On the Hunger Games trilogy

Accountability for Acts of War in the Hunger Games

By V. Arrow

Although Mockingjay is easily the least popular of the three Hunger Games series novels, it is not due to any lack of intrigue, excitement, romance, world-building, or character development. Most commonly, this is attributed to the final novel’s lack of continued delineation between “good characters” like Gale and Peeta and “bad characters” such as President Snow. Mockingjay hinges on providing no good guys, bad guys, or morally satisfying conclusions to Panem’s–or Katniss’–story.

This is implicit from very early in the book, when Katniss first arrives in District 13 and learns that, rather than being a small, struggling, ragtag commune, District 13 is a thriving, strict, structured society. The Capitol’s citizens are ignorant of the horror of the Games; the citizens of District 13 know, understand, and purposely ignore the horror of the Games, so long as their lives are not affected. This similarity between ignorant compliance and willful negligence, and what that means for ethics and morality in our world, are Mockingjay’s central focus.

The question of District 13’s culpability in the Hunger Games is a vital part of Mockingjay as capstone of the Hunger Games series. But there are two other issues that encapsulate the debate regarding accountability in the Hunger Games series as a whole: the Career culture of Districts 1, 2, and 4, and the death of Prim Everdeen.

Career Culture

The idea of nebulous morality and shared responsibility for violent acts is brought to the fore in Mockingjay, but it’s been a part of the Hunger Games series from  …

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