Catching Fire (Book 2 of The Hunger Games Trilogy) By Suzanne Collins Summary and Analysis Part 1: Chapter 5

Summary

Peeta and Katniss are shoved back inside the Justice Building by a group of Peacekeepers. Once they are back inside with Haymitch, Cinna, and Effie, they hear two more gunshots. Haymitch orders Peeta and Katniss to follow him so he can speak with them privately. Peeta tells Haymitch everything that happened in the square with the whistle, salute, and gun shots. Confused by the violence, he asks them to explain things for him. Katniss recounts everything to Peeta, from President Snow's threats to her kiss with Gale.

This new information angers Peeta and he tells them they need to stop withholding information from him. He begins kicking and throwing things around the room while he yells at them. Haymitch and Katniss promise to tell him everything from now on, and this seems to calm him down, though he is still hurt by their lies.

Katniss feels overwhelmed and frightened by the events in the square. She realizes that things are much worse than she anticipated, and people in the other districts are more desperate and hurt than those in District 12. She is frightened that the ceremony in the square has only made things worse for everyone.

Throughout the rest of the Tour, Katniss, Peeta, and the team are heavily watched by the Peacekeepers. Katniss and Peeta try to spend every moment linked together, acting as in love with each other as possible. The routine of speeches, Tours, and dinners is all they know.

There are some districts where Katniss and Peeta are welcomed by the people. Katniss notes their genuine excitement at their arrival, but she also recognizes their anger with the Capitol behind their happy faces. She realizes that no matter how in love she and Peeta appear to be, she cannot quiet the growing sense of dissent throughout Panem.

She loses weight, stops sleeping, and is troubled by nightmares. Attempting to calm her emotions and help her sleep, the team gives her drugs. But the dreams still keep her awake at night, and Peeta begins to sleep in her bed to comfort her, as he did in the arena.

When they reach the Capitol, they are still desperate to convince the districts that they are in love. However, nothing seems to work, and Katniss suggests Peeta propose marriage to her during a televised interview in the Capitol. President Snow makes another surprise visit to congratulate the pair, and Katniss asks him if their act worked, if the threat of rebellions has died down, if she has saved her family and friends. He shakes his head no.

Analysis

Peeta's reaction at the beginning of the chapter explores the novel's theme of trust. Peeta, Katniss, and Haymitch are supposed to be a team. However, he feels angry and hurt when he discovers they have been withholding information from him. Peeta argues that he should be kept informed because he needs to know what he is up against. In order to convince Panem they are in love, survive Snow's threats, and keep their families alive, Peeta, Katniss, and Haymitch must completely trust one another and not have any reservations. Trust in each other and in their cause will be a necessary and invaluable weapon in their fight against the Capitol.

The fire motif is present again in the chapter when Katniss realizes just how volatile the atmospheres in the districts are. She sees that President Snow is right, and that just the tiniest spark can set the people of Panem ablaze. In order to stop the fire from spreading, Katniss is going to have to try to put out the flames. If she doesn't, she knows the people will rise up and Snow will use their rebellion to burn her, her family, and her friends.

The nightmares return to haunt Katniss, and no amount of drugs will stop them from disturbing her sleep. The motif of dreams serves as another weapon the Capitol is using against Katniss and Peeta to break their spirits. Though the Capitol cannot control Katniss' or Peeta's subconscious, the dreams are a result of the Games, which is the device the Capitol used to imprison and punish its people. Even months after the Games, the dreams are still preventing Katniss from living a normal life, and in turn effectively getting Panem to believe she is in love with Peeta.

In this chapter, Katniss' complicated relationship with Peeta is a symbol of both comfort and worry for her. She is glad they are friends again and is thankful for his presence when he holds her at night while she tries to ward off the nightmares. However, her pretend relationship with Peeta also symbolizes her broken friendship with Gale and the possible destruction of her loved ones.

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During the Victory Tour, the paintings that Peeta shows to Katniss illustrate what?




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