Mockingjay

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Haymitch Abernathy Character Analysis

The former champion of the Hunger Games, a member of the rebel alliance, and Peeta and Katniss’s mentor, Haymitch is a crafty, intelligent, and often deeply cynical man. He blames Katniss for abandoning Peeta in the Hunger Games arena, a decision that leads to Peeta’s torture and imprisonment by the government. Nevertheless, he helps Katniss film propaganda videos for the rebel alliance, displaying an impressive level of knowledge and insight into Katniss’s personality. Haymitch can be harsh—at the end of the novel, he votes for a final Hunger Games between the children of the rebels’ enemies, even though he knows firsthand how devastating such an event would be. In the end, Haymitch’s alcoholism and depression prevent him from being at the center of either the rebel alliance or the rebels’ new government.

Haymitch Abernathy Quotes in Mockingjay

The Mockingjay quotes below are all either spoken by Haymitch Abernathy or refer to Haymitch Abernathy . 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:
Revolution and Its Problems Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Scholastic Press edition of Mockingjay published in 2014.
Chapter 6 Quotes

Haymitch holds up the notepad. "So, the question is, what do all of these have in common?"
"They were Katniss's," says Gale quietly. "No one told her what to do or say."

"Unscripted, yes!" says Beetee. He reaches over and pats my hand. "So we should just leave you alone, right?"
People laugh. I even smile a little.

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Gale Hawthorne (speaker), Haymitch Abernathy (speaker), Beetee (speaker)
Page Number: 75
Explanation and Analysis:

As Katniss prepares to begin her propaganda campaign on behalf of the rebel alliance, she brainstorms with her friends, such as Haymitch and Plutarch, about the best way to strengthen the rebels. Haymitch's conclusion is that Katniss is always at her best when she's improvising. Although Katniss is used to being filmed, she's not actually very good at acting, and there's a part of her that acts more instinctively, without any regard for the camera or the script.

The irony of Katniss's propaganda campaign for the rebels—an irony which Beetee touches upon in the quotation—is that she's being ordered to improvise in front of a camera—improvisation is the script. Although Katniss has excelled at improvising and acting "naturally" in the past, now her improvisations can no longer be, strictly speaking, "natural." The only way for Katniss to be truly natural is to turn the cameras off—and as Beetee implies, this simply isn't possible. In all, Katniss's propaganda campaign is paradoxical at its very heart: she must improvise, but also partially plan out and censor her improvisation.

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Haymitch Abernathy Character Timeline in Mockingjay

The timeline below shows where the character Haymitch Abernathy appears in Mockingjay. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Revolution and Its Problems Theme Icon
The Power and Danger of Symbols Theme Icon
...they would have plausible deniability if one of them was captured.) Caesar asks Peeta about Haymitch Abernathy, the former victor who mentored Katniss and Peeta. Peeta doesn’t say whether Haymitch was... (full context)
Chapter 5
Revolution and Its Problems Theme Icon
The Power and Danger of Symbols Theme Icon
Compassion, Callousness, and Revenge Theme Icon
...microphone. There is a painful silence—then, out of nowhere, the laughter of Katniss’s old mentor, Haymitch, fills the studio. (full context)
Chapter 6
Compassion, Callousness, and Revenge Theme Icon
Katniss has just heard Haymitch’s voice coming from the studio where she’s been recording slogans for the rebel cause. The... (full context)
Revolution and Its Problems Theme Icon
The Power and Danger of Symbols Theme Icon
Role-Playing, Authenticity, Television, and the Self Theme Icon
The narrative jumps ahead one day. Katniss explains that it takes Haymitch an entire morning to convince the rebel leaders that Katniss isn’t fit to be Mockingjay.... (full context)
Revolution and Its Problems Theme Icon
The Power and Danger of Symbols Theme Icon
Role-Playing, Authenticity, Television, and the Self Theme Icon
Katniss explains how Haymitch convinced the rebel leaders of Katniss’s limitations. Katniss enters Command, along with Plutarch, Fulvia, Gale,... (full context)
Revolution and Its Problems Theme Icon
The Power and Danger of Symbols Theme Icon
Role-Playing, Authenticity, Television, and the Self Theme Icon
Haymitch asks the rebel leaders to name a single time when Katniss inspired them. Before too... (full context)
Revolution and Its Problems Theme Icon
The Power and Danger of Symbols Theme Icon
Role-Playing, Authenticity, Television, and the Self Theme Icon
Compassion, Callousness, and Revenge Theme Icon
Trauma and Love Theme Icon
Haymitch proposes that the best way for the rebels to make use of Katniss is for... (full context)
Compassion, Callousness, and Revenge Theme Icon
Trauma and Love Theme Icon
With most of the rebel leaders convinced of Haymitch’s plan, Haymitch turns to Katniss herself. Katniss can’t prevent herself from saying what she’s been... (full context)
Chapter 7
The Power and Danger of Symbols Theme Icon
Role-Playing, Authenticity, Television, and the Self Theme Icon
Compassion, Callousness, and Revenge Theme Icon
...in the ground—the Capitol is bombing District 8. Katniss hears a voice in her ear: Haymitch is communicating with her via earpiece. Haymitch explains that she mustn’t be spotted, and that... (full context)
Chapter 8
Revolution and Its Problems Theme Icon
The Power and Danger of Symbols Theme Icon
Role-Playing, Authenticity, Television, and the Self Theme Icon
...leaves, and guards wheel Katniss to Command, where she finds Coin, Plutarch, Gale, Fulvia, Cressida, Haymitch, and Boggs. Katniss notices that Boggs has broken his nose in the explosions in District... (full context)
Revolution and Its Problems Theme Icon
The Power and Danger of Symbols Theme Icon
Role-Playing, Authenticity, Television, and the Self Theme Icon
...to her room, where she dozes off. Before too long, she wakes up, to find Haymitch standing over her. Haymitch dangles Katniss’s earpiece and reminds her that she is supposed to... (full context)
Revolution and Its Problems Theme Icon
The Power and Danger of Symbols Theme Icon
Role-Playing, Authenticity, Television, and the Self Theme Icon
Trauma and Love Theme Icon
...At the same time, she acknowledges that he has a point—Katniss doesn’t trust Coin, Plutarch, Haymitch, or any of the other rebel leaders. Hurriedly, Finnick turns off the television. He and... (full context)
Chapter 9
Revolution and Its Problems Theme Icon
The Power and Danger of Symbols Theme Icon
Role-Playing, Authenticity, Television, and the Self Theme Icon
...by hovercraft, surrounded by their team. As they land in the Meadow, Katniss notices that Haymitch isn’t present, and Plutarch informs her that Haymitch has been struggling with his alcoholism once... (full context)
Chapter 10
Revolution and Its Problems Theme Icon
The Power and Danger of Symbols Theme Icon
Role-Playing, Authenticity, Television, and the Self Theme Icon
...leaders sitting around her are more concerned about what Peeta has said: “dead by morning.” Haymitch yells out his theory of what’s happened: Peeta has tried to signal Katniss that everyone... (full context)
Revolution and Its Problems Theme Icon
The Power and Danger of Symbols Theme Icon
Role-Playing, Authenticity, Television, and the Self Theme Icon
Trauma and Love Theme Icon
In response to Haymitch and Katniss’s urgings, Coin agrees to put District 13 in a “Level Five” lockdown. Katniss,... (full context)
Chapter 11
Compassion, Callousness, and Revenge Theme Icon
Trauma and Love Theme Icon
When Katniss awakes from her sedative-fueled sleep, she finds Haymitch standing before her. Haymitch explains that Plutarch has decided to put together a crew to... (full context)
Chapter 12
Revolution and Its Problems Theme Icon
Compassion, Callousness, and Revenge Theme Icon
Trauma and Love Theme Icon
Having just learned from Haymitch that Gale has volunteered to rescue Peeta from the Capitol, Katniss is terrified that she’ll... (full context)
The Power and Danger of Symbols Theme Icon
Role-Playing, Authenticity, Television, and the Self Theme Icon
Haymitch proposes that Katniss help create a decoy that will distract the government’s attention from the... (full context)
Revolution and Its Problems Theme Icon
The Power and Danger of Symbols Theme Icon
Role-Playing, Authenticity, Television, and the Self Theme Icon
Trauma and Love Theme Icon
...he accuses President Snow of rising to power by poisoning his rivals. Afterwards, Katniss asks Haymitch about his own relationship with Snow. Haymitch reveals that Snow murdered his entire family after... (full context)
Revolution and Its Problems Theme Icon
The Power and Danger of Symbols Theme Icon
Compassion, Callousness, and Revenge Theme Icon
Trauma and Love Theme Icon
...arrives back at District 13. Alerted by communicuff, Katniss rushes to the hospital wing, where Haymitch tells Katniss that the mission managed to free everyone except for Enobaria. Katniss finds Johanna... (full context)
Chapter 13
Role-Playing, Authenticity, Television, and the Self Theme Icon
Compassion, Callousness, and Revenge Theme Icon
Trauma and Love Theme Icon
Shortly after Katniss is discharged from the hospital, Haymitch visits her in her home, and suggests that they use a novel strategy to communicate... (full context)
The Power and Danger of Symbols Theme Icon
Compassion, Callousness, and Revenge Theme Icon
Trauma and Love Theme Icon
Delly goes to the hospital, where Peeta is staying, while Haymitch and Katniss watch from behind an observation window where they can’t be seen. Delly greets... (full context)
The Power and Danger of Symbols Theme Icon
Compassion, Callousness, and Revenge Theme Icon
Trauma and Love Theme Icon
...if she is partly to blame for the destruction of her home. She turns to Haymitch and begs him to send her to the Capitol to confront President Snow. When Haymitch... (full context)
Chapter 15
Revolution and Its Problems Theme Icon
The Power and Danger of Symbols Theme Icon
Role-Playing, Authenticity, Television, and the Self Theme Icon
Compassion, Callousness, and Revenge Theme Icon
Trauma and Love Theme Icon
...As Katniss tries to reason with Boggs, she hears a voice in her earpiece—it is Haymitch. Haymitch tells Katniss that Peeta has made a great leap forward in his rehabilitation—he’s been... (full context)
Revolution and Its Problems Theme Icon
The Power and Danger of Symbols Theme Icon
Compassion, Callousness, and Revenge Theme Icon
Haymitch next tells Katniss that she needs to make a speech, immediately. Katniss must go to... (full context)
Chapter 17
Revolution and Its Problems Theme Icon
Role-Playing, Authenticity, Television, and the Self Theme Icon
Compassion, Callousness, and Revenge Theme Icon
Trauma and Love Theme Icon
The chapter begins with Katniss describing herself as being “blindsided” by news Haymitch has given her. She runs to Command, where she finds the rebel leaders conversing. Haymitch... (full context)
Chapter 18
Revolution and Its Problems Theme Icon
Compassion, Callousness, and Revenge Theme Icon
...the team, Boggs cut her from the mission. With the young victors prepared to fight, Haymitch and Beetee—who will manage their progress from District 13—wish them good luck. Katniss and Finnick... (full context)
Chapter 25
The Power and Danger of Symbols Theme Icon
Compassion, Callousness, and Revenge Theme Icon
Trauma and Love Theme Icon
...operating on her, and running constant tests on her body. A little later, she sees Haymitch walking by her bed, smiling, followed by Cinna, Delly, and, bizarrely, her own father, who... (full context)
Chapter 26
Revolution and Its Problems Theme Icon
The Power and Danger of Symbols Theme Icon
Compassion, Callousness, and Revenge Theme Icon
Trauma and Love Theme Icon
...the execution. Effie Trinket, an old Hunger Games organizer, is also present. Venia whispers that Haymitch and Plutarch had to fight with Coin to keep her alive. Gale arrives at Katniss’s... (full context)
Revolution and Its Problems Theme Icon
The Power and Danger of Symbols Theme Icon
Role-Playing, Authenticity, Television, and the Self Theme Icon
Compassion, Callousness, and Revenge Theme Icon
Trauma and Love Theme Icon
...begins. Katniss is present, along with the surviving Hunger Games participants: Enobaria, Johanna, Beetee, Annie, Haymitch, and Peeta. Beetee explains that the Hunger Games competitors were, for the most part, killed... (full context)
Revolution and Its Problems Theme Icon
The Power and Danger of Symbols Theme Icon
Role-Playing, Authenticity, Television, and the Self Theme Icon
Compassion, Callousness, and Revenge Theme Icon
Trauma and Love Theme Icon
...will give the Capitol “a taste of its own medicine.” The vote comes down to Haymitch and Katniss. Katniss votes for the Hunger Games, “for Prim,” and Haymitch agrees with her.... (full context)
Chapter 27
Revolution and Its Problems Theme Icon
The Power and Danger of Symbols Theme Icon
Role-Playing, Authenticity, Television, and the Self Theme Icon
Compassion, Callousness, and Revenge Theme Icon
Trauma and Love Theme Icon
A few days later, Haymitch visits Katniss, who is still under house arrest. Haymitch explains that Katniss’s trial is over.... (full context)
Revolution and Its Problems Theme Icon
Compassion, Callousness, and Revenge Theme Icon
Trauma and Love Theme Icon
The hovercraft is taking Katniss and Haymitch back to District 12. Haymitch explains that the government has no place for him, either,... (full context)
Revolution and Its Problems Theme Icon
The Power and Danger of Symbols Theme Icon
Role-Playing, Authenticity, Television, and the Self Theme Icon
Compassion, Callousness, and Revenge Theme Icon
Trauma and Love Theme Icon
The hovercraft arrives in District 12, and Haymitch and Katniss return to the large houses that have been built for them. The next... (full context)