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What theme (central idea or message from book) is represented from the passage where...

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rthomson10 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 27, 2012 at 7:14 PM via web

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What theme (central idea or message from book) is represented from the passage where Katniss decides to place flowers on Rue? (page 236-237)

The passage I'm referring to:

                I can’t stop looking at Rue, smaller than ever, a baby animal curled up in a nest of netting.  I can’t bring myself to leave her like this.  Past harm, but seeming utterly defenseless.  To hate the boy from District 1, who also appears so vulnerable I death, seems inadequate.  It’s the Capitol I hate, for doing this to all of us.

                Gale’s voice is in my head.  His ravings against the Capitol no longer pointless, no longer to be ignored.  Rue’s death has forced me to confront my own fury against the cruelty, the injustice they inflict upon us.  But here, even more strongly than at home, I feel my impotence.  There’s no way to take revenge on the Capitol.  Is there?

                Then I remember Peeta’s words on the roof.  “Only I keep wishing I could think of a way to…to show the Capitol they don’t own me.  That I’m more than just a piece in their Games.”   And for the first time, I understand what he means. 

                I want to do something, right here, right now, to shame them, to make them accountable, to show the Capitol that whatever they do or force us to do there is a part of every tribute they can’t own.  The Rue was more than a piece in their Games.  And so am I.

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 28, 2012 at 1:55 AM (Answer #1)

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The moment in The Hunger Games in which Katniss honors Rue in death by placing the flowers around her fallen body reveals Suzanne Collins central themes of love and rebellion.

The moment is poignant, not just because of innocent Rue's senseless death, but for Katniss' honest response. She remarks that "hat[ing] the boy from District 1, who also appears so vulnerable I death, seems inadequate. It’s the Capitol I hate, for doing this to all of us" (236). Katniss' feelings of hatred and repulsion leads her to "confront her own fury against the cruelty" (236). She places the flowers on Rue's body as an act of vengeance against the Capitol, to "make them accountable" (237). This moment becomes one of Katniss' first bold moves of rebellion against the Capitol during the Hunger Games. She later figures that the Capitol would have edited the scene with Rue before showing it to the rest of the Districts, mindful of how her striking act of love would undermine the purpose of the Game's propaganda, but Katniss did not act out of rebellion alone.

Katniss Everdeen also placed the flowers on Rue's body out of love, to commemorate and respect her short life and pay homage to the sweet and loving girl she was. Katniss could have chosen many different avenues of rebellion in this moment--she could have yelled at the cameras or written something on Rue's body--but the fact that she lovingly selects the "blossoms in beautiful shades of violet and yellow and white" reflects her compassion and love for the young girl who reminded her so much of her younger sister, Prim (237). Katniss muses that "Rue was more than a peice in their Games," a tribute to her own personal connection to Rue. The moment with the flowers has two-fold significance; it is both an act of love and rebellion, reinforcing the interplay of Collins' major themes in The Hunger Games.

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brenduucha | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted June 14, 2012 at 9:27 PM (Answer #2)

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I think that what the author (or Katniss in the book) tried to show by her attitude towards Rue's death, is that she is disrespecting, she is no longer playing for the rules of the Capitol.

Katniss wants to show the Capitol people that she is not her puppet, and that Rue wasn't either. She wants to show them, as the text clearly says, that she is not owned by them. She is a real person, who as Rue, makes her own decisions. 

I think that this action made by her, as well as in the end of the games, when she attacks them with the fruits (I don't remember which kind of food is), is an act of rebellion against the Capitol.

 

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