The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games Chapter 16 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Rue falls asleep immediately after snuggling into the sleeping bag with Katniss, and Katniss feels similarly that she can trust Rue. Katniss falls asleep as well, and she wakes to the sound of a cannon firing. They can’t tell who the dead tribute is until nightfall, however. Katniss gathers information about the Careers’ food situation from Rue, who’s been to spy on the Career pack’s camp by the lake. Katniss is certain that the Careers will struggle with staying alive once their food supply is destroyed.
Rue and Katniss seem to trust each other wholeheartedly. For Katniss, this is in part because Rue reminds her of Prim. Katniss also believes that the key to defeating the Careers is to destroy their food supply, which they need to stay alive because they don’t know how to forage and hunt for their own food—they’ve always led relatively privileged lives and don’t know how to go hungry.
Themes
Love, Loyalty, and Compassion Theme Icon
Societal Inequality Theme Icon
Rue and Katniss formulate a plan that involves Rue distracting the Careers by creating a series of fires and Katniss sneaking up on the Careers’ camp while they’re away. Rue teaches Katniss a four-note melody in case she can’t get back to the camp in time. If she sings it, the mockingjays in the area will pick it up and the other person will know that the other is safe, even if she hasn’t made it back to their meeting place.
Rue and Katniss bond further over the mockingjay pin, which reminds Katniss of her father and also reminds Rue of home. It is significant that the pin also symbolizes the fact that the Capitol doesn't have quite as much control as it wants its subjects to think it does. They work as a team to dismantle the Careers’ food stash.
Themes
Love, Loyalty, and Compassion Theme Icon
Katniss heads off to spy on the Careers and notices that their setup is very strange. She doesn’t understand why they have the boy from District 3 guarding their supplies, for example—he’s scrawny and wasn’t particularly notable during training. The food is also displayed in the open. After the Careers leave the site, distracted by Rue’s fire, Katniss is about to reveal her position when she notices that Foxface—the girl from District 5—has appeared and is doing a strange dance towards the food.
As usual, surface appearances seem to conceal something deeper, and Katniss is trying to find out what that might be. As she wonders, she sees Foxface, who also turns out to be more than she appears. Even though she’s kept a low profile, Foxface proves to be very clever, and Katniss realizes that she shouldn’t underestimate her as an opponent.
Themes
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At one point, Foxface trips and squeals in terror, but when nothing happens, she continues towards the supplies, retrieving a bit from different packs of food, but not enough that it will be noticed. Then Foxface retreats, following the same pattern. Katniss realizes that the land around the food must be mined with explosives, explaining the presence of the boy from District 3—he comes from a factory district where they manufacture such things.
Katniss watches Foxface to discover the truth behind the strange appearance of the Careers’ camp, and she finally realizes that Foxface is being so careful about where she steps because the area is mined.
Themes
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Katniss tries to decide what she should do about the knowledge. If she sends off only one arrow, she might only set off one explosion, leaving the food intact and revealing her own position. She then notices a sack of apples and realizes that she can set off a chain of explosions if she can create a large enough hole in the bag. Katniss sends off a series of three arrows, and then the apples tumble out of the bag, and she’s thrown back by the explosion.
Katniss’s plan is perfect because it destroys the food without revealing her location. It appears as if the mines were simply wired badly and malfunctioned when someone wandered upon the Careers’ stash.
Themes
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