Title: The Failed Revolution of Winston and Julia in 1984 Versus The Successful Revolution in District 13 in Mockingjay
Author: Gheni Al Ghanim
Date: May 30th, 2023
Source: Retrieved on Jan 15 2024 from <dergipark.org.tr/en/pub/akrajournal/issue/77326/1210429>
Notes: The original paper is also available in Turkish alongside English.





        The Revolution of Winston and Julia in 1984

        The Successful Revolution of District 13 in the Mockingjay




This article’s aim is to analyze the three different dystopian works; comparing George Orwell’s 1984 with Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games and Mockingjay, through an anarchic-positive perspective. It also presents how and why anarchism is necessary. Anarchism becomes important when dystopic systems dehumanize people and violate their free will by enslaving them. Moreover, this article intends to find an answer to the questions of how and why revolutions succeed; as in Mockingjay or fail as in 1984. Is anarchism a precept of life or is it simply a political theory that rejects all forms of despotic power? In his novel, Orwell add-resses Oceania’s citizens’ situation of, control, oppression, power, and dehumanization. The author also predicts the future when people are under extreme control by the state. In a post-apocalyptic world, Collins displays the situation of the people of Panem, where control, violence, oppression, and dehumanization are also dominant matters. Additionally, this work showshow the state violates people’s available choices in life, and its impact on individuals. Further-more, it explores the revolutions and conflicts to be in power or to be free.


Since the beginning of humans on earth, there has been hatred and conflict over power and domination. For example, the conflict that happened between Cain and Abel shows the human desire to be superior and have control. There have been many wars, struggles, and challenges among people to rule others throughout history. Neverheless the current conflict on earth concerns the control of people; as did the Thirty Years’ War or World War II. Dystopic power and dictators like Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Zedong have always been around. Governments use corrosive power to dominate individual’s rights often leading to chaos and disorder. More enforcement creates a continuation of revolutions which seek to change the governmental system or create other possibilities. In her article Changing the World: Faces of Rebellion in Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games Trilogy Caroline E. Jones demonstrates that “The popularity of Suzanne Collins’s Panem trilogy, comprising The Hunger Games (2008) and […] Mockingjay (2010), suggests young adults’ awareness of the perilous state of the natural and political worlds in which they find themselves” (Jones, 2016, p. 225). From that, determination of whether change in this kind of system is possible or attainable considering anarchism through analyzing and Mockingjay. In this paper also, the revolutions in will be explained. It also examines anarchism contained in from three sides: the oppressive rule that Big Brother reflects (which Orwell presents as the annihilation of human nature), the matter of free will (that is compatible with freedom and equality, and the good that anarchism promotes) as well as social ideals that correspond to the anarchist notions. This study shows the possible anarchic behavior of Winston, Julia, and Katniss Everdeen. The third book by Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay, presents the revolution of the thirteenth district and shows the expansion of the regimes that govern people. In general, the political struggle and rebels in , The Hunger Games, predictably, go back to the idea that the government creates an oppressive system of politics as bridle work, and the higher powers are creating the laws of oppression against the will of society. The novel then states a plan to establish a republic and a government with representatives from each district after the victory. In fact, standing against the system through revolutions limits the aggravation of this regime but does not prevent it from reappearing. Michel Foucault in his book Discipline and Punish states that political power is a continuation of war due to the continuation of the structural violence that is practically used by the political power on populations. Foucault writes “It maybe that war as strategy is a continuation of politics” (Michel-Foucault, 1975, p. 168). Therefore, the human nature of rules and control is the reason behind this.


Anarchism is a political theory that rejects all forms of despotic power, control, and hierarchal societies. However, the true goal of anarchy is to abolish compulsion in society and revoke the state hegemony. As Peter Marshall formed it, “[a]narchy is usually defined as a society without government” (Peter- Marshall, 2008, p.3). Seemingly anarchists view free society in an assorted approach. Political institutions are essential associations in any society that verifies the installation and maintenance of state power. Among public organizations, authority is essential and the main factor that controls social life and determines social rules. The difference between the state and any other organization(s) is the capacity to make laws and the right to regulate and maintain these societal laws. The state also has the right to apply these laws and use public force to protect the state from external interference. In modern terms, authority controls all forms of social connections among communities, classes, and individuals periodically. This study presents the ideas that anarchists consider in connection with the revolutions, and also shows how anarchists emphasize revolutionary activities while maintaining the reasons why anarchists see the state as the enemy of their community. For anarchists, revolutions are necessary for the impotence of change.

The protest movements with a political and cultural background in the period between the 1960s and 1980s in the United States andWestern Europe led to the necessity of a manifestation of anarchism. Some representatives of feminists, nationalists, minorities, ecologist pacifists, and radical student movements saw that the only ideal world in which they could be free was to be in an anarchist society. For example, Buckley states that “[p]acifist anarchism supports the same kind of nonhierarchical society with equal rights and resources for all” (A.M. Buckley, 2011, p. 102).

For instance, in 1984, Winston Smith and Julia are considered an example of the people in Oceania who live a life in which it is dominated by poverty, war, and state control. The party member in 1984 has different choices in life, which are cures better than the common people’s options in life, and that shows the difference in living level among the society. However, anarchism is a theory that rejects the plutocracy or hierarchy in society; also, anarchists see resistance as a form of change to stand against the state. On the one hand, Winston Smith, the protagonist of 1984, has thoughts on the revolution in which he wants to express his ideas without being exposed to thoughtcrime.[1] On the other hand, Julia has a different revolution in her mind, which she wants to be a real woman, a kind of emotional revolution, therefore, and this will be explained in detail in section three. However, both of them resist and rebel in order to stand for their available choices in life and to break the rules of the dictator.

It is also the same for the characters in Mockingjay to rely on and trust Katniss to free them from the harmful state “[w]hat they want is for me to truly take on the role they designed for me. The symbol of the revolution ‘The Mockingjay’. It isn’t enough, what I’ve done in the past, defying the Capitol in the Games, providing a rallying point.” (Collins, 2010, p. 10). It can be said that the protagonist and her combatants are anarchists.


Revolutions occur when society stands against the government to seek political, social, and economic change. They are often sudden and violent, with the goal of overthrowing the political system of a country. Violence is not a condition for revolution, rather, it helps speed up change in the state. Aristotle defines the term revolution, as quoted in Jowett saying: “Here then, so to speak, are opened the very springs and fountains of revolution; and hence arise two sorts of changes in government; the one affecting the constitution, where men seek to change from an existing form into something other.” (Aristotle, Benjamin- Jowett & Henry-Davis, 2000, p. 188). Revolution occurs to seek change when there is oppression or any kind of dehumanization that the state practices on people. Revolution is not only a violent act by one class to overthrow another but also a mass political movement in which the oppressed overthrow the decadent rule; Errico Malatesta, in his book The Anarchist Revolution, defines revolution:

Revolution is the destruction of privilege and monopoly, a new spirit of justice, solidarity and freedom whichmust renew the whole of social life, raise the moral level and the material conditions of the masses by calling upon them to provide for their own future through their direct and conscious action (Malatesta & Richards, 1995, p. 41–42).

Sometimes, revolutions happen to seek a better quality of life for society. It is not enough to rely on the strength of one class; unity is required to stand against total power. Big Brother[2] forces people to submit to the roles of the state; the dictator regime uses force to control individuals. The rulers of the revolutions not only lead and carry out the revolution as their class but as representatives of the whole society. Revolutionary leaders are needed, for example, for the success of the rebellion in District 13; the Mockingjay hinges on Katniss’ desire to accept responsibility for countless lives and to change the course of Panem’s future. To do this, she must put aside feelings of anger and mistrust. Katniss Everdeen must become a Mockingjay for the rebels regardless of the cost. Revolutionaries encourage other districts to rise against the Capitol. After being rescued by District 13 rebels, Katniss is convinced to become ‘Mockingjay’, the symbol of the rebellion against the Capitol. Revolutionaries such as Winston, Julia, and Katniss have unique, strong, and special personalities that can enhance the revolution process with tremendous energy when social and political conditions are not appropriate. This means that the revolutionaries make the revolution, and even if the revolution fails, as long as its leaders are there, it has a chance of revival; Malatesta states, “Revolution isthe organisation of all public services by those who work within them in their own interests, as well as in those of the wider public” (Malatesta & Richards,1995, p. 42). However, Smith refuses to follow the rules of Big Brother inorder to fulfill a sort of freedom orWinston wants to be free in his life options. There are some reasons that make Julia and Winston rebel which are fundamental reasons like repression, dehumanization, and violations of human rights. The world of 1984 shows that many issues in the community of Oceania must change. Change should include a lot of things about people’s perspectives, thoughts, ethics, and needs. For example, the way of raising children which encourages them to spy on their parents is an unethical practice. The function of the revolution replaces the old relations of production and the superstructure and liberates the forces of social production. Social activities are essential to create new generations and a new style of life without being submitted completely to the state “Revolution is the establishment of amyriad free groupings based on the ideas, desires, needs and tastes of all and every individual” (Malatesta & Richards, 1995, p. 42).

Revolution can stimulate revolutionaryawareness, enthusiasm, and creative talents of people, encouraging them to devote themselves to the great cause ofmaking history in which they replace the old principles of the regime. Many revolutions in the world so far have involved varying degrees of violence and bloodshed due to the conflict between the government and the revolutionaries. Revolution in oppressed societies is a necessary and permanent form of human life. The essence of the revolution is not bloodshed and violence but a creative activity in which new people and new societies can be formed and developed. Bloodshed and violence, even in the past, are only minor factors in revolution, and the moral goals, liberty, and free society may achieve by revolution. Under normal circumstances, the dominant force initiates violence first to preserve power.

For instance, in 1984, the party uses physical and psychological enforcement to control people, and that is whatWinston and Julia go through with the party of Big Brother. Regardless of the oppression, the resistance of Winston and Julia continues to grow. The next section intends to show how Winston and Julia view liberty.

The Revolution of Winston and Julia in 1984

This part purports to present the intellectual revolution of Winston and the resistance of Julia. Also, this part shows the development of the revolution and the needs of Winston and Julia. Winston feels the need to rebel against the system, but his actions are limited by constant surveillance and the threat of the death penalty. Luegenbiehl indicates the use of technology to control people “The telescreen is the basic instrument of control” (Luegenbiehl, 1984, p. 290). This fear of the protagonist is mainly reinforced by the concept of thoughtcrime which is essentially the idea that even if an individual commits an act of rebellion only in thought, that mental activity will somehow be highlighted, seen, and denounced by spies. Winston commits this crime as he begins to question the social life in which he lives. Winston’s rebelliousness includes his strong thoughts and desires to liberate himself as an individual. Despite his fear of capture by the party, he realizes that sooner or later his rebellious actions will be discovered. So ifWinston knows from the very beginning he might be captured by the thought police then why does he choose to do so? Winston chooses to walk the path because he feels the need for freedom as P J. Proudhon states “[r]ights were equal; that means that each individual had the right to satisfy his needs without reference to the needs of others” (Proudhon, 1840, p. 60). It can be said that Winston has the right to satisfy his needs without considering the needs of Big Brother.Winston demonstrates a kind of intellectual revolution in which he writes his ideas about the state in general as a form of rebellion against the rules of Big Brother. Orwell writes, “[h]e picked up his pen half-heartedly, wondering whether he could find something more to write in the diary. Suddenly he began thinking of O’Brien again” (Orwell, 2003, p. 110).

The state continued to smash and then completely break the internal social structure of the country, and a high degree of centralized governance of the people is implemented using extreme means. Those means include changing history, changing language (new speech) family breaking ‘children spying’, frozen present, and other extrememeans to suppress people’s thoughts and instincts, Bloom states “[d]oublethink destroys the event of memory and the verifiability of history by arresting language and consciousness in an endless, “frozen” present: a “present” that is constituted through the act of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously.” (Bloom, 2007, p. 182). People’s behaviors begin to change according to the change in their thoughts, and this, in turn, maintains the continuity of society’s submission to the leader and hatred of enemies.Winston is a firm believer in the existence of objective truth, and he hates his work in the Ministry of Truth for falsifying reports of historical events. He contemplates his realistic living conditions and sees that there are obstacles by means of his thinking and expression. His refusal to submit to such motion is shown through his keeping of a diary about the state and his time:

To the future or to the past, to a time when thought is free, when men are different from one another and do not live alone—to a time when truth exists and what is done cannot be undone: From the age of uniformity, from the age of solitude, from the age of Big Brother, from the age of doublethink—greetings! (Orwell, 2003, p. 113).

It is clear that Winston’s revolution is an intellectual revolution, where he rejects the miserable reality of Oceania. He wants to know how life was before the revolution “[...]Winston Smith, an intelligent man who wants to remember how life was before the revolution that brought the Party to power” (Bloom, 2007, p. 142). Winston uses a diary to engage in dialogue with himself, to affirm his view of the world. The diary is also his method of self-healing by revisiting and reflecting on the past. The diary becomes a theoretical testing ground for his attempts to resist totalitarian rule. Winston writes in the diary the main sentence that repeatedly appeared in the novel: “If there is hope [wrote Winston] it lies in the proles.” (Orwell, 2003, p. 152).

The proles thatWinston refers to are the laypersons who can have the power to resist. It could be said that before meeting Julia, the diary was his entire spiritual realm. The oppressive rule of Oceania views sex as a crime, including feelings and desires. Winston comments that “Party women never paint their faces. There was nobody else in the street, and no telescreens. She said two dollars.” (Orwell, 2003, p. 146). This is an example of Winston’s form of resistance to keeping his available choices in life. Liberty, a free society, and a better life require a sacrifice in which people must stand for their freedom, Malatesta states, We shall be reformers tomorrow, when the insurrection has triumphed and liberty been won, in that we shall seek, by all the means of which freedom disposes — by propaganda, example and resistance — including violent resistance against those who would destroy our freedom — to win over an ever greater number of people to our ideas (Malatesta & Richards, 1995, p. 81).

With the luck of freedom Winston’s life still seems to be artificial, even the moment he spent with that woman and her fake beauty. While Winston hates the work he does for the Ministry of Truth, he enjoys the process that forces his reflection on life and what it means to be a human being; his very act of rebellion:

His pen had slid voluptuously over the smooth paper, printing in large neat capitals—DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER over and over again, filling half a page. He could not help feeling a twinge of panic (Orwell, 2003, p. 104).

Winston’s path of rebellion also becomes his downfall. His unusual attitude becomes recognizable to the party. Winston, for a moment, believed that O’Brien[3] had the same ideas about the system: O’Brien says as Orwell writes, “We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness” (Orwell, 2003, p. 111). On the other side,Winston contractually believes that Julia watches him to the benefit of Big Brother. Winston meets Julia, where she grew up under the banner of the party, a sensual, healthy, energetic, playful young woman. Julia has an insight into the life skills of the party, and the darkness begins with the rebellion that starts with love. Initially, their attempt is not about love, and an experience is an act of resistance to both. Before that, Julia had slept with so many party members: “Have you done this before?’ ‘Of course. Hundreds of times—well, scores of times, anyway.” (Orwell, 2003, p. 205). Winston thinks that the more she sleeps with party members, the more he loves her because she spoiled, weakened, and ruined the party rolls. Sex is forbidden, and is only acceptable for procreation. Orwell states: “Procreation will be an annual formality like the renewal of a ration card. We shall abolish the orgasm” (Orwell, 2003, p. 342). However, their embrace is a battle a kind of resistance to the political act. Although Winston and Julia’s eroticism became political resistance, their notions of resistance diverged. Although Julia hates the party, her criticism of the party could not rise to the general theoretical level that Winston’s has, she’s simply in it for the sake of enjoying life. This displays the difference between the two generations because Julia grew up under the party banner and received the party’s education and theoretical indoctrination since she was a child but it also reflects the two ways of resistance. Winston’s rebellion is a systematic and organized kind of resistance in the total revolution while Julia’s rebellion represents sporadic, random resistance and that resistance is built on her body. The party practices a great deal of hypocrisy: emotional relations between the common folk is unacceptable, unlike it is acceptable to love Big Brother or to love the party and to hate other countries. Julia is a woman that desires the emotional part of her intimacy with Winston; she wants to be a woman, not a party member:

‘You can turn round now,’ said Julia. He turned round, and for a second almost failed to recognize her. What he had actually expected was to see her naked. But she was not naked. The transformation that had happened wasmuch more surprising than that. She had painted her face. She must have slipped into some shop in the quarters and bought herself a complete set of make-up materials. Her lips were deeply reddened, her cheeks rouged, her nose powdered; there was even a touch of something under the eyes to make them brighter. It was not very skilfully done, but Winston’s standards in such matters were not high. He had never before seen or imagined a woman of the Party with cosmetics on her face (Orwell, 2003, p. 221).

Whenever Winston tells her about the party theory, the principles of English, the methods of newspeak, and doublethink, she gets tired of listening. Julia, during their time with Winston, wants to live away from anything that reminds her of the party, war, or Big Brother, “I’ll wear silk stockings and high-heeled shoes! In this roomI’m going to be a woman, not a Party comrade” (Orwell, 2003, p. 222). In Winston’s view, Julia’s revolution is to be a real woman. Julia can cleverly avoid the dangers of power and choose her life more freely. She understands the purpose of Big Brother’s rule is to have complete control over people and the necessities of life. She advises Winston to get actively involved in politics (for example, she persuades Winston to get involved with all the party members who were eager to do their duty to the party) in order to gain more possibilities for a normal life. After each date with Winston, Julia is adept at switching freely between her political life as a party member and her lustful instincts as a biological human being. She believes that in the harsh political environment of Oceania, it is still possible to build a secret world and live according to her desires as a normal human being. This does not mean that Julia admits to the existence of political life, but, like Winston, she desires a touch of independence beyond the control of Big Brother in her body. She is often stronger than Winston because she never used the new language.

However, after being cleaned up by the Party, Winston and Julia suffer insane mental and physical destruction; Orwell states, “[t]hen the time has come for you to take the last step. You must love Big Brother. It is not enough to obey him: you must love him” (Orwell, 2003, p. 356). Their resistance was for naught, and they were unfortunately forced to surrender to Big Brother then they became a devoted believer in Big Brother. In conclusion to this part, the revolution of Winston and Julia is still a victory even if it failed to change the state. That is how Karl Marx suggests the idea that revolutions are fundamentalto society in terms of development, and even if the revolution fails, it is still a victory “[t]hat the revolution is victorious even in its failures,” (Hal-Draper, V. III, 2011, p. 170). This, however, shows that even though the revolution of Smith and Julia failed in 1984, that still shows a kind of value and a possibility of change. In their revolution, Winston and Julia have the honor of trying. In the following section, the process of the revolution in District 13 is shown concerning the sacrifice of the rebels. Also, the next part presents how the dystopic regime manifests itself to exist periodically.

The Successful Revolution of District 13 in the Mockingjay

This section intends to present the revolution in the Mockingjay with a series of events that explain the revolutionary details. The revolutions’ events are needed to show how the revolution of District 13 in the Mockingjay is developed throughout the journey of Katniss and her team, as well as to present the reasons that make the revolution succeed. This part includes the strategies that the Capitol uses to take down the revolution; also, it explains whether this is a matter of personal revenge for Katniss or a noble goal to free the society of Panem. Furthermore, the reasons that make Katniss qualified to be a leader are presented. The struggle in Panem seems to be related to old-time or what they called the dark days. After the war between the Capitol and the other districts, society is hit with massive damage that forces it under totalitarian rule. The Capitol is the center of the power in which the high-class people live. The state is ruled by a dictator who is willing to use all the possible power against his citizens, such as corrosive power, just to keep control; maybe crimes are a kind of pleasure to Snow, as Nietzsche asserts, “[m]ore natural is our estimation of great human beings and great things: we consider passion a privilege, we consider nothing great unless it includes a great crime; we conceive all being-great as a placing-one self-outside as far as morality is concerned” (Nietzsche & Kaufmann, 1967, p. 74). A revolution is needed to change the situation of each district. The revolution of Katniss and her supporters is different from the revolution of Winston and Julia in 1984, but both of them serve the same goal, which is ‘liberty’. As a result of the Capitol attack, only a few people from the population of District 12 survived, and they moved to District 13. That has a significant negative effect on people in the districts when they are forced to leave their houses and find a place where they can be safe. The people of District 13 manage to build an underground bunker several hundred meters deep that is loaded with weapons, vehicles, and military equipment as a form of preparation for the revolution:

Now the citizens live almost exclusively underground. You can go outside for exercise and sunlight but only at very specific times in your schedule. You can’t miss your schedule. Every morning, you’re supposed to stick your right arm in this contraption in the wall. It tattoos the smooth inside of your forearm with your schedule for the day in a sickly purple ink (Collins, 2010, p. 17–18).

People, both men and women, live a life underground in a place that looks and oftentimes feels like a prison, wearing the same clothes, and eating the same food. All of them live under the same circumstances where there is no discrimination. This, however, presents an image of what life is going to be like if people are exposed to a massive war. War is often not between people but between political powers, and the army is a strategy for the absence of war. As Foucault states,

If there is a politics-war series that passes through strategy, there is an army-politics series that passes through tactics. It is strategy that makes it possible to understand warfare as a way of conducting politics between states; it is tactics that makes it possible to understand the army as a principle for maintaining the absence of warfare in civil society (Foucault, 1975, p. 168).

Snow uses the power of the Capitol to oppress and kills the citizens of Panem. After Katniss Everdeen is rescued from the arena at the Seventy-fifth Hunger Games, she and two other victors are transported to District 13. An underground rebel district is hidden under the ruins of ancient District 13, where they reunite with her mother and her sister Prim. The migration makes people go through a matter of betweenness in which they miss their old life and home. This is another kind of impact the state causes. While Katniss is recovering, she is introduced to President Coin, the rebel leader, and is told that her actions in the arena sparked riots and strikes against the Capitol. President Coin asks Katniss if she will become a Mockingjay, a symbol of rebellion, as part of their hearts and minds to make justice. Katniss vehemently refuses, reminding them that they must rescue Peeta, her lover: Collins states, Coin calls the audience to attention and tells them I have consented to be the Mockingjay, provided the other victors — Peeta, Johanna, Enobaria, and Annie—will be granted full pardon for any damage they do to the rebel cause. In the rumbling of the crowd, I hear the dissent. I suppose no one doubted I would want to be the Mockingjay (Collins, 2010, p. 57). President Coin proposes Katniss be the face of the rebellion and thus inspires the people of Panem to join the fight. Therefore, in the beginning, Katniss refuses to stand against the state because she is afraid that they might kill Peeta. She agrees to be the Mockingjay for the cause on some conditions: including rescuing Peeta and all who were left behind during a kidnapping from her group at the Capitol. There must be a leader for the revolution who is able to call on people and count on every simple possibility to make the revolution succeed in Panem: People’s freedom is in the revolution:

Revolution is freedom proved in the crucible of events — and lasts as long as freedom lasts, that is, until such time as others, profiting from the weariness that overtakes the masses, the inevitable disappointments that follow upon exaggerated hopes, possible mistakes and human error, succeed in creating a power which, backed by an army of conscripts and mercenaries, makes laws and blocks any forward movement — and reaction sets in (Malatesta & Richards, 1995, p. 42).

However, as part of the deal, the leader of District 13, President Coin, is to grant immunity to all Hunger Games winners who have been captured by the capital. There are more than a few reasons why Katniss is qualified to lead the revolution, including her very first show of strength when she volunteers to save her sister Prim. Also, Katniss breaks the rules of The Hunger Games in order to save Peeta. Additionally, there are many reasons for a revolution against the state; the Capitol crushes people under poverty; Collins writes, “I talk about that awful day when I tried to sell the baby clothes in the rain, how Peeta’s mother chased me from the bakery door, and how he took a beating to bring me the loaves of bread that saved our lives” (Collins, 2010, p.168). In addition to that, there is no equality within the one society:

History teaches us that whatever progress is made by revolution occurs in the period when popular activity is at its height, when either a recognised government does not yet exist or is too weak to openly set itself against the revolution. Then, once government is established reaction invariably sets in, serving the interests of the old and new privileged classes, and seizes from the masses everything it possibly can seize back from them (Malatesta &Richards, 1995, p. 38).

Therefore, the violation on different levels is considered another reason tostand against the Capitol. The Capitol is very technologically advanced, and it is supported with everything that makes the quality of life good. Also, the nations of the Capitol abound with celebrities and wealthy people. Style and manner of dress are fundamental to the aristocratic citizens of the Capitol. It is common for them to have tattoos, dye their bodies, and have cosmetic surgery to change their appearance. Some of the surgical outcomes that Katniss Everdeen points out as being very strange, are things like dyed fur, cat whiskers, claws, and many gruesome costume-like features. Some people in the Capitol have pieces of jewelry implanted into their skin. Capitol residents often wear colorful wigs too. Other counties think the people in the Capitol are different and weird. This is displayed in the scenario that shows that in order to have time at a party to eat as much as they want, Capitol residents drink a special liquid that causes vomiting to make room for more food. Residents of the Capitol ignore the fact that although they eat a lot of food and still have enough to eat, many residents of other neighborhoods are starving. The food that the Capitol residents eat is quite expensive in contrast to what the people of other districts have, especially the residents of District 13, who live underground and face many forms of trouble. President Coin first appeared in the Mockingjay, as the leader of the insurgency and the head of District 13. Coin takes over power after the end of the rebellion. The rebels believed to have a better form of government after overthrowing the government of Snow; Malatesta writes,

“Except for a small minority with anarchist ideas, the people, used to being governed, only overthrow one government to replace it with another from which they hope for better things” (Malatesta & Richards, 1995, p 36).

Katniss realizes that in Coin’s thirst for power, she is very selfish, though she tries not to appear that way. Some of these actions that show her unkind behavior include ordering the murder of Katniss, the bombing of children in the Capitol, and unnecessarily killing a large number of people. It’s also so unfair that Peeta tries just to stay in the arena, and Coin knows it is unsafe for Katniss. Coin is more ruthless than Snow in many ways. In retaliation for the mistreatment of the provinces, she proposes to hold the 76th Hunger Games, but in this case, tribute will be taken from the children of the Capitol. These games were voted on by the winners, with the majority deciding that they should be played. But the games never happen because later on, Coin will be killed. She is killed by an arrow that is fired by Katniss (in part to avenge the murder of Prim Everdeen) during the execution of Panim’s former president Snow. Command members that are led by president Coin prepare some plans for a deal to start a revolution against Snow. They prepare to fight to build a new free and equal nation by overthrowing the Panem dictatorship that is ruled by President Snow. District 13 comes out of the shadows and there are plans to overthrow the Capitol:

The rubble isn’t smoking, the way the Capitol shows it on television, but there’s next to no life aboveground. In the seventy-five years since the Dark Days — when 13 was said to have been obliterated in the war between the Capitol and the districts — almost all new construction has been beneath the earth’s surface (Collins, 2010, p. 17).

The controversy moves from the games to the tensions between the Capitol and District 13. The new conflict is specifically about Katniss. Political propaganda is no longer the exclusive domain of those in power, as evidenced by the rebels of District 13 using the media to prove their points:

“Like Cinna, he’s wanted me to make this decision all along. “Our plan is to launch an Airtime Assault, ” says Plutarch. “To make a series of what we call propos — which is short for ‘propaganda spots’ — featuring you and broadcast them to the entire population of Panem.” (Suzanne-Collins, 2010, p. 43–44).

The media has incorporated all the social dynamics into the war zone, and this is the way Snow wants it, so his domination of Panem continues. However, the media should serve to inform people with truth, unlike making them kill each other:

THE MASS MEDIA SERVE AS A SYSTEM FOR COMMUNICATING messages and symbols to the general populace. It is their function to amuse, entertain, and inform, and to inculcate individuals with the values, beliefs, and codes of behavior that will integrate them into the institutional structures of the larger society. In a world of concentrated wealth and major conflicts of class interest, to fulfil this role requires systematic propaganda (Chomsky & Herman, 1988, p. 1).

Snow uses the media as a weapon in the war. Katniss’ assimilation into therevolution upends events not because of her ability to fight but because of her ability to embody an image of hope with the use of audiovisual space. That is, the battle in which Katniss fights is a battle of show: at first, her actions are filmed in a television studio, but due to the need to achieve more realistic and less restrictive visuals, Katniss is sent to the actual battlefield accompanied by professional recording equipment. Thus, the revolution in Panem is largely played out on television: the same tools that the Capitol used to manipulate, control, and, eventually, legitimize exploitation and inequality are now used against the Capitol.Media supports the state, in the Chomsky-Foucault Debate, the authors state, “From the ideological point of view the mass media are almost 100 percent ‘state capitalist’” (Foucault & Chomsky, 2006, p. 75). The constant presence of the media and television videos carefully filtered and edited for the benefit of the capital, serve Snow to fill people’s heads with lies and make them forget the suffering and hardship of those who live in other districts. The Capitol is left to counterattack these media posts by using Peeta, who is manipulated to inform people of his rejection of the revolution. In District 13 the people in power use Katniss to call on people to join the fight. Katniss says as Collins writes, “People of Panem, we fight, we dare, we end our hunger for justice!” (Collins, p. 71). Mockingjay focuses on the Thirteenth District, a military power settled after its near destruction by the Capitol during the Dark Days. The rebellion is led by Katniss and the other members of District 13, and they must deal with the ups and downs that the fearsome President Snow unleashes from his position of power. Collins states “Then President Snow, tried to use me to put out the flames of rebellion, only to have my every move become inflammatory. Next, the rebels ensnaring […] to be their Mockingjay, and then having to recover from the shock that I might not want the wings” (Collins, 2010, p. 59). Although, for a long time, District 13 has been part of the revolution because of the war, the district leadership would like to take control. Now it seemed that everyone from District 13 in power had a hand in the carefully crafted plans. The revolution, while yearning for peace and liberty, still schemes for its own power. The plot presents a decadent world that refuses to live under a totalitarian regime, bearing its own characteristics and similarities with some features of life and realities of today. Media dominated by entertainment and petty censorship, a society shattered by social inequality, and media as a tool by the Capitol to threaten other districts, Collins writes, “I reluctantly move forward, trying to imagine how it could be of interest to me. It’s always the same.War footage. Propaganda. Replaying the bombings of District 12” (Collins, 2010, p. 20). Media is the primary weapon used to turn people against each other. Some seek a mass uprising through media manipulation using the image of the heroine Katniss — torn between continuing that campaign or giving in to her emotions. With the flames of revolution raging across the country of Panem, President Coin calls on Katniss to let go of her fears and look at the bigger picture of the revolution. Panem is on the brink of civil war and desperately needs inspiration to lead the revolution. Katniss agrees that the Mockingjay would become a symbol of hope and pride for the oppressed people of Panem. However, as the rebels prepare to fight the Capitol, hoping to restore freedom and equality to their lands, Katniss discovers that her choice is not without consequences. President Snow will use all the weapons at his disposal to maintain control and keep the state. Katniss visits District 8 to show the people of District 8 support:

I hear my name rippling through the hot air, spreading out into the hospital. “Katniss! Katniss Everdeen!” The sounds of pain and grief begin to recede, to be replaced by words of anticipation. From all sides, voices beckon me. I begin to move, clasping the hands extended to me, touching the sound parts of those unable to move their limbs, saying hello, how are you, good to meet you. Nothing of importance, no amazing words of inspiration. But it doesn’t matter. Boggs is right. It’s the sight of me, alive, that is the inspiration (Collins, 2010, p. 89–90).

The revolution starts when the Capitol bombs the hospital in District 8 after those injured people show support for Katniss, the author states: “The hospital. Instantly, Gale’s up and shouting to the others. They’re targeting the hospital!” (Collins, 2010, p. 94). When the Capitol destroys the hospital, this shows how the state or the people in power are willing to commit unbelievable crimes to keep control. The District 13 rebels film and post the video of the bombings with Katniss pointing to President Snow saying: “IF WE BURN YOU BURN WITH US” (Collins, 2010, p. 106). On their way to the Capitol, there are several pits that Katniss and her team encounter with what are believed to be high-tech kinds of bombing all over the district. One of those traps is a wall of a black substance, a wall of the black wave above the revolutionary fighters; the black wave fiercely swallows one of the soldiers,

Boggs mutilated, dying, dead, Peeta’s homicidal rage, Mitchell bloody and netted and swallowed by that foul black wave. I turn to Boggs, very badly needing him alive. Suddenly sure that he, and maybe he alone, is completely on my side. I think of his last orders.... “Don’t trust them. Don’t go back. Kill Peeta. Do what you came to do” (Collins, 2010, p. 281).

It seems that Katniss cannot trust even Coin, and that the events look like another hunger game. However, none of Katniss’ team wants to serve another game because they believe that they have a noble goal to take down the political system of Snow. Another method that is used by the state to fight is surveillance — to watch the people and to watch Katniss, Collins writes “We just set off a streetful of pods. You can bet they’ve got us on surveillance tapes.” “Count on it, ” says Castor. “All the streets are covered by surveillance cameras. I bet they set off the black wave manually when they saw us taping the propo.” (Collins, 2010, p. 281). This shows the horrifying extent of the situation and the power that a state can use against the people. This, however, is another strategy the state uses in Panem to take down the revolution. While venturing into the Capitol, they are ambushed by a hidden chamber, killing Boggs and transferring command of the unit to Katniss before his death. Another pod is activated, and while releasing the black goop, Peeta attacks Katniss again, another soldier gets in the way, and while they fight, Peeta pushesMitchell into the wave, and they escape to the top of a building.With Holo, Katniss tells her team that she is under Coin’s orders to kill Snow. The revolution goes towards the Capitol and at that time the matter of revenge is quite clear and this makes one wonder how people view revenge. Does Katniss have a personal matter of revenge or a noble goal “So is that it, then? Bitterness? Hatred? Revenge? Actually, I’m comforted by the idea. A need for revenge can burn long and hot. Especially if every glance in a mirror reinforces it.” (Collins, 2010, p. 320). People’s feelings about revenge and the revolution are mixed. Some want to kill Snow because of The Hunger Games or because they have lost a family member. Even Katniss lies to get revenge: “When everyone finally awakens, I confess. How I lied about the mission, how I jeopardized everyone in pursuit of revenge. There’s a long silence after I finish. […] knew you were lying about Coin sending you to assassinate Snow.” (Collins, 2010, p.324). Nonetheless, the rebels have a noble goal to free their country from the dystopic state. They are chased by Peacekeepers shortly after they reach the surface. Eventually, the survivors escape and take refuge in a place owned by the former designer, Tigris, who hides them in the basement of her home. People support Katniss in order to make the revolution succeed, Collins writes, “I must now become the actual leader, the face, the voice, the embodiment of the revolution.” (Collins, 2010, p. 10). They tell Katniss that they knew it all along, but they continued with the plan because they trust her. Peeta tells Katniss that if she kills Snow, she will take revenge on everyone who died because of him. Another important reason for the revolution to succeed is hope. Katniss and her team have hope and trust to change the state. Collins states, “I bite the inside of my lip, hoping against hope that it’s to assassinate Snow.” (Collins, 2010, p. 257). Therefore, Snow announces that the rebels have overrun the Capitol. The policy of President Snow and the Capitol is based on two main aspects: the use of violence, on the one hand, to impose the absolute power of the totalitarian regime, and on the other, the entertainment through violence that satisfies the thirst for its Capitol people. Surveillance, parade, and propaganda govern Panem, those are strategies that allow the Capitol to practice oppression and murder in order to maintain control over the population; Foucault states,

The organization of an isolated illegality, enclosed in delinquency, would not have been possible without the development of police supervision. General surveillance of the population, ‘silent, mysterious, unperceived vigilance ... it is the eye of the government ceaselessly open and watching without distinction over all citizens, yet without subjecting them to any measure of coercion whatsoever (Foucault & Sheridan, 1975, p. 280).

Maybe the purpose of surveillance is not primarily to solve crimes or to help the police keep control but to take down rebellion or revolution, just as Snow uses surveillance. People suffer from totalitarian rule, horror, and rigid hierarchy from start to finish throughout the novel. This is exactly what constitutes the miserable, deep concern for society in Panem. In today’s society, more and more micromanagement and manipulation is used as justification to spread chaos in all aspects of people’s lives. But deep-rooted inequality still exists on a large scale, and the expectation of democracy or a system that is democratic only in form rather than in substance often results in a dictatorship. The freedom that people long for is often confined and only formal freedom, and even freedom in the formal sense is often a distant dream. Totalitarianism is a type of dictatorship; the goal is to use a strict policy that means protecting existing interests and preventing people’s discontent and resistance. In The Hunger Games, President Snow is the representative of a totalitarian dictatorship. The dictatorial system of government exists even today. Foucault & Chomsky state:

“It is only too clear that we are living under a regime of a dictatorship of class, of a power of class which imposes itself by violence, even when the instruments of this violence are institutional and constitutional […]” (Foucault & Chomsky, 2006, p. 39).

The Capitol in the country of Panem is the totalitarian class of the dictatorship that controls by violence, they have absolute power over 12 administrative regions under their jurisdiction and own all the country’s resources including money and materials. They are also the initiators of the Hunger Games. In order to restrict and monitor all citizens of the 12 districts, the Capitol drafted very strict legal provisions that infringe on people’s liberty. Katniss and Gale Hawthorne stand disguised as refugees to reach the mansion. They are nearly discovered when the rebels arrive and attack the Peacekeepers, killing many civilians in the Capitol; the Peacekeepers kidnap Gale, Collins states

Gale meets my eyes, mouths something at me I can’t make out. I don’t know what to do. I can’t leave him, but I can’t reach him either. His lips move again. I shake my head to indicate my confusion. At any minute, they’ll realize who they’ve captured. The Peacekeepers are hauling him inside now. “Go!” I hear him yell (Collins, 2010, p. 343–344).

Hovercraft in the Capitol fly near silver parachutes — similar to those used in the Hunger Games, over the crowd of children surrounding the palace. The parachutes then explode. After the explosion, a team of rebel paramedics tried to help the wounded, among whom was Katniss’ sister, Prim.Within the game this time around, the characters are immersed in an environment where the principles of morality are crumbling. The rule is to kill or be killed: everyone must choose their side. It is pathetic to be forced to kill or to be killed. Therefore, in most of the revolutions in the world against such political systems, sacrifices will always be there because those who are in power never hesitate to crush people without mercy when it comes to exercising their authority. It is also essential that people know that although there is an effect of democracy in the world concerning these repressive regimes, there is still a large proportion of totalitarian countries in which some of the world’s population live under the rule of these repressive regimes. Even though there are totalitarian regimes that dominate people, at the same time, there are large rebel movements to change the totalitarian systems. Upon recovery, Katniss learns that the rebels have taken over the Capitol and that Snow is captured. Katniss believes if she kills who is on the top of the system, that will lead to the end of the dystopic state in which she will free the society from the hegemony of the government.

There is another aspect of the revolutionary process is the strong and intelligent women with a great capacity for the military and political organization at the various levels of revolutionary organization. If the political world of the Capitol is based on male figures whose worldview is elitist and ruthless, then the political world of the revolution is led by women like Katniss, President Coin, and some other women who are able not only to think in a more equitable and egalitarian perspective but to set in motion the processes of social and military organizational changes that are necessary to achieve freedom. In the ensuing chaos, Katniss walks to Snow’s palace and sees the Children of the Capitol being taken to provide a human shield. War is a continuation of politics by other means. There is no doubt that using children in war as a shield or for any purpose is provocative. If politics is a form of peaceful conflict, then war is violence with no ethics. Katniss meets Snow and he informs her that Coin planned the bombings in order to turn people against him. Collins states,

But that aside, what purpose could it have served? We both know I’m not above killing children, but I’m not wasteful. I take life for very specific reasons. And there was no reason for me to destroy a pen full of Capitol children. None at all.” I wonder if the next fit of coughing is staged so that I can have time to absorb his words. He’s lying. Of course, he’s lying. But there’s something struggling to free itself from the lie as well. “However, I must concede it was a masterful move on Coin’s part (Collins, 2010, p. 356–357).

However, Coin is responsible for killing the children, including Prim. It begs the question of the ethics of war, if there are any, to begin with. It seems that those who are in power have no ethics for anything.When Katniss accuses Snow of lying, he reminds her of their promise to never lie to each other again, “Oh, my dear Miss Everdeen. I thought we had agreed not to lie to each other.” (Collins, 2010, p. 358). Katniss realizes the bombs, which Gale had been working on earlier, were traps to turn people against the Capitol, and that shows the state’s use of power to direct people in a certain way. When Gale admits to it, and he apologizes, Katniss orders him out of the room. Maybe Gale is manipulated as well. Later, Katniss attends a meeting with Coin, who has appointed herself interim president of Panem, and the remaining victors to discuss the latest version of the Hunger Games with the children of the Capitol, “We hold another Hunger Games using Capitol children, ” says Coin.” (Collins, 2010, p. 369). It seems these kinds of political systems manifest themselves toexist again, as though the sacrifices made have no meaning to the survivors. Previously Katniss realized that Snow was right and she was just a pawn in Coin’s plan. There are no good or bad wars, but everything goes through one rule in war ‘all options are possible’ because in armed conflicts, everything goes through manipulation and deception, and both sides are capable of committing war crimes, and they even justify their crimes for the lie that is known as ‘public interest’. When political systems are devoid of the principles of humanity, the result is conflict, and therefore war kills indiscriminately and leaves consequences that are not only physical but psychological. So not only are the protagonists injured, but they also suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome, pain, fears, and even suicidal thoughts. There are characters who have been adapted to become killers, while others are driven by circumstances and espouse the ‘anything is possible’ doctrine. The pain of losing a loved one and the sudden realization of that suffering and power is as devastating as the wound of war, and its effects are sometimes more lasting. Through this, there is a great possibility that Katniss was just a pawn in Coin’s plan or maybe they went through another hunger game as a reference to the political manipulation. Katniss is proof that the revolution is for the sake of freedom and not a personal goal. The revolution succeeds in freeing Panem from the dystopic state but not without the promise that such a state will never exist again. Revolutions will always exist to change the system when it is necessary. The circumstances of the revolution in the Mockingjay are different from what happens in 1984, but both serve the same goal, which is liberty. While Winston and Julia are alone in their stance against the state and its supporters, Katniss is celebrated as the very founder of liberty by the people of Panem.


In conclusion, this work discusses Winston and Julia’s intellectual revolution in 1984 as well as the revolution in Panem in Mockingjay, in which Katniss and her supporters from District 13 and other districts succeed in taking down the dystopian state. Moreover, it discusses Winston and Julia’s intellectual revolution in 1984. This paper intends to present the answers to ‘how and why do the revolutions succeed or fail’. The revolution in Mockingjay succeeds as a result of the well-organized revolution, working as a team ‘rebels’, media, and people support. This paper also indicates some reasons behind the failure of the revolution in 1984 such as the lack of support for Winston and Julia, the extreme domination of the state including surveillance, media, and party control. The fear that people have of Big Brother also leads to a lack of resistance. The state targets the smallest unit of society which is the ‘family’ by making children spy on their parents to report any form of resistance or any thoughts about it. War is another way that restricts people’s thoughts about any development that provides better quality of life such as choosing a better ruling system. The two revolutions happen in different eras: Winston and Julia’s revolution takes a place in a postmodern world, and the revolution in the Mockingjay takes a place in a post-apocalyptic era. The revolution time shows the continuation of the existence of resistance at any time, meaning the revolution manifests itself because humans are born to be free. Furthermore, the conflict to be in power has been part of human nature since the beginning of the creation, meaning that there will be always someone who desires this kind of political regime and that there will be always people who desire to be free.


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[1] Thoughtcrime is a word coined by Orwell in his novel 1984 referring to the unexpressed ideas, beliefs, unorthodox thoughts of someone, or the intellectual actions of people that stand against the political regime.

[2] Big Brother is a fictional character in 1984 in which he is ostensibly the leader of Oceania.