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Catching Fire

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BC: Z | "Have they ever given a zero?' I ask. 'No, but there’s a first time for everything.' Cinna answers." | Without planning to, Peeta and Katniss both use their time to display their skills to display a little rebellious spirit. Peeta paints the image of Rue’s dead body covered in flowers from the first Hunger Games and Katniss hangs a dummy that she labels Seneca Crane. Both were bold moves and obvious displays of rebellion against the Capitol. Peeta and Katniss believe they will be the first contestants to ever get a score of zero for their crime. Instead, they both become the first contestants to get a score of twelve, making them top on the other contestants’ hit lists. | Zero

FC: Nikki Murdoch | ABC Book for Mrs. Holmes | 5 February 2013 | AP English IV

1: “Haymitch once told me they did something to Avoxes' tongues so they could never talk again. In my head I hear Darius’s voice, playful and bright, ringing across the Hob to tease me. Not as my fellow victors make fun of me now, but because we genuinely liked each other.” | A | The avoxes are another example of the consequences associated with defying the capitol. Katniss sees avoxes in the first book, but it is a whole new experience for her to see her old district 12 friend, Darius, as a victim of the capital. It seems that President Snow purposely placed Darius in her living quarters to remind her of the capitol’s power as she prepares for her second hunger games. Katniss is once again reminded of the ramifications of her “berry trick” for herself and those around her. For the rest of the night she experiences great emotional pain and wonders how she got herself and everyone she loves so involved with the capitol’s games when she was trying so hard to protect them. | Avox

2: B | "The berries. I realize the answer to who I am lies in that handful of poisonous fruit. If I held them out to save Peeta because I knew I would be shunned if I came back without him, then I am despicable. If I held them out because I loved him, I am still self-centered, although forgivable. But if I held them out to defy the Capitol, I am someone of worth. The trouble is, I don't know exactly what was going on inside me at that moment." | The berries don't really feature much in the later action of the book, but the ramifications of Katniss' actions do, as she and Peeta are forced back into the arena and she has to make these decisions all over again. The districts interpret her actions as an act of defiance and are starting to rebel against the capitol as Katniss later finds out. Her split-second decision with the berries continues to affect every aspect of her life as this book continues. | Berries

3: C | "He turns me toward a mirror so that I can take in the entire effect. I do not see a girl, or even a woman, but some unearthly being who looks like she might make her home in the volcano that destroyed so many in Haymitch's Quell. The black crown, which now appears red-hot, casts strange shadows on my dramatically made-up face. Katniss, the girl on fire, has left behind her flickering flames and bejeweled gowns and soft candlelight frocks. She is as deadly as fire itself." | Cinna has an important role in Catching Fire. He's one of the people Katniss trusts most in the world, and he's also one of the bravest people in Panem. Cinna helps fuel the fires of the rebellion by creating Katniss' image as an iconic figure. He makes political statements in the clothes that Katniss wears, putting him at risk. | Cinna

4: "I mourn my old life here. We barely scraped by, but I knew where I fit in, I knew what my place was in the tightly interwoven fabric that was our life. I wish I could go back to it because, in retrospect, it seems so secure compared with now, when I am so rich and so famous and so hated by the authorities in the Capitol." | D | District 12 | A lot of things have changed for Katniss involving District 12. Her role in the community is totally different now. Katniss and her family have moved out of their shack in the Seam to the upscale Victor's Village. Katniss is well off now, and she doesn't have to worry about hunting to feed her family. She's also more noticeable. She's famous now, and can no longer go anywhere without being noticed. More unsettling is that she's constantly being watched, and she doesn't feel safe anywhere.

5: E | Effie Trinket | "Really, you’d think we were all criminals." | Like a typical Capitol citizen, Effie often seems to miss the point. Here, Effie is missing the point that they kind of ARE criminals (from the perspective of President Snow anyway). She adds a capitol perspective to everything that is going on in Katniss’s world. She makes it a little easier for the reader to understand the capitol life and their love of the Hunger Games.

6: F | Finnick Odair | "By the time we pull ourselves together, I'm thinking that maybe Finnick Odair is all right. At least not as vain or self-important as I'd thought. Not so bad at all, really." | In many ways, Finnick and Katniss are a lot alike. They both care deeply for a fellow victor and feel like they have to protect them. They both won their own Games, and they're both excellent fighters. Surprisingly, Finnick proves to be even more selfless than Katniss. He serves the revolution. He knew the story going into the arena and was ready to die in order to save Katniss' life.

7: G | Gale | "The only time I really get to see Gale now is on Sundays, when we meet up in the woods to hunt together. It's still the best day of the week, but it's not like it used to be before, when we could tell each other anything. The Games have spoiled even that. I keep hoping that as time passes we'll regain the ease between us, but part of me knows it's futile. There's no going back." | For all of the experiences Gale and Katniss have shared, they didn’t share the Hunger Games and that event has dominated every aspect of Katniss’s life since. The Games drove a wedge between Gale and Katniss that only seems to get wider as the story goes. The more Katniss is drawn into the Capitol's mess, the harder it is on her relationship with Gale.

8: H | Haymitch | "Haymitch is surly, violent, and drunk most of the time. But he did his job – more than his job – because for the first time in history, two tributes were allowed to win. So no matter who Haymitch is, I owe him, too. And that's for always." | Katniss owes him even more by the end of Catching Fire, although she's also angry with him for tricking her. Haymitch's only response is that it was for her own good. Haymitch also isn't always open with Katniss and Peeta, pulling stunts like playing them against each other by promising them that he'll work to make the other survive. Katniss's care for Haymitch is undeniable since his assistance in the first games.

9: I | Image | "Even if you pull it off, they'll be back in another few months to take us all to the Games. You and Peeta, you'll be mentors now, every year from here on out. And every year they'll revisit the romance and broadcast the details of your private life, and you'll never, ever be able to do anything but live happily ever after with that boy." | Here Haymitch helps Katniss realize exactly what she sentenced herself to with her Games strategy. Pretending to be in love got her and Peeta through the Games, but in order for the strategy to continue to work, they have to keep up that image for as long as the Capitol watches over them. In other words, forever.

10: J | "Johanna throws back her head and shouts, 'Whole country in rebellion? Wouldn't want anything like that!" | Johanna isn't safe. She likes to push people's buttons – both Katniss' and the Capitol's. As Katniss puts it, it's hard to know if Johanna is "gutsy" or "crazy." Johanna may or may not have liked Katniss, but Katniss learns that she was working to save her life regardless. | Johanna

11: K | Katniss | "I mourn my old life here. We barely scraped by, but I knew where I fit in, I knew what my place was in the tightly interwoven fabric that was our life. I wish I could go back to it because, in retrospect, it seems so secure compared with now, when I am so rich and so famous and so hated by the authorities in the Capitol." | "Now that she's won the Hunger Games, Katniss' family gets to live in a nice house and will never go hungry. Her role as the family's provider no longer exists. Her source of identity is gone and she finds herself in an identity crisis of sorts."

12: L | Loyalty | As winners of the Games, both Peeta and Katniss make no secret of who they owe or how much. Here Peeta shows he's just as brave as Katniss by ignoring the rules in order to honor their debt. It doesn't matter; Peeta realizes the sacrifices the district's tributes made for them and loyally gives back in their honor. | "It can no way replace your losses, but as a token of our thanks we'd like for each of the tributes' families from District Eleven to receive one month of our winnings every year for the duration of our lives."

13: M | Manipulation | "It's true that Peeta froze me out after I confessed that my love for him during the Games was something of an act. But I don't hold that against him. In the arena, I'd played that romance angle for all it was worth. There had been times when I didn't honestly know how I felt about him. I still don't really." | In the arena, Katniss fully intended to manipulate her audience in order to get sponsors and make it out alive. What she didn't realize was how much she was manipulating Peeta as well. She thought he was in on the trick, but in fact she was leading him on.

14: N | “The hovercraft belonged to District 13. We are currently on a very roundabout journey to District 13. Meanwhile, most of the districts in Panem are in full-scale rebellion.” | When she wakes up, she is being transported to District 13: a place that is widely thought to no longer exist. Each of the twelve districts are responsible for producing something for the capitol. District 13 was supposedly responsible for producing Nuclear power at one point, making them a very powerful player in the rebellion that Katniss has now been made the official face of. | Octavia | Nuclear

15: O | "My prep team. My foolish, shallow, affectionate pets, with their obsessions with feathers and parties, nearly break my heart with their good-bye." | "Venia, Octavia, and Flavius are Katniss' prep team, and they help make Katniss look good for Capitol events and the Games. Katniss has always thought of them as shallow, but when she gets called back into the Games, they are all genuinely sad. Though they're closely tied to the Capitol and the Hunger Games, Katniss is touched." | Octavia

16: P | "...and then I think of it, what Peeta can do much better than the rest of us. He can use words. He obliterated the rest of the field at both interviews. And maybe it's because of that underlying goodness that he can move a crowd – no, a country – to his side with the turn of a simple sentence. I remember thinking that was the gift the leader of our revolution should have." | Peeta speaks as naturally as Katniss hunts, but his skill isn't called for in the arena like hers is. She just happens to end up as the face of the revolution, all the while thinking how much better Peeta would be at the job. | Peeta

17: Q | "I can almost see the hands ticking around the twelve-sectioned face of the arena. Each hour begins a new horror, a new Gamemaker weapon, and ends the previous. Lightning, blood rain, fog, monkeys – those are the first four hours on the clock. And at ten, the wave. I don't know what happens in the other seven, but I know Wiress is right. " | Every hour the tributes face another danger that's designed to kill them. Everything about the arena is designed to reinforce the idea that they're not safe anywhere and at any moment they could die. | Quarter Quell

18: R | "Someone they love. The words numb my tongue as if it's been packed in snow coat. Of course, I love Gale. But what kind of love does my mother mean? What do I mean when I say I love Gale? I don't know." | Defining love and making decisions about personal relationships is too much for Katniss when survival itself is at stake. She knows she loves Gale, but she doesn't know what that means. She doesn't know if she loves him like a brother or romantically. | Relationships

19: S | That's when I hear the scream. So full of fear and pain it ices my blood. And so familiar. I drop the spile, forget where I am or what lies ahead, only know I must reach her, protect her. I run wildly in the direction of the voice, heedless of danger, ripping through vines and branches, through anything that keeps me from reaching her. From reaching my little sister. | The whole reason Katniss went into the Games back in book one was to protect her sister. Katniss sacrificed herself for Prim, and here she is doing the same thing all over again, with no thought for herself. | Selflessness

20: T | Tesserae | "Rory has signed up for tesserae, something Gale can't even speak about, but it's still not enough with the inconsistent availability and the ever increasing price of food." | Signing up for Tesserae got your family a few extra rations in district 12, but it also put your name in the reaping bowl one more time. Katniss and Gale worked hard to protect their families from the Hunger Games but ultimately, Prim, who had her name in the reaping bowl only once, was still called. Needing Tesserae meant a desperate state. Despite Gale and Katniss' best efforts, they cannot completely protect their siblings from the capitol.

21: U | “Below them, there’s a mob scene. The square’s packed with screaming people, their faces hidden with rags and homemade masks, throwing bricks. Buildings burn. Peacekeepers shoot into the crowd, killing at random." | While visiting Mage Undersee, the mayor’s daughter, Katniss accidentally witnesses a news update on the rebellion’s status meant for the mayor’s eyes only. Since uprisings are not occurring in District 12 (yet), Katniss is shocked to learn of these intense uprisings in District 8. She begins to blame these deaths on herself. She feels that she accidentally caused this deadly rebellion with her berry stunt in the last Hunger Games. | Uprising

22: V | Victor's Village | "We all know we need to discuss what happened and it can't be anywhere as dangerous as our homes in the Victor's Village. In fact, we wait until the village is well behind us to even speak." | The Victor's Village is supposed to be a great honor and prize for the Hunger Games Victors. For the three district 12 winners, it is a source of anxiety and government control. It never really feels like home to Katniss and it contributes to her identity crisis.

23: W | We sit in silence awhile and then I blurt out the thing that's on both our minds. "How are we going to kill these people, Peeta?" | Katniss and Peeta are going to war. Unlike many soldiers in real wars however, Katniss and Peeta don't have patriotism to boost their spirits before they head into battle. After barely making it through the previous Games alive, now they have to turn around and head right back into battle again. | Warfare

24: X | "I feel that thing again. The thing I only felt once before. In the cave last year, when I was trying to get Haymitch to send us food. I kissed Peeta about a thousand times during those Games and after. But there was only one kiss that made me feel something stir deep inside. Only one that made me want more." | Katniss has an intense kiss with Gale early on in the book, before the Quarter Quell begins, but once it has started, it's Peeta she turns to for physical comfort. In this passage, as they sense their time together is coming to an end, Katniss kisses Peeta with full of passion for him. It's confusing because she's supposed to just be pretending she's passionate rather than actually feeling it. | XXX (for kisses)

25: Y | Youth | Here, Peeta is trying to convince Katniss of why she needs to stay alive. As in the first book, Katniss has to be the responsible adult in the household and take care of her sister and mother. Katniss never experiences "youth" so to speak because she has almost always been the primary caretaker. Peeta's argument is that Katniss is vital to her family's livelihood. | "Your family needs you, Katniss,' Peeta says. My family. My mother. My sister."

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  • Title: Catching Fire
  • Nikki Murdoch
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