The Hunger Games

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The Hunger Games Chapter 8 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
As Katniss strides back to her room, she begins sobbing, terrified that the Gamemakers will punish her family for her rash behavior. Haymitch and Effie try to fetch Katniss from her room, but she tells them both to go away and remains curled up in bed. As more time passes, however, it begins to seem less likely that the Gamemakers will punish her for her actions in a public manner. She concludes that they will probably just give her an extremely low score on the training sessions so that no one will sponsor her. The scores, between one and twelve, offer a starting point for people who are betting on who might win the Hunger Games.
Katniss’s most intense fear is that her actions will cause her family to get hurt. They’re her motivation for playing along with the games in the Capitol and trying to stay alive.
Themes
Love, Loyalty, and Compassion Theme Icon
When Effie calls Katniss down to dinner, Katniss decides to go. Everyone is seated at the table, including Cinna and Portia, and for a while, the adults talk about the weather. Finally, Haymitch announces that there’s been enough small talk and demands to know how bad Peeta and Katniss were at the private sessions. Peeta reveals that the Gamemakers paid no attention to him, so he just threw around some heavy objects until they said he could go.
Katniss is relieved to hear that the Gamemakers provoked Peeta as well with their lack of consideration and hypocrisy. They pay no attention to the tributes whose lives are in their hands, even though they pretend they’re morally superior and better than the people from the districts.
Themes
Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Finally, Katniss reveals what she did in the private session, and everyone at the table stops eating. She asks whether her family will be punished, and Haymitch says it’s unlikely, since they’d then have to make the contents of the private training open to the public, which isn’t allowed. Katniss realizes she feels better and begins eating her dinner. Afterwards, everyone heads to the sitting room to watch the scores announced on television. The Career Tributes score in the eight-to-ten range, while most of the others average a five. Peeta receives an eight, and then when it’s Katniss’s turn, she receives the highest score of eleven, shocking everyone in the room. Peeta and Katniss congratulate each other awkwardly before heading to bed.
Katniss begins to feel better after Haymitch assures her that her family will probably be safe, since she’s more concerned about their wellbeing than her own. The training scores divide the tributes by making them feel competitive with each other—but Peeta and Katniss still congratulate each other despite the circumstances, demonstrating that they do have a somewhat amiable relationship. Katniss's ranking of an eleven could indicate many things: that the Gamemakers truly recognize her skill, or that they are trying to punish her for shooting at them by putting a target on her back by ranking her highest.
Themes
Division and Control Theme Icon
Love, Loyalty, and Compassion Theme Icon
Appearances Theme Icon
In the morning, Katniss imagines what Gale might be doing back home. She recalls the first time she met Gale, around six months after she started hunting and foraging in the woods. Gale and Katniss began to teach each other their different skills, and then one day became a team, working together to feed their families. She compares her comfortable, trusting relationship with Gale to the relationship she pretends to have with Peeta and realizes it’s not a fair comparison because of the circumstances. Effie calls to Katniss to get ready for the day, and Katniss remembers that the televised interviews are the following night. She gets dressed and heads to the dining room for breakfast, noticing that Effie, Haymitch, and Peeta are talking in hushed tones around the table. When she asks about their current strategy, Haymitch reveals that Peeta has asked to be coached separately.
Katniss’s trusting relationship with Gale is built on mutual need. They rely on each other to feed their families. With Peeta, however, they’re divided by the circumstances and rules of the Games, no matter how friendly they might become. One person’s survival in the Games means everyone else’s death, so it’s difficult to be anything but divided. Peeta's request to be coached separately seems to indicate that he senses the same thing.
Themes
Division and Control Theme Icon
Love, Loyalty, and Compassion Theme Icon
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