[Spoiler Alert: truly.]
I personally liked Catching fire better than the Hunger Games. The heavy influence of this book was on the emotions of Katniss herself and the symbolism of a rebellion against the totalitarian government that is the Capitol. So basically, the plot is that Katniss, by her displays of independence during the games has been inspirational to the districts in finding their own ways to regain their autonomy. Instead of an actual review, I am going to try and explain its symbols, and I will try to explain and get in depth on that basis.
- Fire. This one is kind of obvious. Carried over from the previous book, it plays off of the fact that Katniss is from the coal mining district, a substance known to catch fire easily. Coal is the kindling that lights the fire in the districts. The use of this element is interesting because it represents destruction. For Collins to use the burning fire as a symbol for growing anger, angst, and destruction is really insightful. The fact that it is burning anger, and that when gone unchecked, the sort of destruction imminent rebellion could produce.
- The Mockingjay. This is my favorite symbol. The Mockingjay is used for several reasons. Everything about it suggests hope. The fact that it is the bird that represented a Capitol tactic turned south on them; its song, its flight. The song of the Mockingjay clearly represents both Katniss' sweet voice, as well as the ability to warn before the threat of the hovercraft, a definite symbol of the omnipotence of the Capitol. The flight of the bird is the usual ideal of independence, finding a home, even in the very air we breath. Lastly, if you combine the two symbols which constantly represent Katniss, you get my favorite mythological animal, the Phoenix. Thus I have a prediction that as soon as the districts throw over the Capitol, something else will emerge, which is neither the fire, nor the Capitol, nor the Mockingjay as it was, but as something greater, and distinct of all of those. Just a prediction. :)
- The clock. The clock was obviously a countdown to the end. The mockingjay that appeared on Plutarch's watch simply was Katniss' big tip-off that the whole thing was a scheme to overthrow the capitol once-and for all.
- The Rose. The white rose that is President Snow's trademark is carefully placed. It is a symbol of love, and Snow uses it to cover his breath of blood. It is to make him seem kind and loving. It is overpowering, to represent that it is all for covering something else up.
- Blood. On Pres. Snow's breath. The blood stench from the mouth is not given a source in this book, but it represents a snake. A spider. President snow sucks the life from people to keep his power. He has the appearance of the beauty like a Black Widow, but he is deadly, and will kill even large foes ruthlessly with his poisonous character. Like venom.
So that is my take on the Symbolism of the book. It lacks in gospel. Liberty is not really a main theme here. Only rebellion, hatred, and deception. But there is the bird. The mockingjay supports a subtle hope of liberty, like an eagle. Singing is for joyous times, and the Phoenix rises from the ashes. So there is a bit of hope.
I hoped you liked that second review on the Hunger Games Trilogy. Tell me if I missed anything, or if I left out some things that a book review just needs. :) Thanks for reading. Read my review of the first book here