Catching Fire (Book 2 of The Hunger Games Trilogy) By Suzanne Collins Summary and Analysis Part 3: Chapter 20

Summary

Katniss screams and slaps Peeta in attempts to get him to wake up, but he isn't responding. Finnick steps in and tries to help Peeta, though Katniss is initially convinced he is trying to kill him. But through pumping his chest and breathing air into his mouth, Finnick is able to resuscitate Peeta.

While Katniss is hugging Peeta, she notices that his necklace has a mockingjay engraved on it. She is hopeful that this will give the rebels a boost in morale, having Peeta on their side. However, she is scared that Snow will not overlook the significance of the engraving, and will make it harder for Katniss to keep Peeta alive.

Once Katniss calms down, they all hike through the jungle to search for a place to camp and some water. As they walk, Katniss wonders why Finnick didn't just let Peeta die. She is angry at him because she now owes him for saving Peeta's life — she can never kill him now.

They don't locate any water, and while Mags and Peeta are resting, Katniss goes to hunt and look for some on her own. She kills a rodent she finds climbing along a tree. The rodent's muzzle is wet, and she is convinced there must be water nearby. However, she can't find the water source and returns to the others, disappointed.

They are in the process of settling in for the night when a silver parachute drops with a gift. It is a hollow metal tube with a tapered end and curved lip. At first, no one can place it or determine its function. Finally, Katniss remembers it is called a spile and is used to collect sap from trees.

With the spile acting as a faucet, they drink their fill of water from the trees, and Finnick takes the first watch of the night while Katniss, Peeta, and Mags drift off to sleep. After a couple of hours, the sound of a gong striking twelve times wakes Katniss. She takes watch and Finnick falls asleep.

Soon, a fog moves in toward the group. A sickening smell and the movement of the fog alert Katniss that it isn't natural, and she wakes the others up. However, it takes a few seconds to wake them completely and Katniss' skin begins to blister where the fog touches her.

Analysis

This chapter is important because it marks a shift in Katniss' attitude toward Finnick. Before he rescued Peeta, Katniss saw Finnick as a threat and someone she will eventually have to kill. However, she admits she will never be able to kill him because he saved Peeta. She won't be able to look past the debt she owes him for saving Peeta's life.

This mirrors the debt Katniss felt she owed Peeta in the first Hunger Games. Several years ago, Katniss and her family were on the brink of starvation and Peeta gave her burnt bread from his family's bakery to feed her. She started off the last Games thinking she could never kill Peeta because she owed him her life because he saved hers. Much as when she was starving as a young girl, she was able to rely only on Peeta and had to work with him to survive the Games.

She is in a similar position with Finnick. She knows she cannot trust him completely the way she trusts Peeta, but she cannot put the debt she owes him out her mind. This chapter brings up the theme of trust, though Katniss has always struggled to have faith in anyone but herself, her family, and Gale. The Capitol, the Games, and Snow have always been enemies which Katniss has detested and distrusted. However, just as she learned to trust Peeta, Haymitch, Cinna, Bonnie, and Twill, she is slowly learning to trust Finnick and what he says. And the fact that the same issue of trust has resurfaced in the Games hints that perhaps Finnick will become a more valuable ally than Katniss anticipates.

Katniss' acknowledgment of the debt she owes Finnick, even though tributes aren't supposed to owe others anything, is crucial because it is another way in which she rebels against the Capitol. She is not supposed to question her motivations or abilities to kill other tributes. But the same fiery spirit within her that yearns for rebellion also allows her to still put others before herself. In games that are designed to rob every participant of emotional connections to other human beings, Katniss continues to fight back against the murderous and selfish behavior the Capitol expects tributes to adopt.

So far, Finnick has proven himself as a strong competitor and a valuable ally. She knows Haymitch gave him his bracelet for a reason, and while she is confused by his actions, she has yet to be hurt by them. Just as the trees indicate the key to survival is all around them, so does Finnick's honest behavior suggest that maybe Katniss and Peeta aren't alone in the arena in their quest for rebellion.

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




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