“The bird, the pin, the song, the berries, the watch, the cracker, the dress that burst into flames. I am the mockingjay. The one that survived despite the Capitol’s plans. The symbol of the rebellion.”

Katniss has this epiphany at the end of the novel, after Plutarch Heavensbee explains to her why the rebellion needed to keep her alive through the Quarter Quell. She suddenly realizes the significance of several events tied to the idea of the mockingjay and for the first time understands how they’re all connected. The bird refers to the mockingjay that represents her. The song is what the old man in District 11 whistled, the same one Katniss and Rue used to communicate with one another through the mockingjays. The pin is the mockingjay pin Madge gave her that she wore through the Games and came to be associated with. The berries are the ones she and Peeta threatened to eat to commit suicide, and in doing so made Katniss a beacon of defiance to the districts. The watch is the one Plutarch Heavensbee showed her with the vanishing mockingjay on its face. The cracker is what the refugees from District 8 held out to her with the mockingjay stamped on it. The dress refers to the one Cinna created for her that burned away, leaving her wearing the mockingjay costume.

At that moment Katniss recognizes that a vast movement has been underway to bring down the Capitol, and without even knowing it, she has been its symbol. She herself is represented by the mockingjay that, like herself, the Capitol never intended to exist and survived despite the Capitol’s plans. And like the mockingjay, she’s also become something the Capitol can’t control. As Katniss puts all these pieces together, she comes to other realizations as well. She recognizes that the rebellion has reached further than she ever imagined if Plutarch, the Head Gamemaker, is part of it. She also understands that Haymitch has known all of this information all along and not shared any of it with her. The thought causes her to feel immensely betrayed, since he’s long been one of the few people she believes she can trust. Instead she feels used by Haymitch for the sake of the rebellion. As a result, she doesn’t feel any joy about these revelations, only betrayal. In essence Haymitch and Plutarch used her image for publicity without allowing her any control over it, in a similar vein to how the Capitol has used her image to promote the Hunger Games.