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I don't believe that Haymitch is trying to trick Peta. He has no motive to, and besides I think he's too drunk half the time to even know how to manipulate anyone.
Is there a specific section/scene that you are referring to? Are you speaking about during the training or during the games?
It's easy to underestimate Haymitch. He is a drunkard, but we must remember that he is a previous winner of the Hunger Games, and as such he knows how to win. In the first book of the series, Haymitch is crafty in sending Katniss gifts in parachutes just when she needs them most, guiding her to survival. Without Haymitch neither Peeta nor Katniss would have survived. However, in the second part of the trilogy, I think Haymitch's scheming is even more pronounced. He is deceiving both Peta and Katniss into thinking that one must help the other survive. Haymitch most likely believes that Katniss will be the ultimate survivor, if there is to be only one, but his true goal is to bring down the system that causes the Hunger Games to exist. If he must use Katniss and Peeta as pawns to achieve this goal, then so be it.
As stated above, Haymitch is playing the game too. He is manipulating both of Peeta and Katniss into making the best decisions to ensure their mutual survival for as long as they can last. That they both survive in the end of the first novel is delightful, but Haymitch only has a small role in that outcome -- they make instinctual choices as well that result in their ultimate success.
Definitely, yes, but I don't think we can accuse Haymitch of trying to trick Peeta in a bad way. He wants his tributes to survive, and he is willing to do what it takes to make that happen, even if that means he needs to deceive them. He also tricks Katniss as well, manipulating her by, for example, not telling her what Peeta says in his interview about being in love with her so she will give a more natural reaction. Haymitch does manipulate and trick, but he does not do so maliciously.
If he was tricking him, it was all for Peeta's good, that he would be able to survive. On the other hand, i remember Haymitch saying that if only one victor was allowed out of the arena, he had chosen it to be Katniss. So i think he was tricking him (but for a good cause). Although Haymitch is commonly underestimated to be a drunkard that does not have the sense to do anything right, he actually plans things really well, especially in the second book where he had a really good escape plan in place for them.
I think Haymitch has an agenda. There are many instances of drunkards in literature that we underestimate. His character follows that tradition. He wants Katniss to win, and therefore manipulates events to get what he wants.
I just finished the book and have not yet read the next two, and my final impression of the relationship between these two was that Haymitch, somewhere deep down, is rooting for Peeta and Katniss to actually fall in love. I guess I'll see how my prediction plays out.
I don't think he is trying to trick Peeta. I think he has the deepest respect for Peeta, but in the first book he only has the ability to secure sponsors for one tribute. Peeta is pledged to helping Kat, so Kat is the logical choice.
As the series progresses you can almost feel a sense of anger that Haymitch directs at Kat for not embracing Peeta and what he has done for her more.
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