Table of contents

Catching fire

catching fire
On fomenting rebellion

The girl who first learned to flatter the many & then to kill the few who contend with her is apparently unready for the next step in her education. We see two ways of seeing the travails of justice here. The girl thinks done is done – she can go home. Cause & effect do not mean much to her.

The ruler of the realm sees things differently. Like all tyrants, he fears the imaginations of the hearts of men. For people, justice is never over – hoping someone will give them something good is more than any order can bear, because it has no respect for necessity. This is the purpose of the arena. It shows man’s control over nature; it suggests all cosmology is mere rhetoric.

This tyrant can no more reconcile men to their terrible situation than his enemies can deliver to them the security they so desperately crave. This conspiracy is even more contemptible than the one orchestrated by the tyrant, because he is at least somewhat astute. The weakness of this rebellion is obvious in the fact that the people’s hero is not even aware of it.

This girl tries to offer consolation to people. They smart under her touch. Wherever she tries to sow peace, she reaps war. How perfectly innocent!, not to see how much anger & revenge animates mankind. What will they do if they do not fear? If she tells people their people died for her, does she not remind them that they have no justice for all their suffering?

This girl’s indifference to mankind might stem from attachment to family. She wants to defend her mother & kid sister. There is no future in that.

The ruler suffers from a basic misunderstanding about the people. He does not believe he can conquer their imaginations. He does not understand how far fear goes, or that it can go too far. He does not know whom to kill & when. He could turn both popular hope & fear against the people, showing mercy by not showing terror. More & more, he looks like one who inherited orders which he does not know how to modify when the times require it.

What’s the point of tyranny when the tyrant does not know his enemies? – he looks on this girl as if she really is what the people think. But she is not. Politics is not about pretty faces or heartfelt suffering. Maybe tyranny is just that kind of jealousy, badly to want to be loved by the many.

The girl does not seem to understand the principle of which she herself is mere proof: War means taking your enemies’ weapons & using them against them.

A movie even more popular than the first, even though so many other stories told to adolescents fail to impress them.