The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games Chapter 21 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Katniss camouflages the cave opening before nightfall. Then she eats and cleans her weapons. Katniss decides to take her bow and arrows as well as the knife, since Peeta isn’t in any condition to use a knife anyway. If Katniss doesn’t return, Peeta won’t live either. The remaining contestants now are Cato and Clove from District 2, Thresh from District 11, and Foxface from District 5. Katniss curls up next to Peeta to wait for dawn. The nights are growing colder in the arena, and Katniss imagines that people in District 12 are watching them anxiously at home. Katniss also imagines Gale watching the Games and wonders what he thinks of her and Peeta’s relationship.
Katniss chooses to endanger herself in order to save Peeta—she knows that there’s no other way he’ll survive. Katniss contemplates what their situation must look like to viewers who are watching back home. Gale, who can’t possibly know about all the politics involved, for example, might have a different interpretation of Katniss and Peeta’s relationship. This is also an indication of Katniss's confusion regarding love, as she feels a connection to both Peeta and Gale.
Themes
Love, Loyalty, and Compassion Theme Icon
Appearances Theme Icon
At around three hours before dawn, Katniss prepares to leave Peeta, placing the medicine and water near his side. She decides to take his jacket as well as her own, since he has the warmth of the sleeping bag and his fever. Remembering the cameras, Katniss gives Peeta a kiss before she heads off for the Cornucopia.
Katniss is still acting for the cameras—making sure that her appearance matches that of someone who’s in love. However, even though her kiss is calculated and she doesn’t care for Peeta in the exact way that the audience believes she does, she still cares deeply for him and ensures that he has everything he’ll need when he wakes up.
Themes
Love, Loyalty, and Compassion Theme Icon
Appearances Theme Icon
Katniss still isn’t able to hear out of her left ear, but she follows the same path she took earlier to her hiding spot near the lake. When she arrives, she still has an hour or two left to wait before the feast begins at dawn. She settles in the underbrush to wait. As the first rays of light hit the Cornucopia, a table rises out of a disturbance on the ground, with packs that are marked with each of the remaining districts’ numbers. Foxface leaps out of the mouth of the Cornucopia, where she had been hiding, grabs her pack, and runs off before anyone else can reach the table. Katniss realizes that she needs to get her own pack next, or else someone else will scoop it up when they grab theirs.
Each time the Gamemakers force the tributes to converge, they’re actually emphasizing the division between the districts, since the tributes will be forced to fight and kill each other when they meet. Even the fact that Foxface was clever enough to hide in the horn, for example, raises feelings of jealousy and anger in Katniss, who is continually surprised by how clever Foxface is when she seems so unassuming.
Themes
Division and Control Theme Icon
Appearances Theme Icon
Katniss runs towards the Cornucopia and deflects a knife that comes whizzing at her. Katniss retaliates, shooting an arrow at Clove, but the arrow only hits her arm. Katniss reaches the backpack, but a second knife slices her forehead, and then Clove pins her to the ground. Clove doesn’t want to kill Katniss immediately though. She mentions Rue, taunting Katniss about her ally’s death. But just as Clove begins to cut Katniss’s lip, she’s lifted into the air by Thresh. Thresh kills Clove and demands to know what happened to Rue. Katniss tells him that they teamed up and that she tried to save Rue, but it was too late. Katniss adds that District 11 sent her bread in thanks. She asks Thresh to kill her quickly, and he hesitates before letting her go. He says that they’re now even, and Katniss runs. Thresh grabs both his pack and Cato’s and jumps down a cliff behind the Cornucopia and disappears.
Thresh chooses to show Katniss mercy in order to thank her for her treatment of Rue—and in this basic act of kindness, he temporarily breaks down the divisions that the Capitol has enforced between districts. Further, it is Katniss's original kindness that inspires such behavior in Thresh. There is a strength in friendship and loyalty that breaks down the Capitol's control, and are therefore dangerous to the very structure of government in Panem.
Themes
Division and Control Theme Icon
Love, Loyalty, and Compassion Theme Icon
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Cato discovers that Clove is dead, and Katniss flees the scene before he can chase after her. She hopes that Cato will run after Thresh, since Thresh is the one who has his pack. Katniss makes it back to the cave with difficulty and administers the medicine to Peeta before she succumbs to blood loss from the gash on her forehead and loses consciousness. The last thing she remembers is an exquisite green and silver moth landing on the curve of her wrist.
Katniss suffers from some major blood loss, but she manages to stay conscious long enough to administer medicine to Peeta. Her loyalty to others is what motivates her to push herself beyond her limits.
Themes
Love, Loyalty, and Compassion Theme Icon