The Hunger Games


Suzanne Collins

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The Hunger Games: Chapter 24 Summary & Analysis

Katniss explains how Foxface had been stealing food from the others and how she must have thought the berries were safe because Peeta had collected them in his stash. Katniss collects the remaining poison berries in a pouch to carry with her, in case they have the opportunity to trick Cato as well. Katniss makes a fire to cook the meat she just hunted and also to draw Cato, their only remaining competitor, but he doesn’t show. Peeta asks to stay in the cave again that night, and Katniss reluctantly relents, realizing that she hasn’t been very nice to Peeta all day.
Although Katniss does care about Peeta, some of her choices—such as consenting to staying in the cave at night—are a result of considering how she might appear to the audience. She realizes that she has to listen to Peeta sometimes because the Capitol audience will expect her to.
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After Katniss and Peeta reach the cave and eat, Katniss allows Peeta to sleep throughout the night as she keeps watch, thinking about how dangerous Cato is. In the morning, Peeta takes the watch, and Katniss sleeps until the afternoon. When she wakes, they decide to eat most of their food so that they’re not hungry when they have to fight Cato. It turns out that the streams and ponds in the area have also run dry, meaning that the Gamekeepers are forcing the remaining competitors to gather by the lake.
Although at times they drag each other down, there are benefits to being part of a team. Katniss and Peeta are both able to get sleep, whereas a lone competitor would likely have to stay up to take the entire watch. Being a team, in this case, makes Katniss and Peeta stronger than they would be if they were divided. This same principle is the reason the Capitol keeps districts divided—to make sure they don’t gather strength from teaming up.
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Katniss and Peeta head to the lake, but Cato doesn’t seem to be there when they arrive. They wait in the open. As they wait, Katniss sings Rue’s four-note melody to the mockingjays, and they pick it up. Suddenly, however, the mockingjays’ songs turn into shrieking, and Peeta and Katniss see Cato barreling out of the woods. Some sort of body armor protects him, so Katniss’s arrows do nothing to hurt him. However, instead of attacking Peeta and Katniss, Cato runs past them. Katniss looks to the woods and sees a number of creatures leaping onto the plain. She turns to run, thinking only of saving herself.
At the beginning of the novel, the mockingjay pin reminded Katniss of her father and of the Capitol’s blunder with muttations—now mockingjays remind her of Rue, a friend she made in the unlikeliest of places. Katniss’s reaction to the wolf creatures also shows how the Games can divide individuals—in her terror, she temporarily forgets about everything other than her own safety, despite all the time and effort she’s spent trying to save Peeta.
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