Mockingjay

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Primrose (Prim) Everdeen Character Analysis

Katniss’s beloved younger sister, the person for whom she risked her life by entering the Hunger Games before the events of Catching Fire. Katniss spends time with Primrose (Prim) in a bomb shelter while the government is bombing District 13. Here, Prim proves herself to be intelligent and insightful, pointing out that President Coriolanus Snow is using Peeta to manipulate Katniss. Prim’s death by a double bomb devastates Katniss and plays a major role in her actions in the final three chapters of the book.

Primrose (Prim) Everdeen Quotes in Mockingjay

The Mockingjay quotes below are all either spoken by Primrose (Prim) Everdeen or refer to Primrose (Prim) Everdeen . 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 3 Quotes

"It's just...Peeta. I'm afraid if we do win, the rebels will execute him as a traitor.”
Prim thinks this over. "Katniss, I don't think you understand how important you are to the cause. Important people usually get what they want. If you want to keep Peeta safe from the rebels, you can."

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Primrose (Prim) Everdeen (speaker), Peeta Mellark
Page Number: 34
Explanation and Analysis:

Katniss Everdeen's friend (and sometimes boyfriend) Peeta Mellark has been kidnapped by the Panem government in retaliation for Katniss's decision to join a group of rebels. Katniss tells Primrose, her little sister, that she's afraid that Peeta will be killed if the rebels win the war with the Capitol, since the Capitol has forced or brainwashed Peeta into making a series of anti-rebel propaganda videos. Although Prim is much younger than Katniss, she's remarkably perceptive—arguably more so than Katniss. Prim correctly points out that Katniss will be able to use her influence to keep Peeta alive.

Prim's argument is both wise and naive at the same time. She sees that Peeta will be kept alive because of his relationship to Katniss, but she wrongly assumes that Katniss has genuine power over the rebel leadership. The reality, Katniss later realizes, is that the rebels will keep Peeta alive, but not out of respect for Katniss—on the contrary, they'll keep him so that they have a way of controlling Katniss. Just like the Capitol itself, the rebels will try to manipulate Katniss into obedience. The fact that Katniss hasn't considered the rebels' course of action suggests that she still believes that the rebels are very different from the government of Panem, when in reality they're virtually the same. Furthermore, Katniss's unawareness that Peeta will be kept alive proves that she's also unaware of the extent of her own importance to the rebels.

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Chapter 13 Quotes

"Of course, we'll try, Prim," says Beetee. "It's just, we don't know to what degree we'll succeed. If any. My guess is that fearful events are the hardest to root out. They're the ones we naturally remember the best, after all."

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Beetee (speaker), Primrose (Prim) Everdeen
Page Number: 182
Explanation and Analysis:

The rebels succeed in rescuing Peeta from his prison in the Panem government. But even after Peeta is returned to his friends and family, he's traumatized by his time in prison, and the government has even conditioned him to attack Katniss. Although Beetee, a trained scientist, believes that it's possible to "de-condition" Peeta to regard Katniss as a friend once again, he admits that de-conditioning is extremely difficult, since Peeta has been brainwashed to respond to any frightening or anxiety-inducing events.

Beetee's words are important because they confirm the psychological harm Katniss has experienced in the past year and a half. After witnessing death and destruction in and outside the Hunger Games, Katniss knows very well that it's difficult, if not impossible, to forget fear. As strange as it sounds, human beings are hard-wired to remember trauma—seemingly the events they'd want to forget immediately—very clearly.

Chapter 14 Quotes

It's only now that he's been corrupted that I can fully appreciate the real Peeta. Even more than I would've if he'd died. The kindness, the steadiness, the warmth that had an unexpected heat behind it. Outside of Prim, my mother, and Gale, how many people in the world love me unconditionally?

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Peeta Mellark , Gale Hawthorne , Primrose (Prim) Everdeen , Katniss’s mother
Page Number: 195
Explanation and Analysis:

Peeta—previously one of Katniss's closest confidants and friends—has now been conditioned to kill Katniss, thanks to the government of Panem. Ironically, Peeta's murderousness new "self" helps Katniss appreciate his old personality even more: she's been so used to having Peeta to talk to about her trauma that his sudden change of character immediately registers.

As Katniss experiences more and more traumatic events—the deaths of children, the bombings of entire districts, etc.—it becomes increasingly important for her to talk to people who have experienced the same events. Peeta was one of Katniss's most important friends, in large part because he knew what Katniss was going through. Now that he's been programmed to hate Katniss, Katniss has no choice but to cope with tragedy on her own. As Snow surely intended, conditioning Peeta has wounded Katniss more deeply than a bomb or bullet ever could.

Chapter 17 Quotes

We spend a couple of hours quizzing each other on military terms. I visit my mother and Prim for a while. When I'm back in my compartment, showered, staring into the darkness, I finally ask, "Johanna, could you really hear him screaming?" "That was part of it," she says. "Like the jabberjays in the arena. Only it was real. And it didn't stop after an hour. Tick, tock." "Tick, tock," I whisper back. Roses. Wolf mutts. Tributes. Frosted dolphins. Friends. Mockingjays. Stylists. Me. Everything screams in my dreams tonight.

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Johanna Mason (speaker), Peeta Mellark , Primrose (Prim) Everdeen , Katniss’s mother
Page Number: 245
Explanation and Analysis:

Johanna and Katniss prepare for their mission into the Capitol. To prepare for the mission, they're exposed to psychological stimuli designed to make them frightened and anxious (in another rather heartless move by the rebels). In the quotation, Johanna and Katniss discuss their hallucinations, referencing their common experiences in the Hunger Games. Katniss's depiction of her nightmares illustrates the irrational nature of trauma. There's no rhyme or reason in her recollections of violence: her flashbacks can't be rationalized or understood, just experienced again and again and again.

The passage shows Katniss bonding with a friend over trauma, pain, and fear. In part, Katniss is bonding with Johanna, a woman whom she never liked much, because Peeta isn't available for her. Katniss needs someone to talk to—preferably someone who understands the traumatic flashbacks she's been experiencing. Johanna, who's witnessed just as much violence as Katniss, is a natural choice.

Chapter 24 Quotes

First I get a glimpse of the blond braid down her back. Then, as she yanks off her coat to cover a wailing child, I notice the duck tail formed by her untucked shirt. I have the same reaction I did the day Effie Trinket called her name at the reaping. At least, I must go limp, because I find myself at the base of the flagpole, unable to account for the last few seconds. Then I am pushing through the crowd, just as I did before. Trying to shout her name above the roar. I'm almost there, almost to the barricade, when I think she hears me. Because for just a moment, she catches sight of me, her lips form my name. And that's when the rest of the parachutes go off.

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Effie Trinket , Primrose (Prim) Everdeen
Related Symbols: The Double Bomb
Page Number: 347
Explanation and Analysis:

Katniss manages to sneak into the center of the Capitol. Just as she's about to arrive at President Snow's mansion, airplanes drop bombs on the rioting people of the Capitol. To Katniss's amazement, one of the people marching through the streets of the Capitol is Katniss's own younger sister, Primrose. Katniss watches in horror as Prim walks to the site of a bombing, hoping to help some of the survivors. Katniss recognizes, too late, that the bomb is actually a double-bomb, designed to kill the first responders to the catastrophe. The double-bomb was designed by Katniss's supposed allies in the rebel alliance—but now it's being used to kill Katniss's family members. In the most striking way, then, the quotation reminds us (and Katniss) that Katniss's supposed friends among the rebels weren't really her friends at all.

The quotation describes arguably the most traumatizing event in the novel: the death of Katniss's own sister, before Katniss's very eyes. The entire passage has a tone of utter futility. Katniss knows that Prim is about to be killed, tries to save her, and fails. In this sense, the quotation is a forecast of the trauma Katniss will be dealing with for the rest of her life: she'll always blame herself for failing to protect her family, and her mind will replay over and over the image of her sister being killed.

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Primrose (Prim) Everdeen Character Timeline in Mockingjay

The timeline below shows where the character Primrose (Prim) Everdeen appears in Mockingjay. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Role-Playing, Authenticity, Television, and the Self Theme Icon
Compassion, Callousness, and Revenge Theme Icon
...Gale was able to save many people, including his mother, Katniss’s mother, and Katniss’s sister, Primrose (Prim). (full context)
Revolution and Its Problems Theme Icon
The Power and Danger of Symbols Theme Icon
As Katniss walks through her old home, she notices Buttercup, Prim’s beloved cat. Quickly, she calls Buttercup and carries her away from the house. Gale tells... (full context)
Chapter 2
Revolution and Its Problems Theme Icon
Role-Playing, Authenticity, Television, and the Self Theme Icon
Compassion, Callousness, and Revenge Theme Icon
...in their rooms for “reflection”—a half hour of free time for all citizens before dinner. Prim is delighted to see that Katniss has retrieved Buttercup from District 12. They are about... (full context)
Chapter 3
The Power and Danger of Symbols Theme Icon
Role-Playing, Authenticity, Television, and the Self Theme Icon
...home in District 13. It is late at night, and Katniss’s mother and her sister Primrose are both asleep. Katniss gets out of bed and surveys her possessions: plain, grey clothes,... (full context)
Revolution and Its Problems Theme Icon
The Power and Danger of Symbols Theme Icon
Compassion, Callousness, and Revenge Theme Icon
...been good to her—they’ve saved her life and helped her and her family. Katniss’s sister, Primrose, points out that Katniss has huge “bargaining power” with Coin and the other rebel leaders.... (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
Trauma and Love Theme Icon
...to wait in her bunker for further instructions, and she assumes that her mother and Prim are on their way. Shortly thereafter they both arrive, along with Buttercup. (full context)
Trauma and Love Theme Icon
...with her sister. Since her first Hunger Games, Katniss hasn’t been spending much time with Prim. (full context)
The Power and Danger of Symbols Theme Icon
Trauma and Love Theme Icon
Katniss talks with Prim. Prim asks Katniss how she’s “managing,” and Katniss, eager to have someone to talk to,... (full context)
Chapter 13
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
For the next several days, Prim and Katniss’s mother take care of her in the hospital, feeding her soft foods and... (full context)
Chapter 14
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
...Peeta’s rehabilitation. Very slowly, he’s being trained to fight his conditioning. Plutarch tells Katniss that Prim came up with the idea of conditioning Peeta in the opposite direction: giving him calming... (full context)
Chapter 24
Revolution and Its Problems Theme Icon
Compassion, Callousness, and Revenge Theme Icon
Trauma and Love Theme Icon
...to take care of the children. Katniss realizes that one of the sympathetic people is Prim, her own sister. Then she watches, horrified, as a second, more powerful bomb goes off,... (full context)
Chapter 26
Revolution and Its Problems Theme Icon
The Power and Danger of Symbols Theme Icon
Compassion, Callousness, and Revenge Theme Icon
...Katniss into battle, knowing that this decision would endanger Katniss. She also must have sent Prim to fight, though Prim was only 13 years old. Too many of Katniss’s friends have... (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 vote comes down to Haymitch and Katniss. Katniss votes for the Hunger Games, “for Prim,” and Haymitch agrees with her. Thus, the vote passes, and Coin announces that the Hunger... (full context)