le plus loin le plus serré

le plus loin le plus serré
mourning art

in memoriam

"yet I tell you, from the sad knowledge of my older experience, that to every one of you a day will most likely come when sunshine, hope, presents and pleasure will be worth nothing to you in comparison with the unattainable gift of your mother's kiss." (Christina Rossetti, "Speaking Likenesses," 1873)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Mockingjay: an observation

It occurs to me, in mulling over Mockingjay (and my reaction to it), that the book makes a little more sense, and makes me feel better, if I think of it as a revenge tragedy in the best Jacobean tradition.

Because I think Mockingjay IS a revenge story, since I think Katniss is motivated largely by personal and/or selfish reasons - and most of what is selfish or personal to Katniss has to do with the people closest to her. She wants revenge: for Rue, for all the tributes, for Wiress and the morphling addicts and Mags, for herself and the Victors who have to live with what they've done, and what's been done to them. Her mission against President Snow is almost totally one of revenge.

And the classic revenge tragedy can really only have one set of outcomes: deaths. Lots and lots of deaths.
Which is precisely what Collins gives us.

So: Mockingjay = Jacobean Revenge Tragedy.


Anonymous said...

But the revengers themselves NEVER survive revenge tragedies...

Anonymous said...

Sorry, that first comment was from me. It wasn't supposed to be without a handle. --Amy L.

kittens not kids said...

That's true - the revengers don't survive. But Katniss is pointedly, seriously shattered at the book's end (which is well on into her future life) - so perhaps this is a kind of modified revenge tragedy?

Anonymous said...

Good point. In any case, it's a fascinating and worthwhile comparison! --Amy L.