The Hunger Games


Suzanne Collins

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The Hunger Games: Chapter 26 Summary & Analysis

Katniss and Peeta spit out the berries and wash out their mouths in the lake. A hovercraft arrives, and Peeta is immediately taken to a separate room to be treated for his wounds. Katniss becomes panicked when he’s wheeled away, and somebody arrives to sedate her. When she comes to, she’s strapped into a hospitable bed, and there’s a meager meal before her. She realizes that her appetite has shrunk dramatically since the end of the Games. Katniss tries to leave, but then something enters her veins from an IV, and she’s knocked out again. This process repeats itself several more times before she wakes one day and is no longer strapped in.
Katniss and Peeta are immediately separated when they get back to the Capitol so that they’re easier to manage and can be treated separately. The division makes Katniss feel powerless, since she’s spent so much of her time in the arena making sure to protect Peeta, and now he’s taken away from her with ease.
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Katniss notices that her scars are all gone, and her hearing’s been repaired. She gets out of bed to meet her team, calling for Peeta when she enters the hall. Effie’s voice responds instead, and Katniss runs to greet the team, surprisingly hugging Haymitch first. Katniss begins to panic when she notices that Peeta isn’t there, but Haymitch assures her that it’s only because the Capitol wants to televise their reunion.
Another unlikely relationship that’s come out of the Hunger Games is the one between Katniss and Haymitch. Katniss understands Haymitch better and has more compassion for his bad habits after going through some of the same horrors he must have survived in his Hunger Games.
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Katniss follows Cinna to get ready. He’s designed a very simple looking yellow dress that makes Katniss appear young and innocent. Katniss is aware that this must be designed with a particular reason in mind, but she can’t understand why yet.
After the Games, Katniss knows that appearances are calculated—especially important ones like the televised reunion. Cinna didn’t just pick the dress because he thought it was pretty.
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When Haymitch greets Katniss again, he asks to give her a hug before the show begins. While he has her in an embrace, Haymitch whispers that the Capitol is very angry that she made them the laughingstock of Panem by using the berries to outwit them and force them to change the rules of the game. She’s in very grave danger unless she can convince them that she was so madly in love she couldn’t act otherwise. Haymitch also adds that he didn’t have to give Peeta the same memo—he’s already in love with her.
Katniss realizes that camouflage is her last defense, as it was for Peeta during the Games. Her appearance has to match the audience’s idea of what it should be, or else she might face the consequences of an angry Capitol.
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Katniss is very afraid, wondering how this might affect her family in District 12. She has many unanswered questions about the implications of their victory—but she has to set them aside for now, as she prepares to step into the most dangerous part of the Hunger Games yet.
Katniss’s fears again return to her family and the people she cares most about—except this time, it’s more plausible that they’ll get hurt, since she’s out of the arena. Ironically, her family was safer when she was in the Hunger Games, since her life was the one at stake.
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