Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins, is the second book of the Hunger Games trilogy. The Hunger Games novels tell the story of Katniss Everdeen (Kat), a young woman from a poor, coal-mining district (District 12) in Panem. The trilogy is set in a dystopian future in which America has been split into districts that are ruled by the Capitol. Decades ago, the thirteen districts of Panem rebelled against the Capitol and lost. District 13 was destroyed. Since then, the Capitol has run an annual event, the Hunger Games, in which each district sends two “tributes”—children—to fight in an arena battle to the death. The Hunger Games are a powerful political force in Panem. They are televised throughout Panem and serve as a constant reminder of the power of the Capitol over its districts.
In the previous novel, Katniss takes her sister’s place to fight in the seventy-fourth annual Hunger Games. After enduring thirst and starvation, walls of fire, and hallucinogenic bee stings, Katniss faces a pack of genetically altered wolves. Kat and her fellow District 12 tribute, Peeta, survive and are informed that they will have to fight to the death, however much in love they claim to be. Instead, Kat and Peeta agree to commit suicide by eating poisonous berries at the same time. The Gamemakers relent, and for the first time ever two people win the games.
While in the games, Katniss and Peeta formed an ambiguous relationship, which complicates things for Kat back home, especially with her best friend, Gale. For the first time, Kat is wealthy, but Gale is not. Too proud to take charity, Gale is now working in the mines to feed his family; this is a dangerous job that killed both Kat’s father and Gale’s. Kat does her best to share her wealth. She continues hunting to help feed Gale’s family and she tries to buy products from all of her friends before she is forced to go on the Victory Tour. Kat is a talented hunter and feels more at home in the forest than on camera.
Before Katniss leaves on the Victory Tour, President Snow visits her and shares that some districts are close to rebelling against the Capitol. Some people have interpreted Katniss and Peeta’s shared victory as a subversive act—and they find it inspiring. The Gamemaker who allowed them to defy the Capitol, Seneca Crane, has been executed. The power of the Hunger Games, which has always been symbolic of the Capitol’s power, has been undermined...
(The entire section is 1808 words.)
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Chapter 1 Summary
Catching Fire is the second novel in Suzanne Collins’s popular Hunger Games series. Katniss is back in District 12, a poor, coal mining district, after her victory in the 74th annual Hunger Games. Life in the district has not changed very much, but Katniss finds life very different now that she is a victor. Her family is no longer struggling to make ends meet, and Katniss no longer has to illegally hunt to feed her family. However, when Catching Fire begins, Katniss is once again steeling herself against the cold as she illegally checks trap lines in the woods.
Katniss’s childhood friend, Gale, is now old enough to work in the mines. Working in the mines is dangerous; both Kat and Gale lost their fathers to mining accidents. It is frustrating for Katniss that Gale will not allow her to use her victor’s income to support both of their families. Gale is stubborn and independent. Fortunately, Gale’s mother, Hazelle, has no qualms about letting Katniss help out. Katniss takes her poached game to Hazelle before she goes to the Hob, a black market in an abandoned building, and buys things from as many vendors as she can to spread her wealth around the district. She also buys liquor for Haymitch, her former mentor and now fellow victor, before heading home.
When she returns to the Victor’s Village, Haymitch is passed out from drinking. Yelling and shaking do not wake him, so Katniss dumps a bucket of water on him. Haymitch wakes up swinging a knife before he gets his bearings. When he complains about having water dumped on him, Katniss replies that if Haymitch had wanted to be babied, he should have Peeta wake him up. As if summoned, Peeta arrives and begins slicing bread for the three victors. These are District 12’s three living victors.
Peeta won the 74th Hunger Games alongside Katniss, which should have been impossible. However, part of their strategy was pretending to be in love to attract sponsors during the Games. At the end of the Games, they threatened to kill themselves rather than each other, and this bluff allowed them both to win. Now that they have returned to District 12, the relationship between Peeta and Katniss has cooled. They are about to leave District 12 on a Victory Tour. The Victory Tour will require Katniss and Peeta to travel throughout all of the districts of Panem as symbols of the Capitol’s authority. They...
(The entire section is 442 words.)
Chapter 2 Summary
At the end of the 74th annual Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta bluffed that they would each eat poisonous berries rather than kill each other. The bluff worked, but now that President Snow comes to visit her, Katniss learns that it did not work as well as she hoped. The previous Head Gamemaker, Seneca Crane, was executed, and now Katniss waits to learn what her punishment is.
Snow, who is likened to a viper, explains to Katniss that some districts have interpreted their bluff with the poisonous berries as an act of rebellion. President Snow outlines how Katniss’s victory could spark a rebellion and civil war that would lead to countless deaths. Although Snow’s words sound sincere, Katniss knows that he is ruthless; this impression is reinforced by a mysterious smell of blood that emanates from the president. Even the smell of the rose he wears in his lapel cannot overpower the scent of blood that seems to emanate from him.
Katniss agrees to put out any spark of rebellion during her victory tour by pretending to be in love with Peeta. She does not feel she has much choice. Snow knows a great deal about Katniss. Most of Panem believes that Katniss is in love with Peeta, but President Snow knows that this was just a strategy, at least on Katniss’s part. He also knows that Katniss cares deeply for Gale. While Katniss was in the Hunger Games, it was reported that Gale was Katniss’s cousin. However, they are not related and have been close friends for years. Snow also reveals that he knows that Katniss spends her Sundays with Gale hunting illegally.
If President Snow knows that, what else does he know? Katniss reflects on her time since the Hunger Games. At first it was good to see how her victory had brought moderate prosperity to District 12. However, before long, her relationship with Peeta cooled and Kat returned to her daily schedule of hunting and gathering. One day while hunting, Katniss was surprised when Gale took her face in his hands and kissed her, saying he wanted to do it just once; afterward he acted like it never happened. Although Katniss has not figured out how she feels about the kiss—or whether her kisses with Peeta count—she does know that Gale’s life could be in danger if Snow is aware of that kiss.
Katniss will do her best to convince Panem that she and Peeta are madly in love and that their bluff was not an act of rebellion. Snow demands that Katniss aim higher; he...
(The entire section is 462 words.)
Chapter 3 Summary
After President Snow leaves, Katniss considers her options. Gale’s life and the lives of her mother and sister are at stake if Katniss cannot convince Panem and its president that her love for Peeta is true. Although Katniss finds herself in a difficult position, she has few people upon whom she can rely. She will not ask Peeta to pretend to love her so she can save Gale. She will not tell Gale or her mother, nor can she tell her friend Cinna, who already does so much on her behalf. So she decides to tell Haymitch.
Although Haymitch is drunk more often than he is sober, he is crafty. He understands the publicity of the Hunger Games and the politics of Panem. Haymitch may not look very impressive now, but like Katniss, he is a victor. In fact, Haymitch won the previous Quarter Quell (the 50th annual Hunger Games), and though Katniss has never seen a taping of his performance, she knows that Haymitch defeated twice as many contestants as other victors because the Quarter Quell games involved twice the participants. Unfortunately, Katniss will have to wait to ask her former mentor for advice.
Katniss’s time is now primarily occupied with preparations for the Victory Tour. Once again, Katniss endures the effervescent cheer of Effie Trinket, her public relations liaison. She also endures her stylists, Octavia, Flavius, and Venia. The superficial group frets over Katniss’s hair and fingernails while Octavia shares stories about how a party failed because she asked everyone to wear feathers.
Katniss’s favorite stylist is Cinna, a fashion designer. All victors are supposed to develop a talent during their spare time. Peeta has taken up painting, but Katniss’s hunting is inappropriate, so she feigns and interest in designing. Cinna has designed clothes that Katniss can claim she worked on. Cinna has a keen understanding of Katniss, and he has even prepared cards with comments on the clothes for Katniss to read.
When Katniss has endured the attentions of her team of stylists, she is ready to meet Peeta in front of the press. After the Hunger Games, Katniss’s mother stated publicly that Katniss was too young to have a boyfriend, which allowed her to get away with fewer public kisses. However, now she must do her best to put on a loving show for the audience. Peeta, as always, does his best to provide for and protect Katniss. When Katniss finally gets a chance to talk to Haymitch in private, he warns...
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Chapter 4 Summary
Haymitch has informed Katniss that she will be expected to marry Peeta. Their lives as victors will always be politically symbolic. Katniss is crushed in spite of Haymitch’s consolation that she could do a lot worse than Peeta. When Katniss stepped in for her sister Prim at the Reaping, she gave up her life. Even though she survived the Hunger Games, she is still forced to repress her emotions and desires so that she can be a symbol of the Capitol’s authority over the outlying districts. Now that the Victory Tour has begun, she will have to give up her body to her stylists, who will remove all her body hair and who fantasize about the “alterations” that they would like to see done to Katniss’s body.
One morning, as the District 12 victors travel by train to District 11 for their first stop on the Victory Tour, Katniss lashes out at Effie, the woman in charge of organizing their agenda. Peeta comforts Katniss by explaining that although he and Katniss have not been close since their return to District 12, he would like them to try to be friends. Katniss agrees to try, and Peeta takes her to see his paintings. All of the paintings depict scenes from the Hunger Games, and Katniss hates them. Peeta explains that he remembers the details so vividly because he sees these details in his nightmares at night. Painting is cathartic for him, though he still suffers from nightmares, as do Katniss and Haymitch. Perhaps Haymitch is right: Katniss could do a lot worse than Peeta. His comfort allows Katniss to gain control of her emotions, and she apologizes to Effie.
When the train arrives in the agricultural district, District 11, Katniss tries to prepare herself for the first stop of the Victory Tour. Her primary job is to quell rebellion before it can begin by pretending to be madly in love with Peeta. Unfortunately, her ally, Rue, was from District 11, as was Thresh, who spared Katniss’s life in the Games. Katniss struggles to “put on a show” for Panem. However, when Peeta declares that he and Katniss would like to dedicate one twelfth of their annual winnings to the families of Rue and Thresh, Katniss genuinely kisses Peeta, who always seems to do what is right.
Katniss realizes that she must address her debt to Rue, who died helping her in the Games. First she explains why she respected Thresh. He was powerful and independent. However, she knew Rue; Katniss explains all the things that bring the little...
(The entire section is 495 words.)
Chapter 5 Summary
People in District 11 are being executed for their gestures of defiance against the Capitol’s authority. As Katniss and Peeta are rushed away from the scene, gunshots continue. Haymitch intercepts the young victors and rushes them away to a private place. Peeta demands to know what is going on and finally learns that Katniss’s life is once again on the line, as are the lives of her loved ones. He also learns that he and Katniss are expected to put on a show of love. Finally, Peeta learns that Katniss and Haymitch were able to communicate during the Hunger Games through the gifts that Haymitch would send or withhold. Peeta is furious and demands that Haymitch and Katniss share their plans with him from now on. It is not enough that he is able to act naturally in front of the audience. From now on, he must be involved. Haymitch and Katniss agree.
The Victory Tour continues, and Katniss does her best to appear love-struck. By the time they get to Districts 1 and 2, which are notable for their Career tributes, Katniss worries that she has failed to meet President Snow’s expectations. Whereas she respected Rue and Thresh from District 11, Katniss feels little remorse for having personally killed the tributes from these districts. Still, Katniss is traumatized by her time in the Hunger Games, and she has terrible nightmares when she sleeps. At night, she and Peeta have taken to sleeping next to each other, as they did during the Games, for comfort. Katniss reflects that this will also help to convince President Snow of her love for Peeta.
Finally, Katniss reaches the Capitol. Here the people are not required to sacrifice their children. They have no penance to pay. For them, the Hunger Games are a form of entertainment, so there is little chance of rebellion. However, she and Peeta continue their act in the hopes of making up for their failures in the outlying districts. In fact, Katniss even suggests that Peeta propose marriage in front of the cameras. Peeta considers her suggestion, though he is hardly pleased because he would have preferred a real marriage.
Peeta is always quick to help Katniss, and he does propose to her on camera. The proposal takes place on Caesar Flickerman’s show, and Katniss reflects that Peeta, as always, is a natural showman. Katniss does her best to gush with love for Peeta. For viewers from the Capitol, their proposal is already a media spectacle. However, things become even more...
(The entire section is 462 words.)
Chapter 6 Summary
Katniss now knows that she has failed to convince the outlying districts that her romance with Peeta is real. Katniss knows this means that she will be punished, but she does not know how. Rather than feel terrified, though, she feels relieved. There is no need for pretending once she gets back to District 12. Furthermore, she is now free to fight back and to plan. She begins making a mental list of people she cares for who will have to come with her as she makes her escape from the Capitol’s spies and killers. However, Katniss is still in the Capitol and still very much under President Snow’s control and supervision. Still on camera, Snow jokes about how the Capitol should throw a wedding for Katniss once her mother has approved of Peeta’s proposal.
After the interview with Caesar Flickerman, there is a big party at the President’s House. Everyone wants to meet Katniss and Peeta. Katniss’s primary concern is the food. There is a lot of it and all of it is delicious. Since Katniss comes from District 12, where children regularly starve, she is impressed by the banquet. She resolves to eat only one bite of each dish, but she still fails to try everything before she finds herself full. Her Capitol stylists ask why she is not eating. When they find out that she is full, they encourage Katniss to take a special drink that will allow her to vomit and then continue eating. Katniss and Peeta are flabbergasted by such reckless waste and selfishness.
They keep their feelings private, and Peeta invites Katniss to dance. He explains that he, too, finds the Capitol heartless. Perhaps, he suggests, they were wrong to go along with President Snow’s plans to quell rebellions. Maybe they should have encouraged the people to rise up. These statements shock Katniss, particularly because they might have been overheard. However, as always, Peeta is well aware of his words and his audience.
Before long, Katniss finds herself dancing with the new Head Gamemaker, Plutarch Havensbee. During their conversation, he flashes a secret signal at Katniss from his watch—a picture of a mockingjay based on the pin Katniss wore during the Games. It disappears as quickly as it is came, then Plutarch excuses himself.
The next day, Katniss, Peeta, and Haymitch leave for District 12. There is a celebration and the Victory Tour has finally ended. Katniss begins to spend time with Madge, the mayor’s daughter who gave her the...
(The entire section is 459 words.)
Chapter 7 Summary
There is an uprising in District 8. The people are rebelling against the Peacemakers, who are shooting into a wild crowd. Katniss takes in enough to know that she failed to convince both President Snow and the outlying districts during her Victory Tour. Before the mayor can catch her, Katniss leaves the room to find his daughter, Madge.
Katniss questions Madge about the pin, explaining that the mockingjay can be interpreted as a symbol of rebellion against the Capitol’s authority. Madge argues that the mockingjay is just a songbird, and Katniss gives up questioning her friend. Privately, she reflects that the mockingjay does suggest rebellion against the Capitol. The mockingjay is a hybrid species of the mockingbird and the artificial jabberjay. During the rebellion, the Capitol used jabberjays as spies until the rebels realized that the birds were listening to them. Then the rebels used the jabberjays to send misinformation to the Capitol. The Capitol abandoned the jabberjays to die, but the birds bred with mockingbirds and survive as mockingjays. Katniss concludes that the Capitol underestimated the birds’ will to live.
Katniss is prepared to go wild herself. She meets with Gale in a secret location that she hopes will offer them privacy and proposes that they escape together. Gale, who is jealous of Peeta and his public engagement to Katniss, agrees to leave with Katniss because he loves her. Caught by surprise, Katniss responds, “I know.” As they begin to fight, Katniss lets slip that rebellion has begun in District 8. Gale now argues that the people in District 12 should organize and rebel as well. When Katniss argues that their responsibility is to save their families, Gale replies that they have a responsibility to try to save all the families in District 12. They part in anger.
Back in the Victor’s Village, Katniss shares her plan with Peeta while she walks him to his parents’ house. Like Gale, Peeta agrees to leave with Katniss, though he argues that Katniss will never leave people behind. They are interrupted by a public spectacle in the town square. Katniss pushes her way to the center of the crowd and sees that Gale is being punished for poaching. He is being whipped by a new Peacekeeper.
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Chapter 8 Summary
At the end of the seventh chapter, Katniss sees that Gale is being whipped for poaching. Poaching requires a weapon, which is forbidden. Fortunately, Gale was only caught with a turkey. If he were found with a weapon, he would be punished by death. Usually the Peacekeepers look the other way, but the Capitol has sent District 12 a new Head Peacekeeper. Katniss does not take any of this in as she rushes to save Gale from being whipped. She defends him by throwing herself in front of him and ends up taking a lash in her face.
Katniss would be punished further if not for Haymitch, who interrupts the whipping. Haymitch points out that Katniss is a victor, and he scolds the new Peacekeeper for ruining Katniss’s face just one week before a scheduled photo session. Haymitch threatens to call the Capitol to complain. Before the standoff can escalate any further, Greasy Sae steps in and suggests that the required number of lashes has been dealt anyway. Darius, a District 12 veteran Peacekeeper, is lying on the ground; he was punished for trying to intervene before Katniss’s arrival.
Haymitch, Peeta, and Katniss carry Gale to Katniss’s home in the Victor’s Village. Katniss’s mother is a nurse. Although she suffered from depression and failed to provide for Katniss after her father’s death, she is a confident woman when faced with the wounded. Katniss’s mother takes charge and does what she can for Gale, who has been severely whipped. When Katniss sees that Gale is not going to get enough pain medication, she lashes out at her mother. Her mother has Haymitch and Peeta remove Katniss from the room.
As Katniss calms down, she overhears the others talking. Peeta tells Haymitch about Katniss’s plan to run away. Haymitch explains that there is a new Head Peacemaker who believes in corporal punishment, though at least he does not pay starving women to sleep with him like his predecessor did. Finally Katniss overhears her mother point out that things are happening just like they did before. It is difficult to believe, but harder times are returning.
Even after Katniss has calmed down, she still knows that Gale has not received enough pain medication. His teeth are clenched shut with pain. Madge arrives with vials of “morphling,” an expensive painkiller. Katniss’s mother injects it into Gale, and he is finally able to relax. Looking at her friend, Katniss realizes that he could never run away....
(The entire section is 440 words.)
Chapter 9 Summary
Katniss tells Gale that she has traded in her plan to run away so that she can start an uprising in District 12. There is a blizzard in District 12, and no one is able to go out. During the time she is stuck inside, Katniss reflects that her biggest problem will be that she is so easy to reach. The Capitol has only to harm Prim to reach her. On the other hand, the Capitol has already harmed Prim by forcing her to watch Katniss in the Games, by calling her name in the Reaping, and by allowing her father to die in a mining accident. Katniss hardens her resolve to fight back as Gale slowly heals from his injuries. She also apologizes to her mother for her outbursts the night before.
Once the blizzard passes, Katniss joins Peeta and Haymitch for a walk to the town square. As they leave the Victor’s Village, Katniss shares with Haymitch her determination to start an uprising. Her old mentor scoffs at her plan and says that his only plan for the time being is to see Katniss married to Peeta—and the sooner the better. Katniss does not see why her plan should fail. However, as they enter the town square, she begins to get a sense of what is going on.
There is not only a new Head Peacekeeper in District 12. Now there is a whole new unit of Peacekeepers with new uniforms. Gallows and whipping posts have been constructed in front the Justice Building. Also, the Hob, the black market where Katniss sells wild game and where Haymitch buys liquor, has been burned down. Katniss is outraged because the Hob allows people to make a living. However, it also illustrates how difficult it would be to lead a rebellion in District 12. The people seem subdued regardless of the injustices that are enforced at the Justice Building.
Even Gale is no longer poaching. It has always been forbidden to go out into the woods, but now it is especially dangerous. Nevertheless, Katniss puts on her warmest clothing and goes into the woods. On her way home, she senses a weapon aimed at her. She turns, bow loaded, and sees a white Peacekeeper’s uniform. However, before she shoots to kill, the stranger shows her a familiar emblem: a mockingjay.
(The entire section is 388 words.)
Chapter 10 Summary
Katniss is in the midst of a face-off with what appears to be a uniformed Peacekeeper. The Peacekeeper holds a gun, and Katniss is armed with her bow and arrow. She is in the wilderness, armed, and poaching, all of which are serious offenses in District 12. However, before she can fire, the Peacekeeper reveals a cracker with a mockingjay on it. Looking closer, Katniss realizes that the woman in the uniform is no Peacekeeper.
However, Katniss does not lower her weapon. Slowly it becomes clear that Katniss is in charge, until a second person comes out of a cottage at Katniss’s back. Katniss quickly regains control of the situation and has the two strangers stand in front of her. The woman and girl introduce themselves as Bonnie and Twill. They claim to be from District 8, which Katniss knows has rebelled against the Capitol. They claim to be on Katniss’s side.
Bonnie offers an account of the uprising in District 8. It is an industrial district responsible for textiles—including the Peacekeepers’ uniforms. Beneath the din of the factory machinery, the workers of District 8 planned their rebellion. The day Katniss and Peeta agreed to marry, everyone in District 8 was called to a public square to watch. However, they used the broadcast as an excuse to gather, then they overthrew the local authorities. However, their victory was short lived. Before long, thousands of Peacekeepers were flown in and brutally reasserted the Capitol’s control over the workers. Bonnie and Twill were able to escape because they showed up to work late one day—the day their factory exploded.
Now the two refugees are headed to District 13. Katniss objects that District 13 was destroyed during the rebellion. However, Bonnie points out that the footage of District 13 has never changed, even after seventy years. It always shows a Justice Building with a mockingjay flying in the top right corner. They say this suggests that District 13, which was responsible for nuclear development, might have survived the war and continued to operate independently since. Katniss dismisses this as wishful thinking.
Katniss shares food with the refugees and then heads home. She ponders their story and begins to wonder why President Snow had Katniss play her lover’s game with Peeta for Panem. There was no way her kisses could have prevented the rebellion in District 8. She realizes that President Snow must have had another plan and the...
(The entire section is 420 words.)
Chapter 11 Summary
Katniss is in the woods, and she has just discovered that the fence that surrounds her home is electrified. She is stuck outdoors and night is falling. Although there have been times in the past when Katniss has found herself stuck outside her home, she always had Gale for company while she waited for the electricity to fail. Now she begins to wonder whether the Peacekeepers are more aware of her movements than she realizes. Do they know she is in the woods illegally? In the past, Prim could just go to the woods to see if Katniss was stuck outside an electrified fence, but this time Katniss has snuck out and her mother will be worried if she does not return home soon.
Katniss decides to climb a nearby tree with a branch that hangs over the fence. It is a twenty-five foot drop, and Katniss hesitates. But she climbs the tree, crawls along the branch, and drops. The fall injures her ankle and her tailbone, but she gets up and starts home. Along the way, she picks up some peppermints and some bandages for Prim and her mother.
When Katniss finally arrives at home, two Peacekeepers are waiting for her. It seems like they have been waiting for her in the hopes of catching her in the act of poaching. Katniss pretends she was out all day running errands and took longer than expected because of Prim’s bad directions. Haymitch and Peeta, who are nearby, realize what is happening and guide the conversation so as not to implicate Katniss. A Peacekeeper asks what is in Katniss’s bag, and she reveals her candy and bandages. Frustrated, the Peacekeepers deliver their final message: that the fence is now electrified. Katniss innocently replies, “Isn’t it always?”
After the Peacekeepers leave, Katniss allows her mother to tend to her injuries. It will take time for her ankle to recover. The next day, she turns on the television, looking for confirmation that the Capitol relies on seventy-year-old footage for its reports on District 13. A reporter appears in front of a familiar scene of the District 13 Justice Building. She shares with the audience that District 13 is still too toxic for people to work there. However, Katniss spots the mockingjay wing in the corner of the screen and realizes that the reporter has been put in front of the same old footage. The Capitol is lying about what is in District 13.
(The entire section is 409 words.)
Chapter 12 Summary
Katniss’s foot will take time to heal. Although her wedding shoot was supposed to happen soon, Haymitch pushed back the date so Katniss’s face could heal after she received a lash protecting Gale from the Peacekeepers. It is rare that Katniss has time to recover, but she finally gets it. Unfortunately, with District 8 having recently rebelled and recent news that District 13 could be a stronghold that defies the Capitol, Katniss is frustrated that she cannot start an uprising in District 12. For now, she has to make do eating Peeta’s baking and healing under her mother’s watchful eye.
One morning, Katniss wakes up to find that her stylists have arrived. It is time for her to start trying on her wedding gowns. As always, the stylists take possession of Katniss’s body, though they only shave her hair rather than waxing her body this time. Although Katniss has little use for these beauty sessions, she tries to pry information about the other districts from her Capitol stylists. She infers that other districts are rebelling because there has been no seafood in the Capitol for months—ostensibly because of bad weather. Katniss knows that bad weather is just the cover-up story the Capitol is spreading. Before long, the wedding gown session ends. Prim returns home the next day with news that there will be an evening broadcast that all of Panem’s citizens are required to watch. It turns out that the Capitol is being treated to all of Katniss’s wedding plans.
Before the show ends, President Snow takes the stage to share information about the 75th annual Hunger Games, the third Quarter Quell. The Hunger Games are meant to remind the districts of the Capitol’s authority while punishing them for rebelling against the Capitol—an apt message given that many of the districts appear to be in rebellion as Snow speaks. The first Quell required each district to vote on the children they would send to the Games. The second Quell, which Haymitch won, required each district to send twice the normal number of tributes. President Snow reaches into a box of envelopes, pulls out a sheet of paper, and reads what is in store for the third Quarter Quell. This year, to show that even the strongest people from the outlying districts are unable to stand up against the might of the Capitol, the tributes will be drawn from each district’s victors.
District 12 has three victors: two males and one female. As Katniss’s mother...
(The entire section is 438 words.)
Chapter 13 Summary
Katniss has just realized that she will be returning to the arena. She breaks down and immediately attempts to flee District 12, only to find that the fence is still electrified. Unable to escape to the woods, she turns around and tries to hide in an abandoned building. Katniss finds some plastic sheeting and wraps herself up in it. Slowly, she begins to think again. Although the ceremony implied that the Quarter Quell has been planned for more than seventy years, Katniss suspects President Snow of having planned this over the past year. It is too convenient that Katniss, whose mockingjay has become symbolic of the rebellion against the Capitol, is being sent back into the arena.
Katniss returns to the Victor’s Village and finds Haymitch, who is “drunk as a skunk.” Haymitch shares that Peeta has already been to see him and has made a deal with Haymitch that he will return to the arena to protect Katniss. Katniss stays to drink with Haymitch. She makes her own deal: that they work together to keep Peeta alive. Haymitch agrees, though it will mean helping Katniss and Peeta kill his friends—the victors from other districts. That night, Katniss returns home drunk, and the next morning she wakes up hung over. Her mother offers her a cup of broth, and Katniss takes a second cup to Haymitch.
Haymitch and Katniss sit quietly, hung over, until Peeta arrives with a box of empty bottles. He explains that he has emptied every one of the liquor bottles and has made an arrangement with Greasy Sae that will prevent them from getting more liquor. Haymitch is outraged, as is Katniss, but Peeta stands firm. He explains that there is no room for drunkenness this time. Furthermore, he means for the three of them to train for the Quarter Quell as if they are Careers. Reluctantly, Haymitch and Katniss agree, if only because it means they will be able to maintain their agreement to keep Peeta alive.
The training is useful for Katniss and Peeta. Haymitch is strong, but years of alcoholism have left him unable to hit a house with a throwing knife. Gale helps out by teaching Katniss and Peeta everything he knows about setting snares. Although Gale is jealous of Peeta for his official engagement to Katniss, he admits that Peeta is difficult to hate. The three victors watch video footage of previous Games, and Katniss realizes that some of their competitors may be quite elderly.
Finally, the Reaping is at hand. Katniss...
(The entire section is 482 words.)
Chapter 14 Summary
Katniss has been taken away from her family without being given the chance to say good-bye. Peeta tries to comfort her, suggesting that it will be better if she writes a note because then everyone will have something to hold on to if the worst should happen. Katniss has never been good with words, especially writing. It feels like this is just one more thing the Capitol has taken from her.
On the train, Katniss, Peeta, a sober Haymitch, and Effie watch footage of the Reaping. Peeta takes notes. Some of the returning victors stand out to Katniss. Brutus from District 2 seems like a typically violent Career. Finnick, from District 4, is handsome with bronze hair. A hysterical woman from District 4 is called, but an eighty-year-old woman volunteers to take her place. Johanna Mason is the only living female victor from District 7, and Katniss recalls that she won by pretending to be weak. Chaff, of District 11, is an old friend of Haymitch’s. Although the announcers seem distraught that the young lovers, Katniss and Peeta, have been reaped again, moments later they declare, “These will be the best Games ever!”
That night, Peeta sends Katniss to bed so she can get some rest while he continues studying the competition. Katniss tries to sleep but is already suffering from nightmares about the upcoming Games. She leaves her room and finds Peeta watching footage from previous Games. They embrace, and Katniss finds a great deal of comfort in Peeta’s warmth. Finally they decide to study together. Up to this point, they have not watched Haymitch’s victory because they felt it would disturb him. Because he is not with them now, Katniss and Peeta watch his Games.
Twenty-five years ago, Haymitch was a handsome and powerfully built young man. The Quarter Quell takes place inside what appears to be a lush paradise with woods on one side and a mountain on the other. While everyone else is still marveling at their beautiful surroundings, Haymitch dashes to the Cornucopia and takes supplies of water, food, and weapons before racing for the forest. The mountain is actually a volcano, and it kills many of Haymitch’s competitors. Eventually Haymitch is attacked and saved by his fellow District 12 tribute, Maysilee, sister of the mayor’s wife and friend of Katniss’s mother. The two form an alliance and continue to move away from the volcano. However, there is a wall of thick brush at the edge of the woods, and it is...
(The entire section is 634 words.)
Chapter 15 Summary
When Katniss arrives at the Capitol, her stylists seem even more insensitive than before. They weep as they tend to Katniss’s beauty, and it falls on Katniss to cheer them up. It seems that the people of the Capitol are not very enthusiastic about the idea of victors returning to the arena. Although they gladly watch children killed every year, the victors are like close friends to them. Katniss is sure, however, that everyone in the Capitol will be just fine once the Games begin.
Cinna is the only stylist Katniss can stand. Last year, Katniss was “the girl on fire.” This year, Cinna has designed impressive suits that glow like embers for Katniss and Peeta to wear. They are to stand straight and proud during their chariot ride through the Capitol, as if the people of the Capitol are beneath their notice.
Before they leave, Finnick Odair, the tribute from District 4, approaches Katniss. District 4 is responsible for seafood production, so Finnick is wearing only a net—loosely knotted at his waist for the sake of modesty. Finnick is a famous victor who won at the age of 14 after his sponsors sent him a trident. Since then, he has become a celebrity who is continually sought after by the women of the Capitol. In fact, Finnick explains as he flirts with Katniss, he no longer deals in money or goods. He is only interested in secrets. Finnick leaves as Peeta arrives, and the two victors from District 12 ride through the Capitol.
Afterward, several other victors approach Katniss. Seeder, from District 11, shares that Rue’s and Thresh’s families are still alive. Chaff kisses Katniss, which shocks her. Then Johanna Mason arrives, dressed as a tree. She strips naked as she criticizes her stylist, and together they ride up the elevator. When Peeta and Katniss are alone, he explains that everyone in the Capitol thinks of Katniss as being pure, and they act sexually provocative around her to get under her skin. Still, Katniss wonders what would have happened to them if they had been given time to be victors.
As the chapter closes, Katniss discovers that she will be served by the same Avox as last year. An Avox is a political prisoner whose tongue has been altered, rendering the person mute. Effie comments that both Avoxes have red hair this year—they match. Katniss looks at the male and realizes that it is Darius, a former Peacekeeper from District 12. Darius had tried to stop the new Head...
(The entire section is 429 words.)
Chapter 16 Summary
Seeing Darius draws Katniss away from Peeta. When she sees Darius, who sacrificed himself to save Gale, she sees herself as part of the community that relied on the Hob. Peeta, the son of a well-off baker, is not “Hob.” However, she has little time to worry over this latest manipulation. After a night of nightmares, Haymitch retrieves Katniss, and she notices that he is wearing a bangle with a pattern of flames. There is no time to inquire as he drags her to a morning meeting in which he instructs Katniss and Peeta to continue pretending to be lovers. Their next order of business is to try to find allies.
Katniss struggles with the idea of trying to find allies among people like flirtatious Finnick, brutal Brutus, and oft-naked Johanna. Haymitch points out that as the youngest and newest victors, Katniss and Peeta are at a disadvantage: the others will be more likely to turn on them than on the victors with whom they are already friends. Peeta also reminds Katniss, they have promised themselves to approach the Quell as though they are Careers.
At the Training Center, Katniss and Peeta split up. Katniss makes friends with the other victors slowly while Peeta seems to effortlessly talk with the others, even the Careers. Many of the victors are scarred and have turned to substance abuse, like Haymitch has. However, alcoholism is not nearly as debilitating as morphling addiction, which Katniss sees in some of the victors. Beetee and Wiress from District 3 are old and unimpressive physically; Katniss learns later that the other victors refer to them dismissively as Nuts and Volts. However, the District 3 victors are both very intelligent. They share with Katniss that their district has rebelled against the Capitol, and they are disappointed to infer from Katniss’s subtle answers that District 12 has not had an uprising. Beetee and Wiress also spot a force field around the gamemakers’ table, which is invisible except for a hazy spot in the field that disrupts vision. Beetee likens it to a chink in armor. Katniss also makes friends with the eighty-year-old woman from District 4, though she can only make fishhooks now. Her counterpart, Finnick, continues to flirt with Katniss. He shows off his knot-tying skills by making a noose and pretending to hang himself with it. Katniss is unimpressed. Nor does she approve of Johanna, who is naked again and oiling her body at the wrestling pit.
By the end of the day,...
(The entire section is 591 words.)
Chapter 17 Summary
Katniss has just hanged a dummy with “Seneca Crane” written on it. The Gamemakers are shocked by the message she has delivered, and it is only with effort that Plutarch Havensbee is able to dismiss Katniss. As she leaves, she reflects that she may well be punished for this action—as might Peeta. But she does not regret her harsh actions. When Katniss meets up with Peeta and the others, Peeta shares with the group his demonstration. He chose to use his skill with camouflage dyes and painting to depict Rue as she looked when she died. When asked why he would do such a thing, Peeta explains that he wanted to hold the Gamemakers accountable, even if only for a moment. Effie, Haymitch, and Cinna are all shocked by the actions of the two tributes from District 12 because these ideas are forbidden. When Peeta declares that they do not want allies, Haymitch disgustedly admits that at least now he will not have to help them kill his friends.
The next day, Peeta and Katniss are left to themselves to prepare for the Games. They decide to spend the time together on the roof of the Training Center. They play catch by throwing an apple into the force field. Katniss falls asleep in Peeta’s lap as he plays with her hair. He wakes her up for the sunset, and Katniss reflects that this might be her last chance to look at one.
Finally, Katniss is prepared for her interview with Caesar Flickerman. Her stylists, whom Cinna has berated for their inconsiderateness, now struggle not to break down while tending to Katniss’s hair. They each end up declaring how much they will miss Katniss and leaving the room. When Cinna arrives, he shows Katniss her dress. President Snow has declared that she must wear her wedding dress to the interview. It is heavier than she remembers, but she recalls the dress, particularly its sleeves, which extend from her wrists to her feet. Cinna hints that Katniss should spin in this dress, like she did in her interview dress last year.
At the interview, Johanna Mason tells Katniss to make the President pay for what he is doing. It is a surprisingly supportive statement coming from Johanna, but Katniss realizes that most of the victors are going to use their interviews to criticize President Snow for killing off the victors. By the time Katniss appears, the Capitol audience is in tears. Others are calling out for President Snow to change the rules so the victors will not have to kill each other off....
(The entire section is 473 words.)
Chapter 18 Summary
With Katniss’s dress transformed into a mockingjay, it seems as though she is being broadcast as the personification of rebellion across Panem. Even Caesar Flickerman can tell what is happening. However, after a night of speculation about whether the Capitol has made a mistake and even after Katniss’s transformed dress, Peeta’s interview will be remembered as the greatest shock of the night.
Peeta is the last victor to be interviewed. He bitterly explains to Caesar that he and Katniss were already married in a private ceremony. Who would ever have thought that the Quarter Quell would reap each district’s victor? Caesar agrees, but he suggests that at least they enjoyed a few months of happiness together. Peeta is not finished; he announces that Katniss is pregnant. The crowd goes crazy. Katniss, Peeta, and all of the victors join hands. It is an image of unity, one that has not been seen since the districts united in rebellion during the Dark Days. The Capitol cuts the broadcast, but the subversive message has already aired.
Afterward, there is little time for anyone to react before the Hunger Games will begin. Katniss meets with Haymitch, who reports that people are not sure how to react. This situation is without precedent. However, no matter what the people say, President Snow will not cancel the Games. Katniss and Peeta only have a few moments for Katniss to confirm that she is okay with what Peeta has done, although she knows it will make life awkward for her family in District 12. Haymitch’s last words of advice are “stay alive.” After a second, he adds that Katniss should remember who her enemies are.
The last person Katniss sees before she goes into the arena is Cinna. Cinna’s dress with the mockingjay was rebellious. He once said that he channels his emotions into his work so no one will be hurt. As Katniss is enclosed by a glass tube and raised into the arena, a group of Peacekeepers enter the room, beat Cinna, and drag him away. Only trails of his blood remain.
Katniss has little time to react because she is being placed in the arena. As she looks around and sees that she is standing on a pedestal in the middle of a body of water, she thinks this is no place for a “girl on fire.”
(The entire section is 397 words.)
Chapter 19 Summary
Katniss is in anguish over Cinna’s punishment, but she does not have time to dwell on it; she is already in the arena with very little time to decide what to do. She forces herself to take stock of her surroundings. She is above a body of water; as some splashes onto her pedestal, she learns that it is salty. There is a sort of wheel with the Cornucopia in the middle and spokes that extend out between the victors. Claudius Templesmith’s voice can be heard announcing the start of the Games. After a minute has passed, a gong sounds. The Hunger Games have begun again.
In the first Games, Katniss ran from the Cornucopia. This time, she dives into the water, cuts through the waves, and makes it to the Cornucopia, where she finds a bow and arrows. She turns around to find Finnick, armed with a trident and net, behind her. She is about to kill him when Finnick flashes a bangle with a pattern of flames at her. Katniss recognizes it as the bangle Haymitch was wearing at the Training Center. Although Katniss and Peeta did not want allies, it appears that Haymitch made an alliance anyway.
Together, they begin defending themselves. There is nothing at the Cornucopia but weapons, so after a few shots at the allied Careers from Districts 1 and 2 (Brutus, Enobaria, Gloss, and Cashmere), Finnick and Katniss prepare to leave. Peeta cannot swim and is stuck on his pedestal. Finnick swims out to get him. Meanwhile, Mags, the eighty-year-old woman from District 4, realizes that her belt can work as a flotation device and swims to Katniss. Together, Finnick throws his net and Mags over his shoulders, and the foursome escapes down one of the spokes away from the Cornucopia.
They enter a forest that Katniss finds unfamiliar. It is a jungle. As the foursome climbs uphill, Katniss reflects that she ought to kill Finnick now, while he is unsuspecting. However, Finnick can guess her intentions and always has his tridents ready. Peeta stands between them to stop them from fighting each other. Katniss reflects that everyone in the arena but Peeta is a killer. Only Peeta is made from something better. In spite of their show of unity during Caesar Flickerman’s broadcast, the victors are now fighting to the death.
They continue their march, and eventually Katniss looks up and sees a chink in the armor of a force field. No one else knows how to see a force field. Peeta swings at some vines with a knife but hits the force field...
(The entire section is 454 words.)
Chapter 20 Summary
Peeta is lying on the ground without a heart beat. Katniss does not know what to do, but Finnick does. He closes Peeta’s nostrils, which Katniss interprets as a sign of aggression. Before she can attack Finnick, he punches Katniss away. He bends over and begins blowing air into Peeta’s mouth. Katniss recognizes this as something her mother would occasionally do to revive someone whose heart has stopped. Peeta wakes up, and the party reluctantly starts moving again.
Finnick points out that Katniss saw the force field before the rest of them and wants to know how she recognized it. Katniss lies, claiming that she heard it with the left ear that the Capitol’s doctors repaired after the last Hunger Games. She takes the lead, but she throws nuts ahead of her to keep track of the force field. Mags eats one of the nuts and says they are good, but none of the others are prepared to risk what might yet prove to be poison. Frustrated that they cannot find a way over the hill they have climbed, Katniss climbs a tree and discovers that the arena is a circular. In the middle is a wheel with the Cornucopia, surrounded by water, and then jungle.
The allies agree to make camp. Finnick and Mags start using the grass to weave mats, Peeta roasts nuts on the force field, and Katniss goes hunting. She finds a rat-like creature climbing a tree and shoots it. Its muzzle is wet, but no matter how hard she tries, Katniss cannot find a source of water. She returns to the camp, and none of the victors can figure out where the creature has found water. Peeta begins tossing scraps of meat into the force field to cook it. This, along with the grass hut Finnick and Mags have constructed, makes for a relatively pleasant evening in the arena.
A gift descends from the sky by parachute. They open it and find a metal tube with a pointed end. No one knows what the pipe is for, but Katniss knows that if Haymitch sent it, it must be useful. Suddenly she realizes that it is a spile. She has seen her father use it to draw syrup from maple trees. After some work, the allies use the spile to draw water from the trees. Refreshed, the allies begin to rest, and Finnick takes the first guard. In the middle of the night, a bell tolls twelve times, but no one knows what it means. Finnick goes to sleep.
As Katniss takes watch, there is rain. When it passes, Katniss sees a fog rise up from the shore. However, it seems unnaturally uniform in its...
(The entire section is 478 words.)
Chapter 21 Summary
A deadly fog is advancing on Katniss and her allies. She has only to scream out a warning and Finnick awakens, takes stock of the situation, and runs off with Mags. Peeta is still recovering from being shocked by the force field and is slower to wake. Katniss does her best to stay with him rather than abandon him, particularly because she views abandoning Peeta as doing what the Capitol would prefer. They struggle to evade the fog and discover that it is paralyzing. Finally Finnick returns and lifts Peeta and has Katniss carry Mags. However, soon Katniss can carry Mags no longer. The fog is slowly paralyzing their limbs. Finnick has already dropped two tridents, and Peeta is holding on to the third one. Finnick apologizes and says he will not be able to carry them both.
Mags understands the situation. She dashes up to Finnick and kisses him, then she turns around and runs into the fog before Katniss can react. They watch her body writhe in pain before a cannon shot announces her death. Finnick turns and continues to carry Peeta toward the shore. Katniss does her best to keep up.
At the shore, Katniss discovers that the salt water draws the fog’s poison from her body. She bathes herself slowly because the pain of the water against her skin is intense until more of the poison leaves. Next she heals Peeta, who looks up and sees a pair of monkeys in the nearby trees. Once Katniss and Peeta are in control of their bodies, they turn their attentions to Finnick, who is suffering much worse than either of the District 12 victors. When Finnick starts to revive, Peeta leaves to carve a hole in a nearby tree for water.
Katniss and Finnick, now mostly restored, suddenly notice that there are many monkeys in the trees above them. Katniss is alarmed, but tries to sound calm as she calls to Peeta to return to the beach. Peeta realizes that something is wrong and slowly returns, but when he senses the horde of monkeys above him and looks up, they attack. These are not natural monkeys but genetically altered muttations, and the allied victors once again find themselves fighting for their lives. Katniss spots Peeta fighting with a knife, and she sees that he is about to be caught by an attacking monkey. Katniss throws herself at him to save him, though she knows she will not make it. Suddenly a morphling addict from District 6 arrives out of nowhere, sacrificing her life to save Peeta.
(The entire section is 427 words.)
Chapter 22 Summary
The muttation buries its teeth into the chest of the female morphling addict who threw herself between the monkey and Peeta. Katniss and Peeta prepare to fight it off, but then the muttations retreat as if they are being called away. Katniss reflects that the Gamemakers are in complete control of everything in the arena. Peeta and Katniss do their best to save their fellow victor, but Katniss can tell that one of the woman’s vital organs has been punctured. In a moment that recalls Katniss’s song for Rue, Peeta explains to the dying woman how he once strived to find the color of light on white fur in his painting.
Katniss, Peeta, and Finnick recover, but they stay on the beach. Katniss knows that sooner or later they will be driven back into the jungle. For now, they can rest, and Finnick stays up to mourn Mags. In the morning, his eyes are puffy, but he has collected shellfish for them to eat and water for them to drink. Their wounds from the fog begin to itch. As Katniss strides along the beach, she looks up at the sky and tells Haymitch to send them some ointment if he is not too drunk. No sooner does she say it than a tube of ointment falls from the sky. The ointment makes Katniss’s skin an ugly shade of green, but it takes away the itching. Finnick rubs the ointment on as well but regrets that this may be the first time in his life he has not been pretty. The two go to wake up Peeta, humorously startling him with their grotesque appearance, and a loaf of bread drops from the sky. Katniss interprets this bread as a message that her friendship with Finnick is winning her sponsors.
The next interruption in their day is not an attack. Instead, three victors break free from the jungle and land on the beach. They are all deeply red—covered in blood that they had hoped would be rainwater. Finnick recognizes Johanna Mason and rushes to welcome her, much to Katniss’s irritation. Fortunately, Johanna has Wiress and Beetee with her. Katniss and Johanna are not happy to see each other, and Johanna slaps Katniss for a flippant remark, commenting that she brought Wiress and Beetee along for Katniss. Before Katniss can figure out what is happening, Finnick carries Johanna into the water and douses her repeatedly until she calms down.
Friendship between Finnick and Katniss seems to have come easily, but she and Johanna are constantly at odds. However, Johanna does explain some things to Katniss. Beetee was...
(The entire section is 564 words.)
Chapter 23 Summary
Katniss realizes that the arena is designed to resemble and work like a clock. During every hour, there will be a different horror in one section of the jungle. Katniss knows that she has just enough time to explain what is happening before the next horror will start. Now that Wiress’s message has been received, they focus on helping Beetee recover, and they retrieve his wire. Johanna says it is useless, but Katniss finds this suspicious because Beetee used wire to set a trap and win his Hunger Games. Johanna knows this because she nicknamed Beetee “Volts.” Before she can figure out what is happening, they decided to return to the Cornucopia.
The allies stock up on weapons. Johanna picks up two throwing axes and demonstrates her impressive skill. Katniss reflects that District 7 produces lumber, which is why Johanna has such a natural way with axes. District 12 tributes would have a greater advantage with munitions if they were allowed in the mines before the age of 18. No wonder they always do so badly at the Hunger Games. Other districts seem to prepare their children to use axes, tridents, or electricity, whereas District 12 sends helpless children.
Peeta takes the time to draw a clock in the sand while Wiress begins washing Beetee’s wire in the water. She sings a song about a mouse on a clock, which irritates Johanna. When they gather to look at Peeta’s map, Katniss notices that Wiress has stopped singing. Katniss turns to see the Careers from Districts 1 and 2 attack and kill Wiress. Katniss and her allies fight off the Careers. Gloss and Cashmere die, but the Cornucopia begins spinning before Katniss and her allies can pursue Brutus and Enobaria. When the spinning stops, Katniss swims out to rescue Beetee’s wire while Finnick swims out to retrieve Peeta, who was stabbed in the leg.
Katniss’s group decides to return to the midnight section of the jungle. However, now that the Cornucopia has spun, they have no way of finding it. They resolve to get some water, and Katniss notices something strange. When Peeta volunteers to tap a tree, Finnick offers to take his place. Upon reflection, Katniss realizes that everyone seems to be working to keep Peeta safe. The only explanation Katniss can think of is that Peeta has a way with words more likely to enable the rebellion against the Capitol. However, before she can pursue this idea further, she hears Prim’s voice coming from the jungle and dashes...
(The entire section is 423 words.)
Chapter 24 Summary
Katniss runs as fast as she can into the jungle in search of Prim, whom she hears screaming. However, when she tracks down the voice, she finds a jabberjay. Katniss shoots the jay and throws its body away. Finnick has caught up to her, but then he hears a voice and rushes off. He says it is Annie’s voice. Katniss catches up to him, calms him, and then hears Gale’s voice. She rushes off, but this time Finnick is able to drag her away until she regains control over her senses. They attempt to return to the others, but when they get to the beach, they find a transparent barrier that blocks them from the others. They are trapped. The jays return and each is forced to endure the sound of their loved ones screaming in pain.
It is a traumatizing experience. Jabberjays copy what they hear; does that mean that Prim and the others were tortured? Peeta argues that the Capitol will have to interview her family soon, so they would not dare to hurt anyone. Beetee explains that it is easy to manipulate sound to produce the screams. Finally, Johanna suggests that if the Capitol killed off someone like Prim, they might have an uprising on their hands. Katniss is shocked by the rebellious comment, but she finds herself feeling a grudging respect for the District 7 victor. Johanna returns to the jungle to find water and explains that the jabberjays cannot hurt her because there is no one left alive whom she loves.
That night, they take stock of their situation. Two-thirds of the victors have been killed off in less than two days’ time. It seems like a record number of deaths for such a short period. Katniss and Peeta take the first watch while the others sleep. Peeta tells Katniss that he knows she is trying to keep him alive, but he points out that Haymitch could have made a double deal with him. Furthermore, Peeta argues, Katniss has a family that needs her. She needs to stop trying to protect him so she can return to take care of Prim and Gale. There is a life that awaits her after the Games end, but there is not one for him if she dies.
Although they have kissed many times, Katniss has only ever once felt like she wanted to kiss Peeta. Now she feels it again. Their watch ends when the lightning bolt strikes at midnight. Finnick takes the next watch. Katniss goes to sleep thinking about a world that does not have any Hunger Games—one in which Peeta’s children could be safe.
(The entire section is 442 words.)
Chapter 25 Summary
The next morning, Katniss realizes that this alliance will have to end soon. She takes Peeta away from the group, claiming that she will teach him to swim. Peeta agrees that the alliance will have to break up soon, but he suggests that they wait until Enobaria and Brutus have been eliminated. This makes sense because leaving now would mean having two groups of enemies plus Chaff, wherever he is. They return to the shore.
Beetee calls the group together to tell them about his plan. Although Beetee is by far the least impressive fighter, Katniss notes that he seems like a schoolteacher to the rest of the victors. They listen carefully as he explains that Enobaria and Brutus are unlikely to risk another direct attack when they are so outnumbered. Rather than risk their lives in the jungle, Beetee suggests that they use his wire to connect the lightning tree (the tree the lightning strikes each day) to the water in the middle of the arena. If they abandon the beach, a source of seafood, the Careers will likely go to the beach to get food. What the Careers will not realize is that they are walking into a trap that will electrocute them.
Before they leave, more bread from District 3 arrives. They divide the food as evenly as they can, though there are five of them and only 24 rolls. Johanna takes the lead as they enter the jungle and climb to the lightning tree. Katniss fantasizes about a cold drink of water. Everything in the arena is the same temperature, and everyone inside is like a stew. However, before they reach the edge of the jungle, Finnick has Katniss take the lead because she can hear the force field. Beetee knows Katniss is lying but allows her to take the lead anyway. When they reach the outer edge of the arena, each victor gets to work.
Beetee begins examining the lightning tree. When Beetee finishes, they return to the beach and make a feast while they still have access to seafood. Katniss enjoys diving for oysters. When Peeta finds a pearl inside an oyster, he gives it to Katniss. She likes it and puts it away, along with the spile and the medicine. Peeta can see that he has failed to convince her to live so she can return to her family. It is true: Katniss is just as dedicated to her mission to help Peeta survive as ever. She reflects that her mother and Prim will know to return the pearl to Peeta before they bury her.
(The entire section is 430 words.)
Chapter 26 Summary
The trap is nearly set. Beetee has wound his wire around the lightning tree in an intricate pattern. Now he asks Johanna and Katniss to run the wire down to the shore. If they hurry, they will make it safely. Katniss is reluctant to leave Peeta, but he is too slow to come along. Johanna and Katniss start moving, but suddenly the wire is cut and the release of tension causes it to come flying at them. Johanna knocks Katniss down, pins down her arms, and stabs her in the arm. It seems that their alliance is over. Katniss is dazed and can do nothing about it.
However, Johanna does not kill Katniss. Instead, she tells Katniss to be quiet. Enobaria and Brutus are nearby; they think the two young women are probably dead anyway. Johanna leaves and Katniss starts making her way back to Peeta. She sees Finnick, who is running through the woods calling for her and Johanna. Katniss remains hidden until she returns to the lightning tree.
She finds Beetee, who is unconscious. He has taken the end of the severed wire and attached it to Peeta’s knife. It looks like he knocked himself out by throwing the knife at the force field. In the distance, Katniss can hear Peeta calling for her. She screams that she is at the tree. However, her goal is not to get Peeta to return; she is hoping to ambush anyone who comes to attack her so Peeta will have fewer enemies to face. She readies her bow and sees Finnick and Enobaria approaching. If she is careful, she will be able to time her shot so that when she takes out Enobaria with an arrow, Finnick will move toward the lightning tree for cover, and she hopes he will be there when the lightning bolt strikes.
Before she can fire, she remembers Haymitch’s advice. Before she entered the arena, he told her to remember who the enemy is. Suddenly, Katniss realizes what she must do. She takes an arrow, wraps Beetee’s wire around it, and shoots it into the chink in the force field’s armor. Lightning simultaneously strikes the tree. The world seems to erupt in sparks, knocking Katniss to the ground. Before she loses consciousness, Katniss looks for a final image of beauty to take with her and sees a star.
(The entire section is 396 words.)
Chapter 27 Summary
The explosion destroys the force field and knocks Katniss unconscious. All she can think about is whether she has saved Peeta or forced the Capitol to kill everyone to show that it is stronger than even the strongest members of the outlying districts. A metal claw descends from the sky, grabs Katniss, and pulls her up into a hovercraft. When Katniss wakes up, she sees Plutarch Havensbee, the Head Gamemaker. Katniss assumes that she is being held by the Capitol, but there is little she can do before she is incapacitated again. The next time she wakes up, she is on a table and is receiving treatments, and she assumes the Capitol is trying to keep her alive so they can punish her publicly. When Katniss next wakes up, she arms herself with a syringe and goes to inflict whatever damage she can. She finds a room inside which she can hear Plutarch and Finnick talking. Before she attacks them, she hears Haymitch’s voice as well. She enters and Haymitch disarms her. He says her attack on the Capitol using a syringe is ridiculous and tells her this is why no one ever includes her in planning. Haymitch explains the situation to her.
The districts are currently rebelling against the Capitol. Plutarch is the Head Gamemaker, but he has until recently been a covert member of the rebellion. Before the Quell, some of the victors made plans to break out of the arena, which is why the wire was left for Beetee at the Cornucopia. When Johanna attacked Katniss, she was actually tearing a tracking device out of her arm. Then she led Enobaria and Brutus away. The twenty-four bread rolls from District 3 were a coded signal to coordinate the escape: the twenty-fourth hour of the third day. The hovercraft comes from District 13, which does exist and stands in opposition to the Capitol’s power. During the Quell, everyone fought to protect Katniss because she has become the symbol of the rebellion—the mockingjay. As long as Katniss lives, so does the rebellion. They worked to keep Peeta alive because it would force Katniss to remain allied with Finnick and Johanna.
Unfortunately, Johanna has been captured by the Capitol—as has Peeta. With this news, Katniss attacks Haymitch with her fingernails and the two get into a horrible shouting match. Katniss is injected with a sedative and subdued. Finnick tries to explain that Peeta will not be tortured long because he does not know the plans. However, Katniss cruelly replies that they have Finnick’s...
(The entire section is 477 words.)