Please comment upon this quote from the final lines of The Hunger Games.
“‘One more time? For the audience?’ he says. His voice isn’t angry. It’s hollow, which is worse. Already the boy with the bread is slipping away from me.”
This penultimate paragraph in this excellent novel is important for a number of reasons, but predominantly it is valuable for the way in which it shows the differences between Katniss and Peeta, and how participating in the Hunger Games have transformed them. The reference to the "boy with the bread" reminds us of how Peeta, long before he was selected for the Hunger Games, deliberately burnt two loaves of bread so that he could give them to the starving Katniss, thereby showing his love and compassion. Throughout the novel, he continues to give ample proof of his love and dedication towards Katniss. Of course, we know that Katniss returns these feelings overtly to play the audience and gain sympathy for them, thereby ensuring her own survival. However, by doing this she tricks both the audience and Peeta. When he realises what she has done, he is left a "hollow" individual, just as his voice testifies. Katniss, in this quote, laments the way that circumstances and the way that she was forced to deceive Peeta to ensure their survival have resulted in Peeta's transformation from that loving, innocent and caring boy into a hardened, hollow man. Clearly, we are being presented with a difficult relationship that will no doubt be developed in the second and third novels of the series.