The Hunger Games

Mockingjays Symbol Analysis

Mockingjays Symbol Icon

Madge Undersee, the mayor’s daughter, urgently gives Katniss a gold pin to wear to the Hunger Games as her token. The pin depicts a bird that Katniss comes to recognize as a mockingjay, a species of bird that resulted from a failed Capitol project. The pin, then, is a reminder of the Capitol’s failure, of the possibility of the Capitol's failure, and thus hints at the possibility of rebellion.

Mockingjays repeat patterns of notes they hear, and Rue and Katniss use them to communicate with one another during the Games. However, after Rue’s death, mockingjays come to remind Katniss of what the Games have cost her, and their symbolism lights the fire of the rebellion that will be the subject of the next two books of The Hunger Games trilogy.

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Mockingjays Symbol Timeline in The Hunger Games

The timeline below shows where the symbol Mockingjays appears in The Hunger Games. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Societal Inequality Theme Icon
...at it for the first time, realizing that the bird depicted on it is a mockingjay. (full context)
Division and Control Theme Icon
Societal Inequality Theme Icon
Mockingjays are something of a slap in the face to the Capitol. During the rebellion, the... (full context)
Chapter 16
Love, Loyalty, and Compassion Theme Icon
...case she can’t get back to the camp in time. If she sings it, the mockingjays in the area will pick it up and the other person will know that the... (full context)
Chapter 17
Love, Loyalty, and Compassion Theme Icon
...ran into trouble along the way, Katniss goes to search for her. She hears some mockingjays singing Rue’s four-note melody and sings it back. Suddenly, Katniss hears a child’s scream, and... (full context)
Chapter 24
Division and Control Theme Icon
Love, Loyalty, and Compassion Theme Icon
...They wait in the open. As they wait, Katniss sings Rue’s four-note melody to the mockingjays, and they pick it up. Suddenly, however, the mockingjays’ songs turn into shrieking, and Peeta... (full context)
Chapter 27
Appearances Theme Icon
Katniss and Peeta gather their things—just the mockingjay pin for Katniss—and they head to the train. They’ll have to travel again soon to... (full context)