunger Games, Chapter 19]
Let’s analyze a bit.
a) Never failed to bring gifts? Come on! I’d checked this one with the cheese buns.
b) Face lighting up? Remember how giddy she was before Peeta choked her? Even Haymitch was getting that vibe.
c) Stopped living when she thought that he died? No explanation needed here. She literally gave everything up.
It’s all of the above!
It’s amazing how only Peeta could make Katniss realize why indeed she used to like singing. He connected the dots to her father. Remember, she wasn’t really keen on singing when she met Rue though she did sing when Rue died. For the first time, she laid down her guards and showed her feelings. Note that she was determined to wipe all sort of expression when she was reaped. You can see her journey as a person trying to suppress feelings to someone baring her soul on live national television.
“It strikes me that my own reluctance to sing, my own dismissal of music might not really be that I think that it’s a waste of time. It might be because it reminds me too much of my father.” [The Hunger Games, Chapter 22]
If Peeta’s best way to channel his feelings was painting then Katniss’s was singing. She did, eventually in Mockingjay while waiting for her trial. She is finally free.
2) Both men love beauty and art. Though a hunter and a baker didn’t seem like professions that have things in common, (except that they’ll use a knife at some point) Mr. Everdeen and Peeta had serious admiration for eccentric beauty and art.
I think the fact that Mr. Everdeen was married to Mrs. Everdeen showed that he valued certain traits and character that he did not find in the Seam (she’s a healer), and for him that’s beauty. So does Peeta. He admired Katniss as she continues to impress him from being the little girl singing openly in public to the young girl with unreadable face that shoots squirrels right in the eye. For him, that’s beautiful.
Mr. Everdeen as we know had a talent in singing and must have had some skills in drawing too. If not, how would he fill that edible plant section in the medicinal herb book? Some basic drawings would have been required. That was how Katniss and Prim learned to recognize the stuff that they can eat.
Peeta, in turn has a talent in drawing and had no problems continuing with the legacy.
3) Both recall security. O.K, here’s the deal. When you sleep, normally you would take the most comfortable position or when you are threatened with danger, you put on a defensive mode. So when someone sleeps and put their arms around you to protect you, which indirectly means that you can do whatever you want and I have complete faith in you, but if anything bad happens, let it be me who gets it first.
That is one heck of a security.
Katniss immediately points this form of safe feeling to her father.
“Since my father died and I stopped trusting my mother, no one else’s arms have made me feel this safe.” [The Hunger Games, Chapter 22]
That was a huge compliment. She was the one doing all the protecting until she met Peeta (and she lets him. She pushed away her own mother from any emotional attachment) and he was not even up to that challenge, being sick and injured but he did it anyway. That’s his instinct – to protect Katniss though he knew very well that Katniss could have done a better job herself.
Curiously, though Gale and Mr. Everdeen shared the same profession, being a hunter and coal miner, Katniss rarely talk about the similarity of both men. All that I can remember was that she mentioned that she trusted Gale’s hands (as opposed to Peeta’s arms) but no direct mention of Mr. Everdeen. I think Gale does have protective instincts but he didn’t offer much of it since he saw that Katniss was pretty good in her own way. Say he did offer it, she might have rejected it.
Ask yourself why. Why would she accept the protection of a stranger, an injured boy rather than the arms of her long time hunter friend that was fully capable of doing so without much effort? There must have been serious dangers in the woods. They have been hunting for years but sadly nothing triggered memories of her father or even mellow feelings.
Peeta, it seemed was not the only one with the crush.