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Literary devices and elements in Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins


In Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, literary devices and elements include symbolism, foreshadowing, and irony. Symbolism is evident in the mockingjay, representing rebellion. Foreshadowing is used to hint at future events, such as the Quarter Quell's impact. Irony is present in the Capitol's attempts to suppress rebellion, which instead fuels it. These devices enhance the narrative's depth and complexity.

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What types of literary devices are used in Catching Fire?

Suzanne Collins, the author of Catching Fire, uses many literary devices in her Hunger Games series. One main literary device used is symbolism.

Katniss Everdeen, the main protagonist in the novels, is herself a symbol. Katniss is a symbol of rebellion and government defiance. When people of Panem watch the games at the end of The Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta plan to commit suicide together and end the games. When the games are stopped and two victors are declared, Katniss becomes the spark to rebellion.

Another symbol in this story is the Mockingjay pin Katniss wears. This pin represents many things. To Katniss, this pin represents her friend Rue. Rue and Katniss used mockingjays to communicate before Rue was killed. To the people of Panem, the mockingjay is a symbol of the rebellion against the Capitol, because it is associated with Katniss and she herself is a symbol of the rebellion.

A second type of literary device used in the story is an allusion. An allusion makes an indirect reference to something else. One allusion mentioned earlier is when Katniss and Peeta plan to commit suicide to end the games. This is an allusion to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Fortunately for Katniss and Peeta, the games are stopped before their plan can be executed.

A third type of literary device Collins uses is imagery. Through her descriptions of the games and of each district and each character, the reader can believe that these games, people, and places are real, even though they are fictional.

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What types of literary devices are used in Catching Fire?

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.

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What are some literary elements found in Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins?

Keep in mind that literary elements include the various rhetorical devises used by authors to create depth in literature. Some literary elements to identify in any novel include figurative language (metaphors and similes), symbolism, point-of-view, characterization (what are the qualities of different characters and how do they change), irony, imagery, and setting.

As present in the entire Hunger Games trilogy, Catching Fire makes use of several examples of symbolism. One of the best quotes as an example of this is when Katniss says:

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 (386).

Not only is Katniss herself used as symbolism in the story, each of the objects she mentions above is symbolic in the book. Even the very idea of "Catching Fire" (from the title) represents the idea of revolution, and that Katniss will lead others to "catch" the fire and fight the Capitol.

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What literary devices are used in Suzanne Collins' Catching Fire?

In the novel Catching Fire by Suzanna Collins, there are many different literary devices.

First,Collins provides multiple examples of imagery. Imagery is

the forming of mental images, figures, or likenesses of things. It is also the use of language to represent actions, persons, objects, and ideas descriptively. This means encompassing the senses also, rather than just forming a mental picture.

An example of imagery appears on page three of the novel.

I clasp the flask between my hands even though the warmth from the tea has long since leached into the frozen air.

Here, the quote provides a very vivid picture for the reader. One can see Katniss grasping a cold tea cup, shivering against the frigid air. Here, the words chosen by Collins offer a very specific and vivid picture.

Second, and also appearing on page three, is an example of a hyperbole.A hyperbole, according to eNotes, is "obvious and deliberate exaggeration or an extravagant statement." Here is the quote which examples a hyperbole from the novel:

If a pack of wild dogs were to appear at this moment, the odds of scaling a tree before they attacked are not in my favor.

This quote qualifies as a hyperbole based upon the fact that Katniss is making an "extravagant statement."

Third, and again appearing on page three, is an example of personification. Personification is where "abstractions, animals, ideas, and inanimate objects are endowed with human form, character, traits, or sensibilities." Therefore, when Katniss speaks about the sun, and gives it the capability of dragging her, personification has been used.

I can't fight the sun. I can only watch helplessly as it drags me into a day that I've been dreading for months.

A fourth example of a literary device found in the novel appears on page five. Again, Collins uses a hyperbole. Here, Katniss is describing how rich she is and uses a hyperbole to state it.

And here I am with buckets of money,far more than enough to feed both of our families now, and he won't take a single coin.

The hyperbole, in the quote above, is "buckets of money." Readers know that Katniss does not literally have "buckets of money" laying around; she is only saying this to illustrate that she is well off.

The last example of a literary device, as seen in Catching Fire, appears on page six. While typically seen in poetry, there are two examples of alliteration in two of the lines. (Alliteration is the repetition of a consonant sound within a line of poetry.) While the novel is not poetic, alliteration still exists in the two following phrases: "designated dwelling" and "drop dead." IN both, the "d" sound is repeated.

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