Catching Fire

Catching Fire Chapter 11 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Katniss stands by the electrified fence around District 12. She wonders if Thread has been following her, and concludes that this is entirely possible—Snow found out that Gale kissed her in the middle of the forest, after all.
Katniss’s suspicions reflect the paranoia that Snow and the government like to cultivate in their subjects’ minds. They want the people of Panem to be afraid of them, and to think them capable of anything.
Themes
Surveillance and Manipulation Theme Icon
Katniss decides to find a tall tree, climb it, and jump over the electrified fence. She finds the tree and jumps, injuring herself in the heel in the process. She realizes that she can’t tell her family that she was in the woods, as her mother will be furious that she endangered her life. She walks back to her house, deciding to tell her mother that she slipped off the roof of her house while trying to fix a leak.
Katniss realizes that she still needs to conceal the truth from her loved ones. She can’t tell them about her plans for an uprising, and she certainly can’t tell them about her meeting with Bonnie and Twill. Katniss’s lie seems rather obvious, but once again, the clearer the lie, the more likely people are to believe it.
Themes
Surveillance and Manipulation Theme Icon
As Katniss returns to her house, she sees two Peacekeepers standing outside. Her mother emerges from the house and tells the Peacekeepers, very nervously, that Katniss has returned for dinner—just as she said she’d do. The Peacekeepers tell Katniss that they’ve been waiting for hours to deliver a message for her. Walking inside, Katniss lies and says that Prim sent her to visit the local “Goat Man,” but gave her the incorrect directions. This lie fools the Peacekeepers, though they seem suspicious. They tell Katniss that Thread has electrified the fence around District 12, and encourage her to pass the information on to her “cousin,” Gale. The Peacekeepers leave.
Katniss’s suspicions seem to be confirmed here, as the Peacekeepers noticed as soon as she left her house, though she is able to divert them with another rather awkward lie. Once again, it’s unclear if the Peacekeepers know that Gale is her cousin or not. Katniss, for her part, thinks that they are trying to send a message about Katniss’s relationship with Gale—but this could reflect her own paranoia.
Themes
Symbols and Interpretations Theme Icon
Surveillance and Manipulation Theme Icon
The evening passes uneventfully. Prim tells Katniss about her day at school, and Katniss’s mother fixes everyone soup and bread. Privately, Katniss can’t stop thinking about Twill and Bonnie and their information about District 13. Over the course of the next few days, Peeta visits Katniss and helps her assemble a “family book.” In District 12, every family keeps records of their family history, along with important pieces of information, such as geography, medicine, etc. Peeta helps Katniss draw plants that are useful for making medicines. Katniss finds this work relaxing, and enjoys watching Peeta’s face and hands as he works.
Katniss seems to be developing sincere feelings for Peeta now, as evidenced in the way she watches his hands and face with admiration and tenderness. It’s unclear if Katniss is only feeling this way because the media has encouraged her to do so for so long, or because she is “truly” falling in love with Peeta. At the same time, the distinction between these two ways of looking at love is unclear and complicated—another kind of motif to interpret.
Themes
Symbols and Interpretations Theme Icon
Pain, Pleasure, and Self-Control Theme Icon
Women, Femininity, and Sexism Theme Icon
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Katniss watches television carefully for signs of the “footage loop” that Bonnie and Twill told her about. A few days after she begins to look for it, she finds it. On television, a reporter in a protective suit seems to be standing in front of the Justice Building in District 13, explaining that the area is too irradiated for any life. But Katniss notices a mockingjay flying in front of the Justice Building, just as Twill has described. Katniss realizes that the footage of District 13 is decades old, and wonders what is going on in District 13 now.
Katniss, despite living in a society that’s bombarded with lies from the media, it is now finding it easier to see through these lies. This is the paradox of a society with a large amount of censorship: the more censorship the government practices, the less effective the censorship becomes. In other words, people train themselves to see through the government’s propaganda.
Themes
Symbols and Interpretations Theme Icon
Hidden Resistance vs. Direct Rebellion Theme Icon
Surveillance and Manipulation Theme Icon