Hope in Darkness · Themes in Literature · YA Literature

The Hope & Humanity in Stories

I’ve been reading Suzanne Collin’s Hunger Games trilogy slowly, on and off, for a little while. I remember how the decadence of the Capitol in the first movie struck me. But now, reading Mockingjay, it has been instead the little glimmers of humanity even during times of great hardship.

As I love my books to be dark and my characters to be greatly flawed and/or tortured before the hope appears, I thought I might write a post examining some of my favourite works and what is in them that makes them appeal so much to me.

I only just started Mockingjay, but I already love the book.  It starts on a very grim note. The Capitol has destroyed Katniss’ home district and her love interest, Peeta Mellark, has been captured. I found this quote quite chilling:

“My name is Katniss Everdeen. I am seventeen years old. My home is District 12. I was in the Hunger Games. I escaped. The Capitol hates me. Peeta was taken prisoner. He is thought to be dead. Most likely he is dead. It is probably best if he is dead…”

jennifer-lawrence-mockingjay
Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) learns that Peeta is still alive.

Katniss agrees to be the symbol of the rebellion against the Capitol (the Mockingjay) in order to save Peeta from the evil President Snow. I haven’t gotten much further in the book than that, but I wanted to mention the scenes in which Katniss finds her old stylists imprisoned in the rebel base. Katniss is shocked by the treatment of the three and immediately orders their release. Even though Katniss does not like associating with other people, she shows them how to get to the dining hall and sits down to eat with them. One of the stylists, Octavia, has green skin (a fashion statement from the Capitol). Posy, a five-year-old girl, sister to Katniss’ best friend Gale, comes over to the table and is curious about Octavia’s green skin. Octavia becomes upset – she has just been rescued from prison, is finally allowed to eat again, and now this little girl questions her looks. But the little girl becomes a source of comfort for the poor woman:

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