Summary and Analysis
Part 2: Chapter 12
Invigorated from seeing the mockingjay on the news, Katniss wants to find out more about District 13 or to help in the cause to bring down the Capitol, but she is forced to rest more so her foot can heal.
Winter is coming to an end when Katniss' prep team arrives for her wedding dress photo shoot. While Octavia, Venia, and Flavius discuss the shortages of various items throughout the Capitol, Katniss begins to suspect the scarcity of some products means more districts are in rebellion. By the time they're done with her makeup, she suspects two more are now in rebellion, along with District 8.
The photo shoot takes all day, and though Katniss is exhausted when it is finished, she is still troubled by nightmares that night. The next day, she meets with Haymitch and updates him on Bonnie and Twill. He tells her two more districts are rumored to be rebelling, which means almost half the districts are possibly in revolt. He disagrees with her theory that District 13 still exists and tells her she isn't being realistic because she is desperate.
There is a mandatory television program showing later that evening. The first thing shown is Katniss' wedding dress shoot. The second program shows President Snow walking on stage. Snow recounts the history of the Dark Days, when the rebels first fought against the Capitol and lost, which resulted in the Hunger Games. With the birth of the Hunger Games came the creation of the Quarter Quell. Taking place every 25 years, the Quarter Quells are special versions of the Hunger Games in which the Capitol intensifies and glorifies the Games in order to celebrate the anniversary.
He reads the card which contains the information for this year's Quell, the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Games. Snow announces that the male and female tributes for this year's Games will be chosen from the existing pool of victors.
Katniss, the only female tribute victor from District 12, will be going back into the arena.
Katniss is inspired by the sight of the mockingjay, and the hope of a successful rebellion is rekindled. She draws strength from the possibility of a District 13. For the first time, Katniss sees the mockingjay as a symbol of hope and possibility for a new life, something she has represented to the people of Panem for a year now. Her hopes are given even more fuel when her prep team complains about the shortages of various products. She is invigorated by the possibility that more districts are in rebellion but fearful at the same time.
After the mockingjay sighting in the footage and the conversation with her prep team, Katniss begins to trust in the rebellion and hope for a better future. She has spent so long fearing for her family's lives that she hasn't had a chance to consider that Snow could actually be defeated. She sees Bonnie and Twill, the footage, and the rumors of rebellions as things to trust in and rely on. However, despite her blossoming hope for the future, she is soon snapped back to reality by the arrival of the wedding dresses and her nightmares.
In her nightmare, Katniss is wearing a torn silk wedding grown and fighting muttations in the arena. Both the gown and muttations are symbols of the Capitol's dark influence in every area of her life — especially her mind and her future. The motif of nightmares is especially significant in this chapter because reality and her subconscious are becoming harder to differentiate. As a country-wide rebellion becomes more of a possibility, so does torture and death by Snow. She cannot hide from the tantalizing prospect of rebellion or the crushing fear of death, not even when she sleeps. This is another example of the theme of imprisonment.
This year's Quarter Quell, in which Katniss will have to compete, has been purposefully planned to ensure her brutal, cruel, and unjust death. This is the Capitol's grand attempt to end her life, squash the rebellion, and prevent any future uprisings.