Catching Fire

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Johanna Mason Character Analysis

A young, wily Hunger Games victor who returns to the Games to compete against Katniss. Johanna is aggressive and bold, and almost immediately Katniss dislikes her. Gradually, Katniss comes to respect her more after she openly criticizes the government in the middle of the Hunger Games, knowing full well that her words are being recorded. Ultimately, it’s revealed that Johanna is a rebel, working with Finnick and Haymitch, among others, to free Peeta and Katniss from the Hunger Games arena.

Johanna Mason Quotes in Catching Fire

The Catching Fire quotes below are all either spoken by Johanna Mason or refer to Johanna Mason . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Scholastic Press edition of Catching Fire published in 2013.
Chapter 16 Quotes

Kids in costumes are silly, but aging victors, it turns out, are pitiful. A few who are on the younger side, like Johanna and Finnick, or whose bodies haven’t fallen into disrepair, like Seeder and Brutus, can still manage to maintain a little dignity. But the majority, who are in the clutches of drink or morphling or illness, look grotesque in their costumes.

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Finnick Odair , Johanna Mason , Brutus , Seeder
Page Number: 214
Explanation and Analysis:

At Katniss prepares to compete in the Hunger Games for a second time, she meets her competitors—previous victors in the Games. This is Katniss's opportunity to study how other people have dealt with fame and celebrity. What she discovers is "pitiful." The vast majority of people who have won the Hunger Games haven't weathered success very well. Most have become addicted to drugs or alcohol—either because they need a vehicle to escape from their memories of murder, or because they've turned to extravagance in their fame. The prevalence of addiction among the victors suggests that victory is its own prison: for all their fame and glory, the winners of the Hunger Games are just as bound to the government as the other citizens of Panem.

Although Katniss is sizing up her competition and trying to figure out how to protect the people she loves, her thought process also reminds us of how strong and mature she is in comparison to most. It's true that she hasn't had to live as a victor for very long, but she also clearly maintains greater self-control than most of her peers.

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Chapter 24 Quotes

My mouth drops open in shock. No one, ever, says anything like this in the Games. Absolutely, they’ve cut away from Johanna, are editing her out. But I have heard her and can never think about her again in the same way. She’ll never win any awards for kindness, but she certainly is gutsy. Or crazy.

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Johanna Mason
Page Number: 346
Explanation and Analysis:

During the Hunger Games, with millions of people watching her, Johanna makes a joke about the people of Panem rebelling against the government. Naturally, the editors of the Games will never allow this sentiment to be broadcast. Still, the fact that Katniss finds Johanna's word so shocking and impressive—far more so than any literal action could be—says a lot about the kind of woman Katniss has become over the course of this novel. As Katniss proceeds with her tour of Panem, being filmed at all hours of the day, she becomes so used to the camera that she can't conceive of the camera ever turning off. Even when she's alone in her bed, she has the reflexive feeling that someone, somewhere, is filming her. Because she has the sense of always being watched, and because she knows very well that if she doesn't "behave" on camera, her family will be murdered, Katniss has no choice but to follow directions, opposing the government's authority only in the smallest, subtlest ways.

When one considers Katniss's history with surveillance, then, it's not surprising that she's so impressed with Johanna's direct statement. It's Katniss's burden to always check her own statements for fear that they'll anger Snow. She's certainly willing to incite rebellion against the government, but she'd never dare to oppose it as Johanna just has—she's also probably jealous of Johanna for being able to speak her mind so plainly.

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Johanna Mason Character Timeline in Catching Fire

The timeline below shows where the character Johanna Mason appears in Catching Fire. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 15
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...elevators that take them to their rooms. Standing in the elevator with Peeta, Katniss notices Johanna Mason, a victor who won the Games by pretending to be weak and helpless, and... (full context)
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Johanna walks off the elevator, still naked. Peeta, grinning, tells Katniss that the other competitors see... (full context)
Chapter 22
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...in red paint. Finnick realizes that one of the members of the other group is Johanna, and he runs toward her. Katniss and Peeta run after him, seeing that the other... (full context)
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The group meets up with Johanna, who explains that she, Beetee, and Wiress ran through a rainstorm of blood, hence the... (full context)
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...lost Mags: Katniss wasn’t strong enough to carry her. Although Finnick is cool and calm, Johanna points out to Katniss that Mags was his mentor, and “half his family.” Katniss feels... (full context)
Chapter 23
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...how they survived the fog and the monkeys. Quickly, Katniss explains her clock theory to Johanna, Beetee, Finnick, and Peeta. As she explains, she remembers the watch Plutarch was wearing during... (full context)
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...face challenges every hour. Beetee asks for his “wire.” No one knows what he means. Johanna says that Beetee took a wire from the Cornucopia to use as a weapon. She... (full context)
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Katniss thinks ahead. She’ll have to kill Johanna—indeed, she’ll probably enjoy it, given everything Johanna has said to her. Beetee and Wiress will... (full context)
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...the Cornucopia, where there are still a few weapons. Katniss gets more arrows, and notices Johanna picking up a heavy axe. She realizes that Johanna is from District 7, the lumber... (full context)
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...a noise: a group of Careers has approached the Cornucopia and slit Wiress’s throat. Quickly, Johanna throws an axe into the chest of one Career, Cashmere, and Katniss kills the Career... (full context)
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The group ventures back into the jungle, noting that it’s “monkey hour.” Johanna tells Katniss and Finnick to find water. Peeta will make another map of the arena.... (full context)
Chapter 24
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Katniss and Finnick turn to see Peeta, Beetee, and Johanna standing only a few feet away from them. There is another force field between them,... (full context)
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...of their loved ones—there may not be any real torture involved. Beetee agrees with Peeta. Johanna points out that the entire country adores Prim—to hurt her would lead to an uprising.... (full context)
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...rolls of bread. The group eats fifteen of the loaves, leaving the rest for tomorrow. Johanna jokes that whoever is still alive at breakfast can have the rest, and Katniss laughs. (full context)
Chapter 26
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...Peeta will go back to the lighting zone and tie more wire around the tree. Johanna and Katniss will continue unraveling the wire on the beach, eventually dropping the spool of... (full context)
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Johanna and Katniss unwind the wire on the beach. Johanna hands Katniss the wire so that... (full context)
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When Katniss comes to, Johanna is sitting on top of her. Johanna stabs Katniss in the forearm and then rubs... (full context)
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...and lurches through the jungle. She hears Finnick, running through the jungle and calling for Johanna and Katniss, and hides from him. After Finnick has passed, Katniss resumes her path to... (full context)
Chapter 27
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...Plutarch. He closes Katniss’s eyes, and Katniss realizes that she’ll soon bleed to death from Johanna’s wound. She loses consciousness. (full context)
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...Peeta because they knew it was the only way to keep Katniss in their alliance. Johanna wasn’t trying to kill Katniss by cutting her arm—she was removing the tracking device from... (full context)
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Haymitch then tells Katniss that the Capitol has kidnapped Peeta, Johanna, and Enobaria. Katniss is furious at this news, and she screams at Haymitch, until she’s... (full context)