Chapter 15 Summary

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 512

Gale has proposed a strategy that would kill everyone inside the Nut—all workers, rebel spies, and Capitol soldiers. Katniss and others are surprised by Gale’s ruthless strategy, but Gale stands by it, arguing that no one in District 12 was given the option to escape from the firebombing. However, the council suggests that they try to leave the train track that leads into the mountain open so that the Capitol forces can surrender. Beetee points out that Panem’s population has begun to drop so much that it could pose a threat to their survival. At the least, he suggests, it is worth a conversation. However, Katniss and Gale are not invited to attend it.

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Gale’s plan works better than expected. Up to now, District 13’s hovercraft have not been a factor in the firefights. Now, when they assemble around the Nut, they manage to release two rounds of bombs before the Capitol forces begin to return fire. The avalanche is launched and it is an uncontrollable force. Watching the attack, Katniss recalls her father’s death.

Katniss’s father was a miner. She was in school when she heard about the mining explosion. Katniss rushed to find Prim and take her home, and when she got there she found her mother shocked by what had happened. Soon, a grieving miner came to inform them that Katniss’s father had died. Katniss reflects that she has never felt as helpless as she did while hoping that her father, buried underground, was alive. Now they have inflicted this same pain on the people of District 2.

Transmitting his instructions from District 13 through Katniss’s earpiece, Haymitch attempts to comfort Katniss. He explains that they have begun making progress with Peeta. During one of her propo productions, Katniss was filmed singing “The Hanging Tree.” The clip was never aired, so District 13’s doctors showed it to Peeta. He said that he recognized the song, though Katniss never sang it to him. Haymitch explains that it was Peeta’s father that sang it in Peeta’s bakery. This song could be easily connected to Katniss in Peeta’s mind, but did not cause a “meltdown.” It seems like good news.

However, before long, Cressida comes with bad news for Katniss. It looks like the Capitol forces have been defeated, but everyone is hoping that Katniss will give a speech that will convince the survivors inside the Nut to surrender. Katniss is not a strong speaker, but she agrees to try in the hope that she will save lives. However, when she starts giving her speech, a train arrives in the rebel-controlled square. The survivors have come out. They are injured and armed.

Katniss gives an impromptu speech, urging the survivors to join the rebels. She highlights how the districts are being made to fight each other for the Capitol’s profit. A Capitol soldier has a gun trained on Katniss, but she continues her impassioned plea. Just when she thinks that the Capitol forces might join her, she sees herself being shot on television.

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