Summary and Analysis
Part 3: Chapter 24
Katniss tears through the jungle, searching for Prim. She can't see her, only hear her. Finally, she realizes the noise is coming from a jabberjay. She shoots the bird and the sounds of Prim cease. Finnick locates her and is asking her what the noise was when another shriek rings out from the jungle.
This shriek is a young woman's, and Finnick bolts through the jungle like Katniss did, calling out for someone named Annie. Katniss follows after him and shoots the jabberjay when she finds it. He recognizes it was never his Annie, but tells Katniss the Capitol must have done something to hurt Prim and Annie to get recordings of their screams.
She is processing this when she hears another scream, this time it belongs to Gale. Finnick has to drag Katniss away from the source of it, though she knows Gale is not in the jungle. They make their way back to Peeta and Johanna, but are unable to reach them because of a transparent wall separating them. Katniss and Finnick are trapped in that wedge of the jungle until the hour passes.
The birds begin to arrive and there are too many for Katniss to shoot down. She and Finnick, unable to stand the screams of their loved ones, try their best to cover their ears and wait for the hour to pass. Eventually, Peeta carries Katniss out of the jungle and tries to comfort her, telling her it was just technology that created Prim's screams, not Prim herself.
Johanna agrees with Peeta, and says that no one would hurt Prim because the entire country adores her. She says that killing Prim would result in an uprising, and then she screams that no one would want an uprising. Katniss is shocked by this brave display of defiance, and sees Johanna in a new light.
Finnick goes to the water, and Beetee tells Katniss and Peeta that the woman Finnick heard in the jabberjays was Annie, a young woman from his district. Katniss determines that Annie is who Finnick loves, not the admirers in the Capitol. That night, the group shares some bread that has been sent to them, and Katniss and Peeta take the first watch. Peeta tells her they need to admit they're both trying to keep the other one alive. He tells her he has no life worth living without her, and that though it would be difficult for her to go on after the Quell, she has other people besides Peeta to give her life meaning.
He pulls out the chain around his neck and shows Katniss. It holds a locket with the mockingjay etched on it, and inside the locket are pictures of Gale, Prim, and her mother. He tells her that her family needs her, and she realizes he is giving her Prim and her mother, but also a future with Gale. She says she needs him, and he begins to object when Katniss kisses him. She feels the same warm sensation she felt when they shared their first kiss, and she wants more. They're interrupted only when Finnick awakes and agrees to take watch with Peeta.
The bird motif is a crucial component of this chapter. The sounds are not real, but the pain and fear they cause Finnick and Katniss are. The Capitol has sent two clear messages with this weapon, and those messages are the Capitol's attempts to clip the wings of Katniss; that is, slow the spread of her rebellion. The first message, one that the jabberjays are just another section of the clock in the arena, applies only to the Quell. The second message, and clearly the more painful one, applies to life outside of the arena.
Though Katniss and Finnick cannot know for sure, the screams are not real noises that Gale, Annie, and Prim have made. But they are very real reminders, almost promises, that the Capitol has sent to Katniss to tell her what will happen to her loved ones. That Finnick is also being tortured in the same way as Katniss suggests that perhaps the Capitol has caught on to his wanting to protect Peeta and is punishing him for his refusal to play the Games the correct way.
This chapter perpetuates the themes of entrapment that Katniss and others have felt throughout the novel. Finnick and Katniss are physically trapped in that section of the jungle and are unable to run away from the noises of the jabberjays. But the Capitol also has made them a prisoner in their own minds, to their own fears. Katniss has always feared for Prim's safety, but now she has actually heard what Prim's torture and death would sound like.
Johanna's outburst about no one wanting a rebellion strikes Katniss. No one has ever said anything like that before, and Katniss really appreciates Johanna's gutsiness. This comment from Johanna foreshadows that she does have some sort of hidden agenda. While Johanna may not be the nicest person to Katniss, she certainly seems to agree that the fact that the Capitol is trying to hide the rebellion is absurd. This, combined with her alliance with Beetee and Wiress, gives the impression that Johanna might be on Katniss and Peeta's side. This complicates the theme of trust even more, and Katniss struggles to understand her reasons for doing things.
The mockingjay etching and the pictures in Peeta's locket only add to Katniss' pain. Peeta, in a way, is also using her family as a way to light her fire and keep her going. Just like the Capitol, Peeta is trying to use Katniss' family and friends to influence her decisions. The Capitol wants to torture her family to get Katniss to give in to their sadistic ways, but Peeta hopes her family gives her the strength to fight back and resist the Capitol. Peeta is giving a new meaning to the theme of trust by showing her his locket. He hopes that his words, the locket, and her family will allow her to have trust in the cause of the rebels and to put up a fight.
Peeta's locket also allows the motif of damaged relationships to resurface. He knows Gale and Katniss' friendship has suffered as a result of the Games and her pretend relationship with Peeta. Peeta is also aware that Katniss' love for Prim has only grown since Katniss took her place in the Games last year. Even her relationship with her mother has grown stronger as a result of the Games, and Peeta knows he cannot allow Katniss to die for him because it will be too crushing a blow to her family and Gale. He recognizes that though her relationships have shifted, she is still too valuable to too many people to let her die. Peeta might also be speaking to her role as the mockingjay and the girl on fire in the uprisings.