Summary and Analysis
Katniss struggles to think straight and is unnerved by Cinna's arrest. She wants to give up, but she knows Cinna and the rebels' efforts cannot be in vain and is determined to fight to the end. Her resilience will be her final act of rebellion.
She calms herself so she can take in her surroundings. She sees that the other tributes are standing on metal plates surrounding the Cornucopia. Initially, the Cornucopia looks like it is on its own island, but she sees thin strips on land radiating from it like spokes on a wheel.
The gong sounds, and she swims toward a narrow strip of land. She has just reached the Cornucopia and retrieved a bow and some arrows when Finnick appears behind her. He tells her it is lucky they are allies and she is about to shoot an arrow at him when something catches her eye. On his wrist, Finnick is wearing the same gold band with flames that Haymitch was wearing the first morning of training.
She decides Haymitch gave him the band as a sign to Katniss and Peeta that they are to trust Finnick. She lowers her arrow and they grab more weapons and locate Peeta, who is still stranded on his plate out in the middle of the water. Finnick swims out to rescue him, and the three of them join Mags as they run away from the Cornucopia.
They run into the thick jungle surrounding the water and get far away from the beach before Katniss scales a tree to assess the land. From atop the tree, she sees blood and dead bodies strewn across the beach and water. She didn't expect the tributes to agree to some sort of truce in the arena, but she had hoped they showed some hesitation before killing one another. She expected their years of friendship would make it harder to kill. But she knows her one and only true ally is Peeta, so she decides she must kill Finnick now.
Katniss climbs down from the tree, determined to kill him now before he has the chance to kill her. Peeta, sensing the growing animosity between the two, steps in between them and suggests they all look for water. As they search for water, Katniss comes across the force field at the edge of the arena. She tries to warn the others before they run into it, but Peeta walks right into it, and is flung back into the arena. Katniss runs over to him, expecting to hear the beating of his heart, but finds only silence.
The arena is important because, at first glance, all Katniss can see is water. Katniss' nickname, the girl on fire, has clearly not gone unnoticed by the Gamemakers. The water is a physical impediment to her because she could drown in it. But its real danger is that it is more of a message from the Gamemakers, and perhaps Snow himself, that the arena is the final prison in which the Capitol has trapped Katniss.
This furthers the theme of imprisonment that Katniss has felt for the past year; however, now her prison will be all-consuming. She will die at the hands of the Gamemakers and the Capitol, the ones who have locked her away from freedom, happiness, and loved ones. She will be drowned by the Capitol's methods of torture and manipulation, and her fire will forever be extinguished.
Haymitch's bracelet on Finnick will go unnoticed by the Gamemakers and the Capitol, but that is probably what Haymitch was hoping for. It is important to note the way in which Haymitch went about securing Finnick as an ally for Katniss and Peeta. Instead of coming out and just saying Haymitch wants Peeta and Katniss to trust Finnick, he makes sure Katniss sees the bracelet. Though she doesn't get along with Haymitch, she knows he is usually right where strategy is concerned, so she allows herself to work with him.
It is ironic that Katniss had hoped for a stronger sense of camaraderie among the tributes when she knows her only friend and ally in the arena is Peeta. These conflicting wants and views suggest that, while Katniss understands that her only priority can be saving Peeta by killing the others, she still holds out hope that the tributes' stand against the Capitol will be strong enough to continue after the Quell.