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by Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay Theme of Manipulation

Katniss has been a pawn in the Capitol's game since her first Hunger Games, but every step of the way she resisted. After escaping from the Quarter Quell to District 13, we thought our girl would finally be free. But no. It turns out that District 13 has a lot in common with the manipulative Capitol it's fighting against.

Both governments are up the same manipulative tricks, using Katniss and the other victors to their own ends. Both governments rely heavily on staged media and propaganda to gain support and control. In District 13, we're back to the acting, the scripts, the costumes, the make-up, and the cameras that were so common in the Capitol. Neither the Capitol nor District 13 is televising the truth, they're putting on a performance to sway their audiences.

At first, playing for the camera and using scripted words doesn't seem to bad. Why? Because, unlike the Capitol, District 13 isn't actively hurting anyone, right? But near the end of the book, Katniss realizes just how lethal District 13's manipulations have become. The crafty people in the book cause multitudes of deaths, and they also make it impossible for Katniss to trust anyone, particularly anyone in a government role.

Questions About Manipulation

  1. Which side do you think is more manipulative, the rebels or the Capitol?
  2. Which characters, if any, do you trust? Which ones seem to tell the truth?
  3. Which character do you think is the most manipulative, and why? What about the most evil?
  4. Is there any action in this book that isn't made based on calculation or manipulation?
  5. In the book, is manipulation always bad?
  6. Compared to characters like Snow and Coin, how manipulative is Katniss?
  7. Do you think our real-life media is as manipulative as the media in The Hunger Games trilogy? Have Collins's books made you more skeptical about the media?

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