Suzanne Collins employs a wide variety of literary devices in Catching Fire, including symbolism, understatement, and allusion.
“The bird, the pin, the song, the berries, the watch, the cracker, the dress that burst into flames. I am the mockingjay. The one that survived despite the Capitol's plans. The symbol of the rebellion.”
Katniss' realization toward the end of the novel makes Collins' meaning concrete; Katniss and her mockingjay pin represent the rebellion against Panem.
When President Snow visits Katniss at her home in District 12 to pressure her against any action that would further ignite the revolution, he mentions her action with the berries fromThe Hunger Games. To President Snow, the berries represent a lionizing act of defiance against the Capitol.
Understatement is a type of figurative language that the author uses to downplay the importance of a certain moment or situation, usually for comedic effect.
“I guess this is a bad time to mention I hung a dummy and painted Seneca Crane's name on it...”
Katniss downplays the severity of her actions; readers find this humorous as Effie Trinket is an uproar over Peeta's picture of Rue.
“I really can't think about kissing when I've got a rebellion to incite. ”
Katniss downplays her role in the rebellion by comparing it to kissing.
“We star-crossed lovers of District 12, who suffered so much and enjoyed so little the rewards of our victory..."
Collins references Romeo and Juliet with "star-crossed lovers," and even though the people of Panem might not be aware of Shakespeare's famous phrase, the readers certainly are and make the connection between the characters, hoping that Catching Fire does not end as tragically.