Suzanne Collins

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Mockingjay Study Guide

Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Suzanne Collins's Mockingjay. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.

Brief Biography of Suzanne Collins

Suzanne Collins’s father was a U.S. Air Force officer, and her family moved frequently when she was a child, spending time in the eastern United States as well as parts of Europe. Because of her father’s military experience, it was important to him that his children understood war—not just where battles took place, but why and how they played out. Eventually, Collins attended Indiana University and earned a degree in theater and telecommunications. After a few years, Collins went back to school to earn a playwriting degree from New York University, and shortly after graduation, she began writing for television. Collins wrote for several Nickelodeon shows, Scholastic Entertainment, and Kids’ WB, and she was eventually inspired to try writing a children’s book series. The result was The Underland Chronicles. A few years later, Collins was watching television, switching between channels covering reality TV and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—and that’s when she came up with the idea for The Hunger Games. Collins followed The Hunger Games with additional best-sellers in the series—Catching Fire and Mockingjay—both of which were bestsellers.
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Historical Context of Mockingjay

Suzanne Collins came up with the idea for The Hunger Gamestrilogy while watching news coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The depictions of these wars, when combined with the popularity of reality TV, and the ways in which coverage of the wars seemed itself to be a kind of reality TV, led Collins to imagine the dystopian setting of Panem, where violence becomes a major form of entertainment. Around the time Collins was writing her books, the world was also seeing the beginnings of the ongoing global recession, emphasizing the wealth gap and the conditions of poverty both within the United States and abroad.

Other Books Related to Mockingjay

Suzanne Collins drew from the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur when coming up with the idea of tributes for the Hunger Games.The Hunger Gamestrilogy has also been compared to the popular Japanese novel-turned-film,Battle Royale, in which junior high school students are forced to fight to the death in a program led by an authoritarian Japanese government. The success of The Hunger Games trilogy also inspired many other series depicting teenagers fighting for truth and survival in dystopian futures, including Divergent and The Maze Runner.
Key Facts about Mockingjay
  • Full Title: Mockingjay
  • Where Written: Sandy Hook, Connecticut, United States
  • When Published: August 24, 2010
  • Literary Period: The young adult “boom” of the 2000s
  • Genre: Dystopian Science Fiction/Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction
  • Setting: Various parts of the country of Panem (a futuristic North America)
  • Climax: Katniss kills President Alma Coin
  • Antagonist: President Coriolanus Snow / President Alma Coin
  • Point of View: First person

Extra Credit for Mockingjay

From page to screen: Mockingjay has been made into not one but two films: Mockingjay—Part 1 and Mockingjay—Part 2. The former was released in 2014, and earned many hundreds of millions of dollars; the latter is scheduled for release in November 2015.

A myth-lover: It’s no secret that The Hunger Games borrows names and phrases from Greco-Roman mythology and history: Caesar, Plutarch, Coriolanus, and Alma are all classical allusions. Collins has admitted to being a lover of Greek and Roman culture—even when she was a child, she loved to study Greek history in school.