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Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Scholastic Press edition of Mockingjay published in 2014.
Chapter 1 Quotes

I use a technique one of the doctors suggested. I start with the simplest things I know to be true and work toward the more complicated. The list begins to roll in my head...
My name is Katniss Everdeen. I am seventeen years old. My home is District 12. I was in the Hunger Games. I escaped. The Capitol hates me. Peeta was taken prisoner. He is thought to be dead. Most likely he is dead. It is probably best if he is dead...

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Peeta Mellark
Page Number: 4
Explanation and Analysis:

The third book of the Hunger Games trilogy shows Katniss Everdeen coping with trauma, paranoia, anxiety, and many other psychological problems. She's experienced brutal violence, and even witnessed some of her friends being killed in front of her. So one of the major questions of the novel is: how does (or doesn't) Katniss cope with her trauma?

In this quotation, Katniss shows us one way she's been coached to deal with her pain: listing the things she knows to be true. Such a technique helps Katniss in a number of different ways. First, it helps her distinguish between government propaganda and reality: while the difference might seem perfectly clear to readers, distinguishing between propaganda and truth is especially important for Katniss because she lives in a society where the government is constantly altering reality. Katniss's coping technique is also useful because it shows mental health and maturation as a progression from simple to complex: Katniss begins by listing simple truths, then uses this simple truths to reach a kind of "truce" with more traumatic realities. It's also worth noting that this quotation is a way for Collins to deliver some exposition: Katniss is coping with trauma, but she's also cluing in first-time readers to the events of the previous two books in the Hunger Games trilogy.


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No one will fully understand—how it's not just a flower, not even just President Snow's flower, but a promise of revenge—because no one else sat in the study with him when he threatened me before the Victory Tour. Positioned on my dresser, that white-as-snow rose is a personal message to me. It speaks of unfinished business. It whispers, I can find you. I can reach you. Perhaps I am watching you now.

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), President Coriolanus Snow
Related Symbols: Roses
Page Number: 15
Explanation and Analysis:

Shortly before the beginning of the novel, Katniss's hometown, District 12, is bombed by the Panem government headed by President Snow in retaliation for Katniss's acts of rebellion. When Katniss walks through the ashes of her town, she's surprised to find a rose in the remains of her house. Although there's no message attached to the rose, Katniss has no doubt about who placed it there, or what it means: she's positive that President Snow sent the rose to remind Katniss that he's watching her at all times, and will try to hunt her down and kill her.

It is interesting that we're not told if Katniss is correct in her interpretation of the rose. Her thought process seems reasonable—President Snow is famous for waging psychological warfare on his enemies. And yet Katniss has been wrong before when she tries to interpret ambiguous symbols (in the prequel to Mockingjay, she completely misinterpreted Plutarch Heavensbee's watch, a "symbol" that helped to save her life). We're reminded that signs and symbols—of which the rose is certainly an example—can never be understood with complete certainty. In the end, the quotation says as much about Katniss's current state of mind as it does about President Snow. Whether Snow placed the rose in District 12 or not, Katniss has become paranoid, frightened, and constantly anxious, haunted by her traumatic past.

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.

Chapter 4 Quotes

"Punishing my prep team's a warning," I tell her. "Not just to me. But to you, too. About who's really in control and what happens if she's not obeyed. If you had any delusions about having power, I'd let them go now. Apparently, a Capitol pedigree is no protection here. Maybe it's even a liability."

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Venia , Octavia , Flavius
Page Number: 50
Explanation and Analysis:

Shortly after Katniss arrives at the rebel base, ruled over by President Alma Coin, she discovers that her prep team (i.e., the people who do her makeup, hair, etc.) has been imprisoned, supposedly to punish them for stealing food. Although Katniss is able to use her friendships with Plutarch and other important officials to free her prep team, the incident sends her a clear message. As Katniss explains in the quotation, Coin wants to let Katniss know that she (Coin) is in charge. Sending Katniss's friends to prison at the drop of a hat is a not-so-subtle reminder that Coin could do the same to Katniss if she wanted; her power over the rebel base is virtually absolute.

In a broader sense, Coin's actions start to suggest to Katniss that the rebel alliance against the current government of Panem isn't really that different from the government itself. Where the Capitol, headed by President Snow, tried to blackmail Katniss into obedience by threatening her friends and family, Coin proves that she's willing to do exactly the same. And whereas the Panem government exploited the people of District 12, throwing them in jail for no discernible reason, Coin's rebel alliance reverses Snow's actions by punishing former residents of the Capitol, such as Katniss's prep team. Coin's rebel alliance is opposite and yet also identical to Snow's.

The president allows a few moments of unrest, and then continues in her brisk fashion. Only now the words coming out of her mouth are news to me. "But in return for this unprecedented request, Soldier Everdeen has promised to devote herself to our cause. It follows that any deviance from her mission, in either motive or deed, will be viewed as a break in this agreement. The immunity would be terminated and the fate of the four victors determined by the law of District Thirteen. As would her own. Thank you." In other words, I step out of line and we're all dead.

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), President Alma Coin (speaker), Peeta Mellark
Page Number: 57
Explanation and Analysis:

Katniss has used her influence and power to strike up a bargain with President Alma Coin: Coin will spare the lives of Katniss's friends (including Peeta), in return for which Katniss will devote herself to the rebel cause. Katniss must earn her friends' lives by making propaganda videos and speaking out in favor of the rebels. Here, Coin confirms the bargain by announcing it to the rebels under her control: if Katniss breaks her promise, everyone in the alliance will know about it (and the same is true of Coin).

Coin's agreement with Katniss tells us a lot about Coin's personality, and about the style of government she favors. Much like her rival, President Snow, Coin wants to use Katniss as a political puppet—a famous, instantly recognizable symbol who can be manipulated to suit the needs of the rebel alliance. And much as President Snow pressured Katniss into obedience by threatening to hurt her friends, Alma Coin is now implicitly threatening Katniss in precisely the same way—a threat that Katniss understands perfectly.

Chapter 5 Quotes

And now Coin, with her fistful of precious nukes and her well-oiled machine of a district, finding it's even harder to groom a Mockingjay than to catch one. But she has been the quickest to determine that I have an agenda of my own and am therefore not to be trusted. She has been the first to publicly brand me as a threat.

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), President Alma Coin
Page Number: 59
Explanation and Analysis:

Katniss considers the agreement she's just struck up with President Coin, according to which Katniss will take part in the rebels' propaganda campaign, in return for Coin's protection of her loved ones (such as Peeta). Although Katniss proposes this agreement in order to protect the people she cares about, Coin tries to persuade her people that Katniss is a potential threat to the safety of the rebel alliance: i.e., because of Katniss's ties to the government of Panem, she can't entirely be trusted.

As the quotation makes very clear, Coin takes steps to paint Katniss as untrustworthy because she understands that Katniss's interests don't align with the rebels' on all issues—for example, Katniss wants to protect Peeta, whereas most of the rebels want him dead. Coin's steps to "brand" Katniss a threat—essentially, to control the "public relations" side of their agreement—shows us that Coin is a worthy opponent for Katniss. As much as President Snow or Katniss herself, Coin understands the importance of public perception, and she maintains power by controlling how her people perceive her, her allies, and her enemies.

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.

Chapter 7 Quotes

"Katniss?" a voice croaks out from my left, breaking apart from the general din. "Katniss?" A hand reaches for me out of the haze. I cling to it for support.

Attached to the hand is a young woman with an injured leg. Blood has seeped through the heavy bandages, which are crawling with flies. Her face reflects her pain, but something else, too, something that seems completely incongruous with her situation. "Is it really you?"
"Yeah, it's me," I get out.
Joy. That's the expression on her face. At the sound of my voice, it brightens, erases the suffering momentarily.

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker)
Page Number: 89
Explanation and Analysis:

In this quotation, Katniss arrives at a scene of mass carnage: the rebels in Panem are rising up against the powerful, militaristic Panem government, and they're being punished for their uprising. Rebels lie on the ground, bleeding and crying out in pain. When Katniss arrives on the scene—being filmed for propaganda purposes—she's amazed to find that her mere presence on the scene can inspire people and make them stronger in the most literal of ways. In this scene, where Katniss acts as a kind of Christ-figure, a few seconds of her time helps a wounded young woman re-energize in the midst of battle.

Katniss's behavior during the battle scene reinforces an important point: the power of symbols. At their best, as in this quotation, Katniss's status as a renowned celebrity is a powerful force for good. She's a symbol as well as a person: her status as a rebel and a Hunger Games victor inspires people throughout the nation to rebel against the government. Interestingly, Katniss does almost nothing in this quotation: it is the young woman's ideas of what Katniss stands for, not Katniss herself, that brings joy. All powerful symbols work this way: by themselves, a cross, a flag, or a star are nothing important, but because of the powerful associations they inspire in people, they can bring energy, joy, and hope.

Chapter 9 Quotes

I used to think the murderer was the creepiest guy imaginable. Now, with a couple of trips to the Hunger Games under my belt, I decide not to judge him without knowing more details. Maybe his lover was already sentenced to death and he was trying to make it easier. To let her know he'd be waiting. Or maybe he thought the place he was leaving her was really worse than death. Didn't I want to kill Peeta with that syringe to save him from the Capitol? Was that really my only option? Probably not, but I couldn't think of another at the time.

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Peeta Mellark
Related Symbols: The Hanging Tree
Page Number: 126
Explanation and Analysis:

During the filming of one of her propaganda videos for the rebels, Katniss recalls a song she learned as a small child. In the song, a murderer calls out to his lover, asking her to join his side; ultimately, we realize that the man is dead, and wants his lover to join him in the afterlife. Although Katniss has known the song for many years, she begins to consider what it means and finds associations between the lyrics and her own life.

It's not clear whether Katniss associates herself with the murderer or the lover, but it's obvious that she sees a deep similarity between her relationship with Peeta—her lover, currently captured by the government—and the murderer's relationship with his lover. Like the murderer, Katniss (and for that matter, Peeta) is both romantic and deeply selfish. Much as the murderer wants his lover to join him in death, Katniss wants Peeta to "join her" in her state of misery and trauma, even if Peeta is better off in another state of mind. Coping with trauma, as Katniss has been attempting to do for some time now, can be challenging and often rather selfish: one wants a friend with whom to share the burden of pain. Katniss, who's witnessed murder and carnage, feels a deep bond of trust and intimacy with Peeta, because he's one of the few people who knows what she's going through.

Chapter 10 Quotes

If you panic, it could spread like wildfire," explains Plutarch. I just stare at him. "Fire is catching, so to speak," he continues, as if I'm being slow on the uptake. "Why don't I just pretend I'm on camera, Plutarch?" I ask.
"Yes! Perfect. One is always much braver with an audience," he says.

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Plutarch Heavensbee (speaker)
Page Number: 140
Explanation and Analysis:

Katniss and Plutarch have returned to the rebel base, knowing that President Snow is about to bomb them. Katniss is ordered to run to her bunker underground, but Plutarch gives her special instructions not to panic: because everyone pays attention to her, her panic would spread throughout the rebel base almost immediately. When Katniss sarcastically asks if she should pretend she's on camera, Plutarch seems not to get the joke at all—he agrees that Katniss should act like she's being filmed.

This quotation shows Katniss struggling with the demands of being a symbol and a role model for thousands of people. She clearly resents the fact that even in the midst of a bombing she can't be herself; i..e, she has to be acting at all times. And perhaps because he's spent most of his life directing people on how to behave for an audience, Plutarch seems totally unsympathetic to Katniss's anxieties about being a role model. As far as he's concerned, playing for the audience isn't a burden at all; on the contrary, Katniss acts like a better person when she feels like she has an audience.

Chapter 11 Quotes

Maybe this realization on my part is all Snow needs. Thinking that Peeta was in his possession and being tortured for rebel information was bad. But thinking that he's being tortured specifically to incapacitate me is unendurable. And it's under the weight of this revelation that I truly begin to break.

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Peeta Mellark , President Coriolanus Snow
Page Number: 154
Explanation and Analysis:

Katniss knows that President Snow has kidnapped Peeta in order to control Katniss—Snow knows very well that Katniss has feelings for Peeta, and will do almost anything to keep Peeta safe. President Snow also knows that the best way to control Katniss is to keep Peeta alive; this way, he can threaten and pressure Katniss into obeying him. Even though Katniss knows exactly what President Snow is trying to do to her, her awareness of the matter changes nothing. Her emotional bond with Peeta is too strong, to the point where, even when she's fully conscious that she's being manipulated, she'll still obey Snow.

The quotation illustrates the emotional and psychological turmoil that Katniss goes through during the novel. As a major figure—indeed, a symbol—of the fight against the government, Katniss is a visible target for her opponents. A naturally compassionate, guilt-ridden person, Katniss blames herself for her friends' suffering, since the only reason her friends are being attacked and tortured is because of her fame. In short, the quotation shows Katniss cracking under the pressure of being a symbol of the rebellion.

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 15 Quotes

I know there are a couple of huge screens here on the square. I saw them on the Victory Tour. It might work, if I were good at this sort of thing. Which I'm not. They tried to feed me lines in those early experiments with the propos, too, and it was a flop.

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker)
Page Number: 213
Explanation and Analysis:

Katniss and her propaganda team travel to a faraway district of Panem, where they try to convince government soldiers to surrender, while also inciting the people to rise up against the government. Katniss knows from experience that she's not a compelling figure when she's reading from a script; she's at her best when she's improvising, relying on her instincts and speaking from the heart. In her current situation, then, Katniss is unlikely to be an interesting speaker: she has a clear, predetermined mission, and she's been carefully coached on what to say by her propaganda team.

The fact that Katniss is no good at "sticking to the script" suggests that she has a problem with obeying authority: she has an easier time listening to her own instincts than she does listening to other people. Katniss's inability to follow orders convincingly makes her a liability to the rebel alliance, and yet it also makes her a huge asset to the rebels. When she's improvising, Katniss is a compelling and magnetic personality, a living symbol of hope and rebellion. The rebels' challenge, then, is to encourage Katniss to improvise, hoping that they'll be able to "spin" her behavior to support their political cause.

Chapter 16 Quotes


In the twilight of morphling, Peeta whispers the word and I go searching for him. It's a gauzy, violet-tinted world, with no hard edges, and many places to hide. I push through cloudbanks, follow faint tracks, catch the scent of cinnamon, of dill. Once I feel his hand on my cheek and try to trap it, but it dissolves like mist through my fingers.

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Peeta Mellark
Page Number: 218
Explanation and Analysis:

After being shot by an angry dissident, Katniss is rushed to the hospital in the rebel base and treated with strong painkillers. As she hallucinates and dreams, Katniss imagines herself talking to Peeta. In her dream, Peeta says the word "Always."

Katniss's hallucination tells us a lot about her state of mind. Clearly, she's still attracted to Peeta, in spite of the fact that he's been programmed to kill her; the sentimental tone and romantic imagery of the quotation (the violet-tinged world, for instance) clearly suggest romantic attraction and emotional closeness. At the same time, Katniss has a hard time imagining herself in a happy relationship with Peeta—even in her own imagination, she can't conceive of a world where their love doesn't "dissolve."

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 18 Quotes

I don't think they quite know what to do with the three of us, particularly me. I have my Mockingjay outfit with me, but I've only been taped in my uniform. Sometimes I use a gun, sometimes they ask me to shoot with my bow and arrows. It's as if they don't want to entirely lose the Mockingjay, but they want to downgrade my role to foot soldier. Since I don't care, it's amusing rather than upsetting to imagine the arguments going on back in 13.

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker)
Related Symbols: Mockingjay, Arrow
Page Number: 260
Explanation and Analysis:

Katniss has been recruited for a top-secret mission to the Capitol of Panem, where the rebels are planning to overthrow President Snow. At first, Katniss was forbidden to participate in the mission. Now, however, she's convinced her superiors that she'd be a valuable addition to the team. Nevertheless, it's clear that Katniss's commanders don't really know what to do with her. They don't know if she should be a propaganda star (stay out of danger and try to inspire rebels across Panem) or a legitimate soldier (face real danger and risk her life).

The rebels' confusion about how to use Katniss on the mission reminds us that, for the majority of her time with the rebels, Katniss wasn't a proper soldier at all. She walked through battle-torn districts, and even saw some active combat, but her purpose was never to fire a gun or kill her opponents. Katniss was always more valuable as a symbol of the rebel cause. A foot soldier can kill only a few enemies, but a symbol can inspire thousands of new allies at once.

Chapter 19 Quotes

"Sometime in the near future, this war will be resolved. A new leader will be chosen," says Boggs. I roll my eyes. "Boggs, no one thinks I'm going to be the leader." "No. They don't," he agrees. "But you'll throw support to someone. Would it be President Coin? Or someone else?" "I don't know. I've never thought about it," I say. "If your immediate answer isn't Coin, then you're a threat. You're the face of the rebellion. You may have more influence than any other single person," says Boggs. "Outwardly, the most you've ever done is tolerated her.”

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Boggs (speaker)
Related Symbols: Mockingjay
Page Number: 264
Explanation and Analysis:

Boggs, one of the rebel soldiers who's commanding Katniss on her mission to the Capitol, offers some advice about the future of the rebel alliance. As he explains to Katniss, President Coin will try to maintain her power after defeating President Snow; she'll try to become the leader of the new government. In order to gain power, Coin will have to eliminate her rivals and, even more importantly, people like Katniss who don't particularly like her.

The fact that Katniss hasn't thought about the future of the rebel alliance—who will be the leader of the new government, for example—reminds us that she's still incredibly modest and naive about her own power as a symbol of the rebel cause. Katniss has been a celebrity for over a year now, but she's still not entirely used to this role. As a result, she's genuinely puzzled when Boggs tells her that she has more influence than almost anyone else in Panem. In general, Katniss conforms to one of the classic heroic archetypes: the "reluctant leader"; i.e., a heroine who doesn't know her own strength. 

Chapter 20 Quotes

"Don't trust them. Don't go back. Kill Peeta. Do what you came to do." What did he mean? Don't trust who? The rebels? Coin? The people looking at me right now? I won't go back, but he must know I can't just fire a bullet through Peeta's head. Can I? Should I? Did Boggs guess that what I really came to do is desert and kill Snow on my own? I can't work all of this out now, so I just decide to carry out the first two orders: to not trust anyone and to move deeper into the Capitol. But how can I justify this? Make them let me keep the Holo?

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Peeta Mellark , President Alma Coin , President Coriolanus Snow , Boggs
Page Number: 282
Explanation and Analysis:

During the course of the rebel mission to infiltrate the Capitol, Boggs is killed by a bomb. His dying words, delivered to Katniss, are the ones related in this quotation. As might be expected, Katniss immediately decides not to follow Boggs's advice to kill Peeta—she still loves and values Peeta too much. Katniss is puzzled about what Boggs meant by "don't trust them," however—who is the "them" she isn't supposed to trust?

Katniss's confusion about the meaning of Boggs's dying words reminds us that Katniss doesn't really know who her own friends are. As the novel moves on, it becomes increasingly obvious that the people Katniss trusts, including Coin and Plutarch, have been manipulating her for their own ends. Even Gale, Katniss's lifelong friend, can't be totally trusted anymore, since he often callously ignores the value of human life. Katniss is a puppet, being cynically moved around Panem for the good of her supposed allies. It's a mark of how thoroughly Katniss has been manipulated that the "them" in Boggs's sentence could refer to dozens of people, both enemies and apparent allies.

Chapter 21 Quotes

I’d certainly simplify the problem of dealing with his homicidal episodes. I don't know if it's the pods, or the fear, or watching Boggs die, but I feel the arena all around me. It's as if I've never left, really. Once again I'm battling not only for my own survival but for Peeta's as well. How satisfying, how entertaining it would be for Snow to have me kill him. To have Peeta's death on my conscience for whatever is left of my life. "It's not about you," I say. "We're on a mission. And you're necessary to it." I look to the rest of the group. "Think we might find some food here?"

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Peeta Mellark , President Coriolanus Snow , Boggs
Page Number: 291
Explanation and Analysis:

For not the first time in the novel, Katniss feels that she's being pulled back into the Hunger Games. This feeling demonstrates the extent of her trauma. Katniss has witnessed a lot of violence in this novel (not to mention its two prequels), and as Beetee says, frightening events are the hardest to forget. As a result, any new frights or surprises "trigger" flashbacks for Katniss—one death inevitably reminds her of all the deaths she's seen.

Part of Katniss's psychological torture stems from the fact that she knows very well that people are trying to torture her psychologically. Here, she's fully aware that Snow wants to weaken her by burdening her with the guilt of being responsible for Peeta's life. And yet Katniss's awareness of Snow's plan does nothing to make the plan less effective: she knows exactly how Snow is planning to torture her, and this makes her torture even worse. Despite this, she doesn't give in—she still clings to her compassion and humanity even in the face of such great horror, and she still refuses to kill Peeta.

Chapter 22 Quotes

"Can't help him!" Peeta starts shoving people forward. "Can't!" Amazingly, he's the only one still functional enough to get us moving. I don't know why he's in control, when he should be flipping out and bashing my brains in, but that could happen any second. At the pressure of his hand against my shoulder, I turn away from the grisly thing that was Messalla; I make my feet go forward, fast, so fast that I can barely skid to a stop before the next intersection.

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Peeta Mellark (speaker), Messalla
Page Number: 308
Explanation and Analysis:

As they draw closer to the Capitol, Katniss and the rest of her team are ambushed by an army of mutts (genetically-bred government warriors). To Katniss's great surprise, however, Peeta  (who's previously been conditioned to attack Katniss at the smallest psychological provocation) isn't "set off" by the ambush. On the contrary, Peeta and Peeta alone remains calm in the midst of the crisis. The quotation is important because it suggests that trauma need not be psychologically crippling. Sometimes, the people who've endured the most trauma, such as Peeta and Katniss, are the calmest and most "put together" in times of danger. For an emotionally scarred warrior like Peeta, a surprise attack by mutts is the norm; barely even a surprise at all. Peeta's reaction to the attack also reminds Katniss of why she loves Peeta (when he's acting like his true self): they've been through the same traumas in the Hunger Games. Katniss, herself a role model for thousands, looks to Peeta as a role model for how to deal with pain and move forward.

Chapter 23 Quotes

Everything about the situation screams trap. I have a moment of panic and find myself turning to Tigris, searching those tawny eyes. Why is she doing this? She's no Cinna, someone willing to sacrifice herself for others. This woman was the embodiment of Capitol shallowness. She was one of the stars of the Hunger Games until...until she wasn't. So is that it, then? Bitterness? Hatred? Revenge? Actually, I'm comforted by the idea. A need for revenge can burn long and hot. Especially if every glance in a mirror reinforces it.

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Cinna , Tigris
Page Number: 320
Explanation and Analysis:

Once they arrive in the Capitol, the team of rebel warriors (including both Peeta and Katniss) are protected by a woman named Tigris, who despises the government of Panem for ostracizing her for her elaborate plastic surgeries. Although elaborate plastic surgeries are popular in the Capitol, Tigris has "gone too far" in altering her own appearance: she's "more Catholic than the Pope"—more superficial than the Capitol.

In an unusual sense, Tigris and Katniss are kindred spirits. Tigris has been a Capitol insider, yet she secretly despises the Capitol for its cruelty and hypocrisy. By the same token, Katniss has been a Capitol star ever since she won the Hunger Games: she's met many government leaders, and been to several government cocktail parties and banquets. And yet, of course, Katniss still hates the Capitol for forcing her to fight to save her own life—she feels a constant need for revenge against Snow and his colleagues. Katniss immediately sympathizes with Tigris, and is comforted to know that Tigris has a motive to not betray the rebels: Katniss recognizes hatred when she sees it.

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.

Chapter 25 Quotes

Deep in the water, I'm deserted by all. There's only the sound of my breathing, the enormous effort it takes to draw the water in, push it out of my lungs. I want to stop, I try to hold my breath, but the sea forces its way in and out against my will. "Let me die. Let me follow the others," I beg whatever holds me here. There's no response.

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker)
Page Number: 349
Explanation and Analysis:

Moments after witnessing the death of her own sister, Primrose, Katniss goes through all the symptoms of trauma. She's experienced so much pain that her only response is to crave her own death: she'd rather feel nothing at all than feel the mixture of guilt, pain, and loss that's currently crippling her. By the same token, Katniss feels a deep sense of loneliness: even though she's actually surrounded by friends and allies (doctors who are operating on her in the hospital, well-wishers, etc.), she feels that she's alone, that all the people she loved have died or deserted her. There are few people in the world who would understand what Katniss is going through; for this reason, she believes that she's all alone in the world, metaphorically "drowning" in suffering.

Chapter 26 Quotes

"I brought you this." Gale holds up a sheath. When I take it, I notice it holds a single, ordinary arrow.
"It's supposed to be symbolic. You firing the last shot of the war."
"What if I miss?" I say. "Does Coin retrieve it and bring it back to me? Or just shoot Snow through the head herself?"
"You won't miss." Gale adjusts the sheath on my shoulder. We stand there, face-to-face, not meeting each other's eyes.
"You didn't come see me in the hospital."
He doesn't answer, so finally I just say it.
"Was it your bomb?"
"I don't know. Neither does Beetee," he says. "Does it matter? You'll always be thinking about it."

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Gale Hawthorne (speaker), President Alma Coin , President Coriolanus Snow , Beetee
Related Symbols: Arrow, The Double Bomb
Page Number: 366-367
Explanation and Analysis:

In this tense scene, Katniss reunites with her childhood friend Gale, who presents her with an arrow. Katniss is supposed to use the arrow to execute President Snow, the leader of the former government of Panem. By firing the shot, Katniss is supposed to officially end the rebels' war with Snow, ushering in a new government headed by President Alma Coin. Although Gale has known Katniss for almost her entire life, there's no trace of intimacy in his interaction with her now. On the contrary, he acts like a messenger, delivering information to Katniss on behalf of his real allies, the rebels. Gale's behavior reflects his shifting allegiances: although he's always been loyal to Katniss in the fact, he's moved away from his old friend in order to become more powerful in the growing rebel government.

The ultimate example of Gale's shifting allegiances, which Katniss alludes to in this quotation, is the bomb he may or may not have sent to the Capitol—the bomb that killed Katniss's little sister, Prim. Gale doesn't know whether or not he sent the bomb that killed Prim. But whether or not Gale personally sent the bomb, the message is clear: Gale has become hopelessly divided from Katniss. He has chosen the rebels over Katniss, and Prim's death will always be an unbridgeable chasm between the two former friends. This moment also marks the breaking of the "love triangle" between Katniss, Peeta and Gale. Where Gale turns his back on his old friend, Peeta intuitively understands Katniss's pain, and tries to help her.

Chapter 27 Quotes

Peeta and I grow back together. There are still moments when he clutches the back of a chair and hangs on until the flashbacks are over. I wake screaming from nightmares of mutts and lost children. But his arms are there to comfort me. And eventually his lips. On the night I feel that thing again, the hunger that overtook me on the beach, I know this would have happened anyway. That what I need to survive is not Gale's fire, kindled with rage and hatred. I have plenty of fire myself. What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again. And only Peeta can give me that. So after, when he whispers, "You love me. Real or not real?" I tell him, "Real."

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Peeta Mellark (speaker), Gale Hawthorne
Page Number: 388
Explanation and Analysis:

In the last passages of the Hunger Games Trilogy, Katniss informs us that she truly falls in love with and spends the rest of her life with Peeta. (In this passage, she vaguely describes the first time they have sex.) Katniss chooses to marry Peeta because they have so much in common: even if Katniss hasn't known Peeta for as long as she's known Gale (the other vertex of the "love triangle"), Peeta intuitively understands the person Katniss has become—a traumatized, emotionally scarred woman—and he has the compassion, empathy, and common experience to help her.

Katniss's parting thoughts about Peeta suggest that she's turned her back on the principle of "an eye for an eye." For months, she believed that her trauma would go away if she could avenge her loved ones' deaths. But as the novel comes to an end, Katniss comes to realize that revenge solves nothing—she'll always feel the pain of her sister's death, no matter who she kills.

For his part, Peeta also finds a true partner in Katniss, and they "grow together." The final lines of this passage recall the game Peeta used to play after he was brainwashed by the Capitol: a game to clarify what is and isn't "real." Now that game becomes a romantic line for Peeta, but it also suggests that Katniss is the central aspect of his new life and reality: he needs her as much as she needs him.

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