Summary and Analysis
Confused but still suspicious of the stranger, Katniss demands to know what the cracker's mockingjay stamp means. A second person, a young girl whom Katniss didn't originally notice, tells her it means they're on Katniss' side. The woman's name is Twill, and the younger girl's name is Bonnie. The pair has escaped from District 8. Katniss decides they aren't a threat to her, so the three go inside the house near the lake and make a fire.
Bonnie and Twill are starving and desperate for food, so Katniss allows them to eat all the food she had packed for herself earlier that morning. Once they have had their fill, Katniss asks them to tell their story and explain how they ended up outside District 12.
After the Hunger Games, the discontent in District 8 began to grow stronger and stronger. Twill, a teacher, and Bonnie, one of her students, worked at the factory responsible for making Peacekeeper uniforms. Twill intended to run away with her husband, so she began to steal parts of the Peacekeeper uniform to better conceal themselves while on the run.
The night Peeta proposed to Katniss, the uprising in District 8 officially began. At first, the people were successful. However, more Peacekeepers arrived and subdued the city. For a week, all businesses and shopping in the district were locked down. Everyone almost starved to death. When the district was told to return to business as usual, the factory where Bonnie and Twill worked exploded, killing Twill's husband and Bonnie's family. The pair has been on the run since, and is now on their way to District 13.
For the past 75 years, Panem has been told that District 13 was blown to pieces and no longer exists. However, Bonnie, Twill, and others from District 8 believe the Capitol has been lying to them. They think District 13 now lives underground, and the Capitol has agreed to leave it alone because the district specialized in nuclear development.
They claim that whenever the Capitol shows footage of the supposedly still smoldering remains of District 13, the same mockingjay flutters in and out of the shot in each "update" on the district. Twill and Bonnie believe that the Capitol is using the same shot over and over because it can't show the actual footage.
Katniss is intrigued by the possibility of another district but doesn't think it is likely. She doesn't believe a shot of a mockingjay means anything but humors them regardless. After teaching Twill how to hunt, skin, and cook animals, she leaves the two in the house and returns to District 12.
When she reaches the electric fence to return home, she is surprised that it now has power. That morning, on her way to the lake, the power to the fence had been turned off, like it had been for years.
Bonnie and Twill are important characters because they illustrate the theme of trust. Initially, Katniss fears the pair, understandably so given their Peacekeeper uniforms. But after speaking with them and hearing their story, Katniss learns she can trust them and that they are on her side. This is important because Katniss' struggle to trust and believe in others may prove costly.
When she hears Bonnie and Twill's theory about District 13, Katniss brushes it off as impossible. However, it is important to note the significance of the evidence Bonnie and Twill use to support their theory: that the same mockingjay appears in each news report.
The footage shows a mockingjay fluttering on screen with the rubble. Just as the mockingjay is shown flying in spite of smoldering rubble and nothingness, so does Katniss hope to survive the violent imprisonment of the Capitol and Snow. The footage's mockingjay, the possibility of District 13, and the full-scale rebellion in District 8 foreshadow that the Capitol is failing in its quest to squelch the rebellious spirit of the people, including Katniss.
Katniss disagrees that the mockingjay footage means anything. She says that mockingjays are too common for the footage to count for anything. This is as much of a commentary on the actual mockingjay as it is on Katniss herself. Her rebellious spirit is something she shares with most of Panem, and just like mockingjays, Katniss is a survivor. She did not give up when her father died and she had to illegally hunt for food for her family, nor when she was sent as a tribute to the Hunger Games, and she won't give up now even though she stands to lose everything, including her life.
After listening to Bonnie and Twill, Katniss realizes that President Snow always intended to punish her for the rebellion; the uprisings had started long before she tried to eat the poisonous berries. She was always going to be a pawn in Snow's scheme to subdue the rebellions no matter how she and Peeta acted on the Victory Tour. She is angered by how foolish she was to think she could change all of that.