How does Peeta manipulate the Gamemakers during The Hunger Games?

Peeta manipulates the Gamemakers during The Hunger Games by creating a love story between himself and Katniss that he hopes the audience will find a fascinating complication. He is right, and the Gamemakers bend the rules of the Games for long enough to allow Peeta and Katniss to survive together until the end of the competition.

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Peeta realizes early on that he needs a survival strategy; while Katniss can rely on her own archery skills, Peeta lacks anything except strength. He thus teams up with the Careers early in the novel, putting himself in close proximity to their plans and therefore able to keep an eye...

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Peeta realizes early on that he needs a survival strategy; while Katniss can rely on her own archery skills, Peeta lacks anything except strength. He thus teams up with the Careers early in the novel, putting himself in close proximity to their plans and therefore able to keep an eye on Katniss as well, whom he has already saved from starvation once in their lives. Katniss realizes that Peeta has teamed up with the Careers but has no idea that Peeta is scheming against them.

The entire Hunger Games competition is televised, and a love story within the arena would have been a point of high interest for those in the Capitol, particularly after Cinna made sure that the two teens from District 12 garnered the attention of the crowds through his costuming work. Being interesting and lovable to those in the Capitol is quite significant; those who live there can afford to send "gifts" to those in the arena, giving them advantages in the Games.

Peeta thus sets out to convince the audience watching from afar that he is desperately in love with this girl from his district. Katniss finally catches on to his plans, playing into the story by kissing Peeta. This story is undoubtedly tragically fascinating to the audience, and the Gamemakers choose to capitalize on it by announcing that for this Games, two winners can survive if they are from the same district. Peeta's love sways the rules of the Games for long enough to allow many of the other tributes to die—keeping himself and Katniss alive as a team.

When they are the only two contestants remaining, the Gamemakers announce that the rule regarding two winners has been repealed, and they try to force the two lovers from District 12 to kill each other. Peeta and Katniss refuse, and their willingness to commit suicide instead so infuriates President Snow that they find themselves in conflict with him and their society for two novels that follow.

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Peeta's manipulation of the Gamemakers and the audience is based on his desire to help Katniss survive. To win favor for her, he publicly announces his love for her, influencing the audience to sponsor her and provide her with help. When the Games begin, Peeta aligns himself with the Careers, knowing that they will not kill him until they have killed everyone else; the longer he can survive, the longer he can help Katniss. As the storyline of Peeta and Katniss begins to garner audience favor, the Gamemakers take advantage of it and announce that two tributes may win the Games this year if they are from the same District. This allows Peeta and Katniss to focus on keeping each other alive. Finally, Katniss shows that she has learned from Peeta at the end, when the Gamemakers try to reverse the new rule; her deliberate attempt to deny them a single winner is the same sort of manipulation that Peeta has been practicing, although his is based more on his feelings for Katniss than on rebellion.

 

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