Summary and Analysis Part 1: Chapter 1


When Katniss returns to her old house to drop off her hunting gear, she comments that despite the fact that she and her family now have a comfortable life in a larger house in the Victor's Village, her only true home is her old house where they barely survived. For Katniss, the old house represents a former life when she was happy and safe. Though she starved and fought every day, she knew who she was and understood her place in society. Now, she just feels like a prisoner trapped in her own world. Her feelings of emptiness, isolation, and discontent all contribute to some of the novel's major themes: imprisonment and entrapment by the Capitol.

The new house in the Victor's Village is a symbol of Katniss' fear and discomfort following her victory in the Games. After she and Peeta were crowned the winning tributes, the Capitol's government officials viewed her as a dangerous threat to their system. The Capitol hates her for her popularity in the districts and her ability to influence Panem. Her strained relationship with Gale and loss of sense of self have her mourning for her old life before the Games.

Even Peeta, who could serve as a source of comfort for Katniss, is distant and cold toward her. When he found out she was only pretending to love him as part of a strategy to win the Games, he was hurt and stopped speaking to her. His feelings for Katniss are genuine.

While Katniss and Peeta were a source of hope, survival, and companionship for one another during the Games, they are now distant and isolated. She always felt safe and protected when she was with Peeta, but now she just feels alone and guilty for hurting someone who has been nothing but kind to her. Katniss isn't sure what her flirting with and kissing Peeta meant to her, but she does know it was — and still is — confusing for her, and painful for Gale to watch. Her broken relationship with Peeta, complicated friendship with Gale, and loss of self-identity all contribute to her growing hatred of the Capitol.

When Peeta arrives at Haymitch's with the bread, Katniss notes that each of them has their own way of dealing with the horror and pain of the Games. Peeta bakes, Haymitch drinks, and Katniss hunts. Though they should be bonded by their connection to the Games, the three of them, especially Peeta and Katniss, suffer in solitude. Their relationships have been severely damaged as a result of the Games because it is too painful for them to acknowledge the violence and death they caused.

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