6 Heartbreaking Quotes From 'Mockingjay' That Remind You How Sad The Story Really Is
I'm still totally exhausted from staying up to see Mockingjay, Part 1 last night, but it was totally worth it. Aside from the fact that I will take any opportunity to see Jennifer Lawrence on the big screen, the movie ended up being a pretty solid adaptation of a book I love so much, but it's hard to ignore the fact that it was kind of a downer. Not that I'm surprised — it tells the story of a revolution, and revolutions aren't often pretty. Of course, having Haymitch and Effie around for comic relief was nice, but overall, it was a heartbreaking story that involved a lot of danger, deaths, and commentary on the evils of human life that most people would rather brush under the rug. In fact, there are a lot of deeply heartbreaking scenes in Mockingjay .
If you've seen Mockingjay in the past 24 hours like many of us have, you're probably looking for something to cheer you up, not keep your mood down after stressing out about the state of Peeta's mental health and what President Snow is going to do next, but you won't find that here. Here are ten of the most heartbreaking quotes from the first half of Mockingjay, compliments of the great and wonderful Suzanne Collins.
"No one will fully understand — how it's not just a flower, not even just President Snow's flower, but a promise of revenge — because no one else sat in the study with him when he threatened me before the Victory Tour. Positioned on my dresser, that white-as-snow rose is a personal message to me. It speaks of unfinished business. It whispers, I can find you. I can read you. Perhaps I am watching you now."
The most heartbreaking thing about Mockingjay is how palpable Katniss's sense of hopelessness is — and who could blame her, really? She's being used as a tool by the people on her side and the people against her, and not only does she have no idea who to trust, but she's being threatened by the scariest, most powerful guy in the world. Clearly, this is terrified, and I wouldn't last ten minutes in Panem.
"First of all, you have to imagine how it felt in the arena. It was like being an insect trapped under a bowl filled with steaming air. All around you, jungle... green and alive and ticking. That giant clock ticking away your life. Every hour promising some new horror. You have to imagine that in the past two days, sixteen people have died — some of them defending you. At the rate things are going, the last eight will be dead by morning. Save one. The victor. And your plan is that it won't be you."
Aside from the messages that Peeta was clearly conditioned to send from the Capitol, what he says about the arena is very real. With how commercialized The Hunger Games has become after the explosive success of the first movie, it's hard to think about the story's true implications when you dress up as Katniss for Halloween. But when you do stop to think, you quickly realize that, at its heart, it's one of the scariest stories ever told. Maybe because you can understand how society got to this point.
"I turn the pages slowly, seeing each detail of the uniform. The carefully tailored layers of body armor, the hidden weapons in the boots and belt, the special reinforcements over my heart. On the final page, under a sketch of my mockingjay pin, Cinna's written, I'm still betting on you."
Because I'm still not over Cinna's death. Ugh.
"I can make out row upon row of wounded, in cots, on pallets, on the floor because there are so many people in pain, and the sobs of their attending loved ones have combined into a wrenching chorus."
In the movie and the book, the scene where Katniss visits the wounded in District 8, only to see their hospital bombed with no survivors a few minutes later, is what makes her realize how important it is that she become the face of the revolution — and it's deeply heartbreaking no matter how you cut it.
"You realize the singer of the song is the dead murderer. He's still in the hanging tree. And even though he told his lover to flee, he keeps asking if she's coming to meet him. The phrase Where I told you to run, so we'd both be free is the most troubling, because at first you think he's talking about when he told her to flee, presumably to safety. But then you wonder if he meant for her to run to him. To death. In the final stanza, it's clear that's what he's waiting for. His lover, with her rope necklace, hanging dead next to him in the tree."
Katniss doesn't explain "The Hanging Tree" quite like this in the movie — the meaning is implied. But the way she explores the song in the book is that much more haunting.
"Finnick looks at me in disbelief. 'I don't, Katniss! Obviously, I don't. I drag myself out of nightmares each morning and find there's no relief in waking.' Something in my expression stops him. 'Better not to give in to it. It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.'"
I want to hug Finnick so bad, and not just because he's ridiculously good looking. Every character in Mockingjay is aching for someone or something, with no promise that the pain will ever stop. Hold on, I need a tissue.
Images: Lionsgate, Giphy (6)