I think that Peeta was onto something about us destroying one another and letting some decent species take over. Because something is significantly wrong with a creature that sacrifices its children’s lives to settle its differences. You can spin it any way you like. Snow thought the Hunger Games were an efficient means of control. Coin thought the parachutes would expedite the war. But in the end, who does it benefit? No one. The truth is, it benefits no one to live in a world where these things happen.
Josh holding Jen’s hands at the Catching Fire red carpet. Because of her anxiety, he helped guide her out of the crowd. Josh looks so happy and Jen looks as if he’s the only one that exists. It’s like they are in their own world right here. Such a beautiful moment.
So I’ve already posted about how the hand-holding during the chariot ride has elements that mirror the last scene in the City Circle in Mockingjay, and mentioned how Peeta’s hands keep showing up in defining Everlark moments, but there was one more thing I wanted to point out that illustrates how important I think this moment was meant to be in the story.
It’s the very first time in the trilogy that rebellion is mentioned, not as a failure in the distant past, but as something that exists in the present.
“Whose idea was the hand holding?” asks Haymitch.
“Cinna’s,” says Portia.
“Just the perfect touch of rebellion,” says Haymitch. “Very nice.”
Rebellion? I have to think about that one a moment. But when I remember the other couples, standing stiffly apart, never touching or acknowledging each other, as if their fellow tribute did not exist, as if the Games had already begun, I know what Haymitch means. Presenting ourselves not as adversaries but as friends has distinguished us as much as the fiery costumes.”
The word brings Katniss up short, as it should. In a totalitarian regime, that is not a word that is taken lightly. It’s almost surprising that Katniss isn’t more up in arms that she was involved in something that could have that connotation. I suppose the fact that it was suggested by her stylist and has her mentor’s approval might convince her that it’s okay.
The most recent anti-Capitol moment before this is when the citizens of District Twelve raise three fingers in salute to Katniss. That moment is described as a silent dissent – it’s powerful, but since it’s a funerary gesture, there’s a sense that it’s passive, resigned to the fact that their tributes are lost.
Katniss and Peeta joining hands during the tribute parade is the first taste of something openly flouting convention in a more active sense. And I think it’s incredibly significant that it is, in essence, loving gesture. It conveys friendship, and lays groundwork for the later star-crossed lovers tale.
To us, hand holding is pretty innocuous. Revolutionary? Not so much. But a simple affectionate gesture carrying the hint of rebellion fits right into this story, where confessions of crushes, lullabies, weddings, and baby announcements all have the power to capture a nation’s interest and make the most aloof echelon of society examine itself.
It just goes to show that people who say the THG series is a story about war, and try to exclude the aspects that incorporate love (romantic and otherwise), are missing an important chunk of the message.
The most admirable actions in the trilogy are motivated by love. The most tragic and repellent are motivated by revenge. The character who reveals "There’s no one left I love” is the only one denied a part in the rebellion she so desperately wants to join. I could go on and on, but it comes down to this: In Panem, to love is to rebel. And linked hands heralding rebellion on the horizon illustrates this idea perfectly.