Welcome to the Hunger Games read-along! Beginning July 1st, 2010, we will be reading and chatting about one chapter a day of both The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins in anticipation of the release of Mockingjay on August 24th.

In the unlikely event that this is your first read of these amazing books, welcome! And more importantly, beware of spoilers! There will be spoilers.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Catching Fire Chapter 9

In which Peety wakes Katniss who has been holding Gale's hand all night.  Ouch.  She also wakes ready to "face this new life" of not running, but facing.  "I have chosen Gale and the rebellion."  Yay!  Also she realizes that "deciding not to run away is a crucial first step."

She gathers Peety and Haymitch to try to figure out how to organize District 12 into a proper uprising, and Haymitch starts talking about how he has to organize their wedding, sounding very mom-like.  The square has transformed into a medieval torture chamber, and they see what they're up against.  The Hob's been burned down.  "Thread's a quick worker."

Katniss heads out into the woods in her awesome Capitol gear.  A few yards from the house, she's confronted by...a CRACKER!  With a MOCKINGJAY ON IT.

Is it possible for Katniss to choose a life with Peeta in a way that isn't the Capitol's design?

Do you think Katniss's new hope for a rebellion is just youthful dreaming, or do you think the older people in District 12--who've clearly lived through something before, maybe the last Quarter Quell?--will get behind her with some good advice?


  1. Re: the first question: I don't think it's possible for her to choose a life with Peeta in District 12 without it being part of the Capitol's design. All of Peeta and Katniss's interactions (except for the childhood bread incident) have happened after the Capitol threw them together. Both could always have doubt about the role of the Capitol in their relationship at this point; even if they think it's their own choice, how much did fear of the Capitol contribute to feeling that way? Perhaps if they escaped from Panem they'd have some free will.

    Unrelated--did anyone else see a similarity between the Mockingjay bread and communion wafers? Aren't wafers imprinted with a symbol like a cross?
    Or the use of bread makes the symbol of the rebellion a combination of Katniss (the mockingjay) and Peeta (bread!)

  2. Rebecca, I love your connection to the combo mockingjay/bread symbolism. I also think that to the poor, hungry people of Panem, bread is such a powerful symbol. This is why Katniss needs to lead the rebellion with Peeta--a baker! Fighting hunger! So perfect! Sorry Gale, but brooding emo hunter is way less poetic.

  3. There is nothing not-poetic about brooding emo hunters. Especially hot ones.

  4. I'm also loving the mockingjay/bread symbolism and K+P leading an uprising in the starving districts! So glad you pointed that out. Will K feel less like her relationship with Peeta is Capitol enforced if she and P lead an uprising in earnest? C'mon kids, let's make this thing happen--ppl are starving out there.

    Speaking of, how does K know on page 131 that "The number of kids signing up for tesserae soars," and "When the mines reopen, wages are cut, hours extended, miners sent into blatantly dangerous work sites?" How do you think local news makes its way through D12? Is local news broadcast publicly on TV? Or is news spread at the Hob? (Oh no, what will happen now that the Hob's gone??? That would've been one place for adults to talk and plan an uprising.)

  5. I really don't think Thread is being helpful to the Capitol. If you squeeze a bar of soap too tight, it's gonna squirt out of your hands. Complacency is usually more powerful than fear. If you rewind back one year to the start of THG, what did you have? District 12 was the poorest, most pathetic District where people starved to death in the streets, and you had, what, one person who thought about rebellion? Maybe Gale's talked up some of his miner friends in the past 6 months, but other than that where would the resolve to rebel come from? It's just like Katniss' reaction to Snow's signal that she failed: when you have nothing left to lose, that is when you are the most dangerous. Before Thread started destroying District 12's way of life, they *did* have something to lose. They had peace, even though that peace meant that two of their children would be murdered every year, and everyone else would be poor and starving. But Thread's heavyhanded tactics are taking that one thing away, so eventually people are going to decide that death is not a particularly high price to pay to fight for freedom.