Catching Fire

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Hidden Resistance vs. Direct Rebellion Theme Analysis

Themes and Colors
Symbols and Interpretations Theme Icon
Hidden Resistance vs. Direct Rebellion Theme Icon
Surveillance and Manipulation Theme Icon
Pain, Pleasure, and Self-Control  Theme Icon
Women, Femininity, and Sexism Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Catching Fire, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.
Hidden Resistance vs. Direct Rebellion Theme Icon

As she embarks on her “Victory Tour” of Panem at the start of the novel, Katniss faces a challenge—the government warns her to “behave,” or else they threaten to kill her loved ones. By going “off-script” in any way, President Snow explains, Katniss would send a subversive message to the twelve districts of Panem: that it’s okay to be disobedient to the government. Thus, she must stick to the script at all costs, smile and wave for the cameras, make bland speeches about the importance of the Hunger Games, and generally honor the formalities of the Victory Tour.

As a result of the government’s conniving, Katniss finds herself in a strange position. She despises the government for impoverishing her home, District 12, and forcing her to risk her life in the Hunger Games, yet as a result of having won the Hunger Games, the same government has given her a national platform from which to speak. In a sense, Katniss plays the part of a “Trojan Horse”—she’s fighting the government from the inside, using the government’s own weapons—a ubiquitous media, quick transportation, etc.—against it.

There are many disadvantages to Katniss’s “Trojan Horse” approach, however. To begin with, Katniss herself isn’t sure where her allegiances lie. For much of Catching Fire, she’s careful never to deviate from the script for any reason, since she’s concerned that she’s putting her mother and sister’s lives in jeopardy. This points to a general, obvious weakness in fighting the government from the inside: Katniss depends upon the government’s power to broadcast her message of rebellion, and thus she is at the government’s mercy in more ways than one.

Another problem with fighting the government from within is that Katniss’s message sometimes gets misinterpreted (See Symbols and Interpretations theme as well). While her mockingjay pin becomes a symbol of resistance to government tyranny in some districts, in the Capitol it’s seen as a symbol of the Hunger Games themselves—in other words, a symbol of the government’s power. As a consequence of her strategy to fight from within, Katniss is not only partnering with the government, she’s sometimes building support for it.

In general, fighting the government from the inside is a slow, fitful process, and it’s often difficult to tell if any progress is being made at all. Yet the “Trojan Horse” approach to rebellion has some advantages over its more obvious alternatives. Katniss’s friend Gale wants to use force and espionage to bring down the government in District 12, but he is no more successful than Katniss—in most ways, in fact, he is significantly less so. For disobeying the government’s rules, he’s savagely whipped, and as a result spends the next few weeks recovering. Though he wants to organize the miners of District 12 against President Snow, it quickly becomes clear that Gale will never defeat the government’s powerful, well-organized troops, no matter how many miners join him. Attacking President Snow’s government from the outside isn’t any more efficient or productive than attacking it from the inside.

At the end of Catching Fire, the government is still very much in power—in other words, the theme of attacking from within hasn’t been fully resolved. Yet Collins concludes with a single, powerful illustration of the advantages of the Trojan Horse strategy. Katniss, imprisoned in the Hunger Games arena, recognizes that her real enemies are not the people she’s fighting in the Games, but actually the government officials who created and run the Games. Thus, she fires an arrow at the force field surrounding the arena, freeing herself from her prison and, quite literally, attacking the government’s power from the inside. Katniss sends a clear message of rebellion to audiences watching her throughout Panem. Attacking the government from the inside is difficult and sometimes seems hopeless, but ultimately it’s an intelligent, productive way to battle tyranny and injustice.

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Hidden Resistance vs. Direct Rebellion ThemeTracker

The ThemeTracker below shows where, and to what degree, the theme of Hidden Resistance vs. Direct Rebellion appears in each chapter of Catching Fire. Click or tap on any chapter to read its Summary & Analysis.
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Hidden Resistance vs. Direct Rebellion Quotes in Catching Fire

Below you will find the important quotes in Catching Fire related to the theme of Hidden Resistance vs. Direct Rebellion.
Chapter 2 Quotes

People viewed your little trick with the berries as an act of defiance, not an act of love. And if a girl from District 12 of all places can defy the Capitol and walk away unharmed, what is to stop them from doing the same?

Related Characters: President Coriolanus Snow (speaker), Katniss Everdeen
Page Number: 21
Explanation and Analysis:

President Snow's speech to Katniss illustrates both the strength and the flaws of the government he heads. Snow has come to warn Katniss not to "misbehave" during her Victory Tour. She's under strict instructions to stick to the script at all times—to act like a typical lovestruck teenage girl, not a potential rebel leader. Snow knows that Katniss despises his government, and he also knows that she is hugely influential and has a talent for improvising—as a result, he's scared that Katniss will try to denounce or criticize the government during her Tour. Since Katniss will have an audience of millions at this time, Snow is right to be afraid.

A natural question would be, "Why doesn't Snow just cancel the Victory Tour?" Canceling the Tour might be the easiest way to ensure that Katniss doesn't do harm to his government, but it would also undermine the importance of tradition in Panem. Because Panem celebrates the Hunger Games every year—and because Snow's government maintains its power in part because of the popularity of the Hunger Games—Snow has no choice but to allow Katniss to make her tour as usual, despite the risk. Snow's speech demonstrates the power and the weakness of his government, while also showing us how Katniss might use her popularity to oppose Snow. With her widespread fame and national platform, Katniss has a powerful weapon on her side: if she were to criticize Snow, millions of people would listen to her. It's a mark of Katniss's danger that Snow has to threaten to hurt her family in order to make her "behave."


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Chapter 4 Quotes

I think of Haymitch, unmarried, no family, blotting out the world with drink. He could have had his choice of any woman in the district. And he chose solitude.

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Haymitch Abernathy
Page Number: 46
Explanation and Analysis:

Katniss's mentor and model is Haymitch Abernathy, a former Hunger Games champion enlisted to prepare Katniss for the tournament. For most of the first book of the Hunger Games trilogy, Haymitch is portrayed as a figure of ridicule: a lazy, drunken complainer who's been resting on his laurels ever since winning the Hunger Games years before. But in this section of Catching Fire, Katniss begins to see Haymitch in different terms. Suddenly, Haymitch's sullenness and drunkenness become tragic and even impressive, rather than ridiculous.

In part, Katniss has changed her attitude toward Haymitch because of her own experiences in the Hunger Games. Unlike most champions, Katniss finds it impossible to rejoice in her own success: she's too naturally sympathetic to celebrate murder and bloodshed. Surrounded by the glitz and sleaze of the Victory Tour, Katniss looks to Haymitch as a kindred spirit: someone who won the Hunger Games but never enjoyed them for a second. Furthermore, Katniss is beginning to see that Haymitch's sullenness and drunkenness are noble and even rebellious. Haymitch knew that the President of the Capitol would try to pressure him into obeying the government by threatening his family, so Haymitch chose not to have a family at all rather than put innocent people in danger. By largely refusing to participate in the pomp of the Hunger Games and the Victory Tour, Haymitch is also refusing to empower the government any further: without Haymitch, Snow has one less way of controlling his people.

Chapter 5 Quotes

Everything is happening too fast for me to process it. The warning, the shootings, the recognition that I may have set something of great consequence in motion. The whole thing is so improbable. And it would be one thing if I had planned to stir things up, but given the circumstances… how on earth did I cause so much trouble?

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker)
Page Number: 68
Explanation and Analysis:

Katniss has just finished making an off-script speech to a large group of people. In her speech, Katniss has praised Rue, a young girl whom Katniss watched die in the Hunger Games. Katniss's speech—intended as an act of love, not an act of rebellion—incites a riot, since the people can't stand the thought of a government that put Rue in harm's way so callously.

At this early point in the Hunger Games trilogy, Katniss doesn't entirely realize how much power she wields over the people of Panem. She's aware of her national platform, but she has yet to realize how easily an emotional speech or a passionate defense of her friends can encourage a riot, or even an outright rebellion against the government. In general, Katniss is a reluctant leader, not even aware of her own political powers. Perhaps it's because she's oblivious to her own gifts that she's such an effective speaker. In a society where every moment on television is carefully scripted and choreographed, even the smallest flash of originality or improvisation registers as a rebellion against the government (the institution that keeps TV so carefully censored).

Chapter 6 Quotes

There was something strange about it. Almost clandestine. But why? Maybe he thinks someone else will steal his idea of putting a disappearing mockingjay on a watch face. Yes, he probably paid a fortune for it, and now he can’t show it to anyone, because he’s afraid someone will make a cheap, knockoff version. Only in the Capitol.

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Plutarch Heavensbee
Related Symbols: Mockingjay
Page Number: 83
Explanation and Analysis:

At the "meet and greet" for the year's new edition of the Hunger Games—in which both Katniss and Peeta are being forced to compete—Katniss meets the new designer of the Hunger Games, a man named Plutarch Heavensbee. Plutarch flashes Katniss his new watch, which is adorned with the image of the mockingjay. The mockingjay was also the symbol Katniss chose for herself during her previous Hunger Games, and lately it's become a popular symbol of Katniss herself.

At Katniss describes the scene, Plutarch's mockingjay watch is a symbol, which she tries with difficulty to interpret correctly. Katniss's interpretation of the watch is that Plutarch is an arrogant man, and he's trying to show it off to Katniss without giving away the idea to his peers. Katniss's interpretation of the watch reflects her opinions about the people of the Capitol themselves: that they're arrogant, materialistic, and superficial.

It's not until much later that Katniss realizes the truth: Plutarch is secretly an ally to Haymitch and other rebels, and a friend to Katniss. By showing Katniss his watch, he's actually trying to give her a hint that he's on her side, and cluing her in about the nature of the upcoming Hunger Games; namely, that the arena is designed to resemble a watch. Katniss's confusion in interpreting the mockingjay—supposedly a symbol of rebellion, or even of Katniss herself—illustrates the strangeness of all symbols. Seen from different points of view, Katniss—herself a living symbol—can be interpreted as a mascot for the Capitol, or its worst enemy.

Chapter 7 Quotes

The jabberjays were muttations, genetically enhanced male birds […] The jabberjays were left to die. In a few years, they became extinct in the wild, but not before they had mated with female mockingbirds, creating an entirely new species.

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker)
Related Symbols: Mockingjay
Page Number: 91-92
Explanation and Analysis:

In this section, Katniss explains where mockingjays—a futuristic form of mutated bird—come from. Because the mockingjay is explicitly described as being a symbol of Katniss herself, it's fitting that Katniss's explanation is full of symbolic allusions to Katniss's own personality. As Katniss explains, the mockingjays are natural survivors: their very existence is a testament to their ancestors' cleverness and strength. Furthermore, the mockingjays' nature is deeply divided: half mockingbird (a peaceful, natural bird) and half jabberjay (a brutal, government-bred animal). In much the same way, we might say that Katniss's own personality is resilient and deeply divided. Katniss is a natural survivor, who manages to win the Hunger Games due to her speed and skill. She's also a conflicted young woman: in part, she's peaceful and gentle, but she's also capable of acts of incredible brutality. Above all, the comparison between Katniss and the mockingjay reminds us that Katniss is partly—but not entirely!—a tool of the government. While she's been partly "bred" by the Capitol, she's also abandoned her role and rejected the Capitol, in much the same that the mockingjays have rejected the jabberjays' mission to help the government that created them.

Chapter 10 Quotes

But then the axe fell. Peacekeepers began to arrive by the thousands. Hovercrafts bombed the rebel strongholds into ashes. In the utter chaos that followed, it was all people could do to make it back to their homes alive.

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Bonnie , Twill
Page Number: 145
Explanation and Analysis:

Bonnie and Twill, two refugees from the faraway District 8, explain their trials and tribulations to Katniss, whom they regard as a hero. In District 8, they joined a massive uprising against the government's power, inspired largely by Katniss's speeches. But very quickly, the government sent in new troops to suppress the uprising: vastly outnumbered, Bonnie and Twill could only watch as their homes were destroyed. It's a mark of the government's power that Bonnie and Twill describe the government forces as "peacekeepers" without any apparent irony: they're so used to using this term that they don't stop to consider how inappropriate it is.

Bonnie and Twill's description is also a powerful reminder of the government's force. Previously, President Snow has threatened to use excessive force to prevent Katniss from speaking out against him in public. For the most part, however, Snow has maintained his power, both over Katniss and over Panem as a whole, simply by manipulation and making threats along these lines. It is a sign of Katniss's success as an instigator that people across the country are now calling Snow on his bluff; in other words, testing the government's actual strength by rioting in the streets. President Snow's ideal society is one in which he rules the country by controlling the rules of the Hunger Games, rather than by using actual military force on civilians. Paradoxically, the fact that Snow is now forced to use his "peacekeepers" to suppress the people is a sign that Katniss is inspiring the people to rise up, and Snow's position is weakening.

Chapter 12 Quotes

[Gale] must also know that if we don’t revolt in 12, I’m destined to be Peeta’s bride. Seeing me lounging around in gorgeous gowns on his television… what can he do with that?

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Peeta Mellark , Gale Hawthorne
Page Number: 170
Explanation and Analysis:

This darkly humorous quotation shows the psychological consequences of living in a world where one's actions are filmed and recorded at all times. After a Victory Tour and a session in the Hunger Games, Katniss is used to being watched. With opposition to the government at an all-time high in District 12, Katniss is well aware that there might be a rebellion in the District very soon—by the same token, she knows that government officials like President Snow and Romulus Thread are aware of the rebellion, too. In this section, Katniss finds herself thinking like Thread; i.e., putting herself in the position of a government official. She's so used to being watched that the thought process comes naturally to her.

Furthermore, Katniss's thoughts about the uprising in District 12 betray some of the weaknesses in the government of Panem. Although the government has an obvious interest in subduing the 12 districts of Panem, it also draws a lot of its power from the Hunger Games—in other words, from creating action, excitement, and violence. Katniss is only half-joking when she says that Thread has no interest in keeping her subdued and boring in her wedding dress. As absurd as it sounds, the government partly has an interest in creating a revolt in District 12: it thrives on diversions of exactly this kind. Katniss's joke reminds us that she is both an asset and a liability for the government: she entertains the masses (the source of the government's power) but also has the potential to mobilize the masses against the government.

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.

“I like the District Three victors,” I say. “Wiress and Beetee.”
“Really?” he asks. “They’re something of a joke to the others.”
“Why does that not surprise me?” I say. I think of how Peeta was always surrounded at school by a crowd of friends.

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Peeta Mellark (speaker), Wiress , Beetee
Page Number: 220
Explanation and Analysis:

At this point, Katniss and Peeta are trying to build a team of allies so that they can survive the Hunger Games. Katniss's approach to recruiting teammates is vastly different from Peeta's, shedding light on the differences between their personalities. While Katniss favors competitors who are calm, quiet, and intelligent, Peeta favors competitors who are strong, fast, or otherwise athletic. (In short, Katniss and Peeta like competitors who mirror their own personalities.) As Katniss correctly points out, Peeta's preference for "jocks" and gregarious friends stretches all the way back to his time in school, when he was always very popular.

Katniss's disagreement with Peeta reminds readers that they're far from a perfectly compatible couple; on the contrary, they're very different people. The differences between Katniss and Peeta are especially important in light of the "love triangle" between Gale, Peeta, and Katniss. From what we've seen of Gale, he's closer to Katniss's personality than Peeta is, at least in terms of quietness and introversion. 

Chapter 17 Quotes

They will be looking for some sign that their battles have not been in vain. If I can make it clear that I’m still defying the Capitol right up to the end, the Capitol will have killed me …but not my spirit. What better way to give hope to the rebels?

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker)
Page Number: 243
Explanation and Analysis:

In this section, Katniss makes the difficult decision to sacrifice her own life in order to save Peeta's. Although she's won the Hunger Games alongside Peeta before, she's certain that the government won't allow her this way out a second time. Because the purpose of this edition of the Hunger Games is to weaken Katniss's power, there's no way Katniss and her "husband" will be allowed to survive together.

Although the only goal of the Hunger Games is to survive (one could say that its guiding principle is "Look out for yourself"), Katniss decides to protect Peeta's life instead of her own. The beauty of this decision is that it's at once instantly sympathetic and rebellious against President Snow's government. By sacrificing herself, Katniss would be breaking the rules of the Hunger Games (even if it's the unwritten rule of self-preservation) and therefore encouraging the people of Panem to break the rules, too—i.e., to challenge Snow's authority. While challenging Snow's authority isn't Katniss's priority—her priority is protecting her friend Peeta—her decision also reflects her growing commitment to the rebel cause.

Chapter 18 Quotes

A shadow of recognition flickers across Caesar’s face, and I can tell that he knows that the mockingjay isn’t just my token. That it’s come to symbolize so much more. That what will be seen as a flashy costume change in the Capitol is resonating in an entirely different way throughout the districts. But he makes the best of it.

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Cinna , Caesar Flickerman
Related Symbols: Mockingjay
Page Number: 253
Explanation and Analysis:

As Katniss prepares to begin the Hunger Games, she's forced to give a series of TV interviews with Caesar Flickerman, a popular TV personality. Although the interviews are intended to be glossy and mindlessly entertaining, Katniss uses them as an opportunity to speak to her rebel supporters across Panem while also conducting a traditional interview. Mostly with the help of her designer, Cinna, Katniss manages to play both sides of the field by wearing her symbol, the mockingjay. To mainstream fans of the Hunger Games, Katniss seems no different from any other victor. To rebels, however (and to Caesar, who clearly knows about the significance of the mockingjay), Katniss's mockingjay is a sign of solidarity and support; a gesture of disrespect and even outright rebellion against the government.

Yet Katniss's hidden resistance is uneven and unpredictable: there's no guarantee that it'll inspire any real rebellions, since her mockingjay could easily be interpreted as a normal victor's "costume." But her hidden resistance is also the safest and arguably the most powerful way to oppose the government, considering that the government is powerful and all-seeing. Instead of firing shots at Snow and then trying to hide, Katniss uses her mockingjay to hide in plain sight.

Chapter 20 Quotes

One way or the other, I have a very valuable piece of information. And if they know I have it, they might do something to alter the force field so I can’t see the aberration anymore. So I lie.

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker)
Page Number: 284
Explanation and Analysis:

Thanks to a conversation with her two competitors, Beetee and Wiress, Katniss learns that it's possible to see the force fields that the government had placed around the perimeters of the Hunger Games arena: there's always a telltale shimmer around the forcefield generator. But, as the quotation explains, Katniss chooses not to share this information with her competitors—and even more importantly, she chooses not to let the ever-present cameras know that she knows how to detect a forcefield.

Katniss's decision suggests a few things about her character. She's playing the game very strategically, recognizing that she shouldn't share a huge advantage—knowledge of how to detect the forcefield—with her competitors. Evidently, Katniss has learned from her prior experiences to be careful and tactical. It's also clear that Katniss has learned a lot from her Victory Tour: she's used to being filmed and watched at all times, whether she's in the Games or not. In general, Katniss's behavior shows how strategic, hidden resistance can be more effective than direct rebellion against the government. Instead of challenging the government's power directly—by complaining about the forcefield and trying to fight it, for example—Katniss exhibits self-control and files away the information for the future. Her subtlety pays off in the novel's climax, when she finally takes a decisive step—firing an arrow at the generator—and translates hidden resistance into direct rebellion at the perfect time.

Chapter 22 Quotes

I stare into the night, thinking of what a difference a day makes. How yesterday morning, Finnick was on my kill list, and now I’m willing to sleep with him as my guard. He saved Peeta and let Mags die and I don’t know why.

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Peeta Mellark , Finnick Odair , Mags
Page Number: 314
Explanation and Analysis:

During the Hunger Games, Katniss makes alliances with her competitors, and changes these alliances several times. For instance, she begins by thinking that Finnick Odair is a devious, dangerous young man, but after Finnick saves Peeta's life not once but twice, Katniss decides that can trust Finnick—there's no reason for Finnick to save Peeta's life, except that he, like Katniss, is trying to help Peeta survive.

The passage is also important because it reinforces the theme of ambiguous symbols. Here, one could say that Finnick himself is the "symbol"—he projects an image of seductive, untrustworthy charm, yet also displays clear signs of compassion and honesty. Katniss is unsure how to interpret Finnick's behavior, pointing toward her general confusion about how to interpret the Hunger Games, her friends' actions, and her place as a celebrity in Panem.

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.

Chapter 27 Quotes

But will Peeta know that or will he keep fighting? He’s so strong and such a good liar. Does he think he has a chance of surviving? Does he even care if he does? He wasn’t planning on it, anyway. He had already signed off on life. Maybe, if he knows I was rescued, he’s even happy. Feels he fulfilled his mission to keep me alive. I think I hate him even more than I do Haymitch.

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Peeta Mellark , Haymitch Abernathy
Page Number: 387
Explanation and Analysis:

In the final pages of Catching Fire, Katniss is rescued by a group of rebels including Haymitch, Plutarch Heavensbee, and others. Peeta, on the other hand, is kidnapped by the government of Panem and placed in captivity as a warning to Katniss, now perceived (correctly) as an enemy of the government. In simplest terms, Katniss was trying to save Peeta's life by sacrificing her own, only to find that Peeta's life has been placed in danger because of her own rebellious escape (and furthermore, he was trying to sacrifice his life to save hers).

As Katniss realizes, she's become increasingly emotionally reliant on other people since winning the Hunger Games last year. Traumatized by the violence she witnessed, she's relied on Peeta (one of the few people who understands what she's going through) for love and understanding. The advantage of emotional dependence is that in Peeta, Katniss has a good friend: someone who can empathize with her and lessen her pain. But the challenge of emotional dependence, of course, is that when Katniss loses Peeta to the government, she feels more pain than she ever thought was possible: her connection with Peeta is now a horrible burden. In the depths of her misery, Katniss even says that she hates Peeta—a clear sign that she resents the bond of guilt and fear that now links her to him.