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A chapter which really speaks to the theme of punishment in the Hunger Games is Chapter Six which introduces the idea of the avox. Katniss first learns of this reality when she recognizes the red-haired servant in her quarters. Effie quickly disavows any possible chance that Katniss could possibly know her, because of the huge negative connotation connected with this type of person:
"'Someone who committed a crime. They cut out her tongue so she can't speak', says Haymitch, 'She's probably a traitor of some sort. Not likely you'd know her'" (77).
Katniss does remember the young girl, however; later that night she confesses to Peeta that she and Gale saw the girl when they were hunting in the forest. She was trying to escape the Capitol and was caught by a hovercraft.
The punishment of being turned into an Avox sends a clear message to the citizens of the Capitol and the districts. This punishment not only effectively silences the opposition by making it impossible for them to communicate, but the horrific possibility of the punishment would also serve as a deterrent to would-be traitors. The theme of punishment in Chapter Six reveals the cruelty of the Capitol and the terrifying means Panem will use to maintain control over its populace.
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