Summary and Analysis
Katniss runs out of the house before anyone can talk to or stop her. She instinctively runs for the woods before she remembers the fence is now constantly electrified. The next thing she knows, she has broken into the cellar of one of the empty houses in the Victor's Village, crying and thinking of what her future is now. She deduces that this is no coincidence. Her being sent into the arena again is an attempt by the Capitol to destroy her and calm the rebelling districts. She admits there is no hope, and that this is how it is going to end.
After her realization, she climbs out of the cellar and goes to Haymitch's. He is extremely drunk. Haymitch asks her if she came to ask for Peeta's life to be spared and for Haymitch be sent into the arena with her instead. However, Katniss admits to herself that while Haymitch is awful, he is family. She tells him she came for a drink, and Haymitch passes a liquor bottle to her.
He explains that Peeta came to Haymitch to beg for a chance to go back in the arena and to take his place should Haymitch's name be drawn at the reaping. The two agree to work to keep Peeta alive since he and Haymitch worked to keep Katniss safe last time.
Katniss leaves Haymitch's and returns home, where Gale embraces her and tells her it isn't too late to run. She tells him it is, and drunkenly falls asleep in his arms. She wakes up the next morning, extremely sick and hungover. Prim and her mother come to comfort her until she falls back to sleep. She awakes and walks to Haymitch's house, where Peeta is dumping out his supply of alcohol.
Peeta tells Haymitch and Katniss that drunkenness will no longer be tolerated. From now on, they will train and work as a team to prepare for the Quell. They will start acting like Careers, watching tapes of past victors, exercising, and eating a rich diet to grow strong.
They spend lots of time training and working to build up their strength. Gale, who has been teaching the three of them about snares, admits it would be easier for him to hate Peeta if Peeta wasn't so nice. When Katniss agrees, Gale asks where the two of them would be if Peeta didn't exist. She says she doesn't know, and she acknowledges that Gale knows she chose Peeta over him when she decided to not run away.
The day of the reaping, Katniss' name is drawn and Peeta volunteers to take Haymitch's place, they are immediately taken to the train and leave for the Capitol before they have a chance to say goodbye to anyone.
Katniss' running to the woods after first hearing Snow's announcement is significant because she instinctively still sees the woods as a safe haven. But the wired fence reminds her that the Capitol has taken away all sources of comfort and security. Her days of being a prisoner are over as this announcement from Snow is her death sentence. Now, Katniss truly will feel like it is she against the world.
The theme of individual versus society is personified in President Snow. Through his Quell announcement, he is not only giving Katniss a death sentence, but he is seeking to execute her in a way that will alienate her from her family and loved ones. Her final days will be spent fighting against everyone else. Though Katniss is determined to die for Peeta, not even he is on his side as he would risk everything just to keep her alive. Katniss is truly alone, and nothing can remedy that.
Snow's announcement that this year's Quell exists to remind Panem that not even the strongest can overcome the power of the Capitol does not shock Katniss. She realizes the victors of past Games are symbols of hope and perseverance, and the Capitol hopes to stamp out what courage the people of Panem have by killing all of the victors, especially Katniss.
Katniss concludes that while Haymitch is impossible to get along with, he is now her family. This is important because it shows a different side to their relationship. Though they argue about many things and Haymitch clearly likes Peeta more, Katniss truly values Haymitch. He is a source of advice and comfort for Katniss throughout her struggle after the Games. As much as Katniss loves Peeta and wants him to come home alive, she cannot bear the thought of Haymitch dying in the arena.
Katniss turns to alcohol as a final, desperate attempt to escape the pain she has felt since the moment she volunteered to replace Prim a year ago. Her first Games, her inevitable death in the second, and the pain and threats she has experienced in between are too much for Katniss to bear. Haymitch uses alcohol to cope with his time in the Games, and since Katniss can no longer hunt or escape to the woods, she uses the only way she can think of to deal with the tragedy of it all.
Her final request to Haymitch is to protect Peeta and hope that the Capitol will spare him after the Games. This suggests that Katniss loves Peeta, and not just because she feels that she owes him her life. Instead, Katniss wants to protect him and bring him home because she has strong feelings for him, even though she isn't sure what those feelings mean.
Gale's hug and kind words when she returns home are a direct contrast to her newly established plan to save Peeta because of her feelings for him. When Gale says they should have run away when Katniss wanted to and she disagrees with him, she is telling Gale she chose Peeta even if she wasn't aware of it herself.