Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 478
Katniss is back in the hospital. Now, her neck is being treated. Fortunately, her spine and voice box have not been ruined by Peeta’s attempts to strangle her. She reflects that if she had been alone in the room with Peeta, she would have died. Even Haymitch is shocked by what has happened to Peeta.
Plutarch and Beetee explain that they think that Peeta’s mind has been “hijacked” with tracker jacker venom. Katniss herself was stung by tracker jackers during her first Hunger Games, and even now she can remember the hallucinations and disorientation that she felt. Beetee explains that the Capitol has used these hallucinations to manipulate Peeta’s emotions and psychology. They will try their best to repair his mind, though no one has ever attempted to do so before. Haymitch admits that it could work, though he doubts that the Peeta they knew will ever return. Katniss begins to break down again, to the point that it aggravates the injuries in her neck and she has to be sedated. When Katniss is released from the hospital, she is still distraught.
Although Prim does her best to comfort Katniss, the latter is unable to keep still and begins wandering around the compound. She makes her way to Special Defense. It turns out that Beetee has been working with Gale to develop new weapons. Relying on Gale’s talent with snares and Beetee’s understanding of munitions, they have been creating traps that take advantage of human nature. For example, they show Katniss a bomb that produces a small explosion, which is followed by a delay and then a larger explosion. The initial explosion is designed to wound people, and when others come to help, the second bomb goes off. Katniss suggests that these strategies cross a line, but Gale argues that “Beetee and I have been following the same rule book President Snow used when he hijacked Peeta.”
Katniss leaves and learns that the doctors are going to try to expose Peeta to someone from District 12. Up to this point, they have only allowed him to interact with doctors from District 13 so that his hijacked memories will not trouble him further. They have chosen Delly, who seems like a good choice. Delly likes everyone. However, when she enters the room, Peeta begins asking questions about why they are not in District 12. Suddenly, he begins yelling that it is Katniss’s fault that everyone in District 12 is dead. He starts calling her a “mutt” whose purpose is to destroy them. Unable to bear being near Peeta while he is in this condition, Katniss demands to be sent away. Although they will not send her to the Capitol, they decide to send her to District 2, where the rebels are fighting for control of the district. However, it is proving to be a “tough nut to crack.”
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