Five years ago, my niece gave me a personalised fingerprint charm keyring with my name etched to it. It melted my heart away and now I could not believe that she’s growing up fast. Every time I look at the keyring, it reminds me of her sweet, angelic smile. This reminded me of the Hunger Games Mockingjay pin badge that Katniss wears during the game to represent District 12. In the Hunger Games, every tribute is permitted to bring one item that reminds them of their family and friends in their respective District. The small pin with the image of the Mockingjay in flight is similar to the personalised fingerprint jewellery that I have. It has so much symbolism in it.
Before Katniss left for the Capitol to join the Hunger Games, the mayor’s daughter, Madge, gave the pin to her. Eventually, Katniss fails to recall the pin while she’s training but her stylist, Cinna, never forgets to put the Mockingjay pin badge on her suit deliberately before she goes to the arena. In book one, he tells Katniss that the pin hardly cleared the review board because they think Katniss might use it as a weapon. Ultimately, we know that there is more to it than meets the eye. It is indeed an extremely influential and significant weapon in a special way.
The Mockingjays have many associations in the story. First, the hybrid birds remind Katniss of her father who was fond of Mockingjays, whistling and singing with them. Second, Katniss’s ally and friend, Rue, uses one of her bird signals to inform Katniss that she is alive and fine. But, the same signal has put Katniss into danger with Rue being held hostage by another tribute from District 1. Rue dies before Katniss gets to save her. Katniss sings a memorial song for Rue and the Mockingjays are heard repeating the tune of Katniss’s song, spreading it throughout the forest.
Finally, the Mockingjay pin signifies a living being with a spirit of its own. The hybrid bird symbolise resistance and rebellion. They are the clear example of creatures that have escaped from the tyranny of the Capitol. They are living proof that the Capitol is incapable of imposing their influence to all beings. As the novel progresses, we see Katniss gradually showing the qualities of a Mockingjay.