The Hunger Games Quotes

"Effie Trinket crosses back to the podium, smoothes the slip of paper, and reads out the name in a clear voice. And it's not me.

It's Primrose Everdeen." (Katniss Everdeen, Chapter 1, p. 20)

Katniss thinks her sister is not in danger of being picked for the Hunger Games because she has only one entry in the reaping drawing. Katniss has twenty entries, because she is older and has traded entries for food to sustain her family. The reaping is how the tributes, one boy and one girl, are chosen every year from each district to participate in a fight to the death. The last survivor is the winner and their district is showered with prizes.

The crowd doesn't think it is fair for a twelve-year-old to be chosen, but the rules state anyone between the ages of twelve and eighteen can be chosen. But Primrose is very naïve and Katniss is extremely protective of her younger sister, who she can't believe has been chosen.

"I volunteer!" I gasp, "I volunteer as tribute!" (Katniss Everdeen, Chapter 2, p. 22)

Katniss, in an effort to save her sister, offers to take her place. She knows her skill with a bow and arrow, along with her hunting prowess, give her at least a fighting chance of winning the Games.

Prim protests her sister taking her place, but is overruled as Gale takes hold of her, so Katniss can reach the stage to be introduced to the crowd as one of the tributes for District 12. This is an act of selflessness and bravery, but most of all an act of love. Katniss would never be able to forgive herself if her sister died in the Games, knowing she could have prevented it.

"To this day, I can never shake the connection between this boy, Peeta Mellark, and the bread that gave me hope, and the dandelion that reminded me that I was not doomed." (Katniss Everdeen, Chapter 2, p. 32)

Peeta Mellark is the boy chosen as tribute for District 12. Katniss feels she owes him for an act of kindness he bestowed upon her and her family. It was five years before this reaping and Katniss, along with her mother and sister, was starving. Her father had been killed in a mine explosion and her mother had emotionally shut down. She was unwilling and incapable of getting a job to support her children, which meant she abandoned her children without leaving home. Katniss, at eleven, was doing the best she could to feed her and her family, but there was never enough food. Starvation was common in the Seam, the area of District 12 where she lived.

One day as she was looking for food in empty garbage cans, Katniss looked in the cans behind the bakery Peeta's family owned. He saw her and knew he had to help her, so he purposefully burnt two loaves of bread, for which his mother hit him. After she hit him, she told him to throw away the bread, but instead he tossed the loaves to Katniss. This gave her enough food to keep her family alive for a little while longer. She never forgets the debt she owes Peeta, because she hates being in debt to other people.

The next day at school Katniss saw Peeta. He had a black eye and she couldn't return his gaze as he looked at her, instead she looked at the ground. There she spotted a dandelion and remembered the times her father took her to the woods. This gave her the idea of slipping beyond the fence, which surrounds the district, and hunting for food. Ever since that day she has been able to feed her family, thanks to a boy, a loaf of bread, and a dandelion.

"Well, there is this one girl. I've had a crush on her ever since I can remember. But I'm pretty sure she didn't know I was alive until the reaping." (Peeta Mellark, Chapter 9, p. 130)

Peeta is being interviewed on live television, as part of the Games ceremonies. He and Katniss, along with the other tributes, each have their turn being interviewed by Caesar Flickerman. Caesar is trying to get Peeta to talk about himself, especially his relationships with girls. Peeta is at first reluctant to answer, but after a bit of prodding he tells the whole country he has a crush on Katniss, which stuns the country and Katniss. She has had no idea he felt this way about her. She is angry with him at first, but then sees this new romance could be used to their advantage.

They could play up the relationship, which would make them more sympathetic to the audience and more desirable to sponsors. This could help them in the Games, because sponsors pay for supplies the tributes need while in the arena.

"Not only is Peeta with the Careers, he's helping them find me." (Katniss Everdeen, Chapter 12, p. 163)

Katniss cannot believe what she is hearing. The Careers are discussing whether or not to kill Peeta, who is a member of their alliance. They decide to allow him to live, because he can lead them to her. They know of all the other tributes, Katniss is the strongest competitor, so they want to eliminate her as quickly as they can. She thinks Peeta has turned against her to save himself. She feels betrayed by Peeta.

"What are you still doing here?" (Peeta Mellark, Chapter 14, p. 193)

In an effort to save herself, Katniss has unleashed the tracker wasps on the Careers. They have her trapped in a tree and she knows it will be only a matter of time before they kill her. The tracker wasps have killed the tribute who has a bow and arrows and Katniss is trying to remove them from the body. Peeta has returned to the tree to make sure Katniss has escaped safely, but he finds her still there, working to remove the arrow quiver from the body. He warns her to leave quickly, because the remaining members of the alliance are on their way back to the tree. He manages to move her out of the area just as Cato, the largest and meanest tribute, returns to the tree.

"The star-crossed lovers... Peeta must have been playing that angle all along. Why else would the Gamemakers have made this unprecedented change in the rules?" (Katniss Everdeen, Chapter 19, p. 247)

The Gamemakers, the people in charge of how the Games are played, have changed the rules. They will now allow both tributes from the same district to be declared winners, if they are the last survivors of the Games. This means Katniss and Peeta can start working together to win the Games.

Katniss thinks Peeta has no real feelings for her, but instead is playing the Gamemakers to insure he and Katniss survive. She also knows she must find him and continue her role as girl in love. They need to give the audience a real love story, so they can invest in their romance and therefore, keep watching and enjoying the show. This will also ensure Katniss and Peeta have continued sponsor support.

"If Peeta and I were both to die, or they thought we were..." (Katniss Everdeen, Chapter 25, p. 344)

Katniss and Peeta are the final survivors of the Games, so they think they are the victors. The Gamemakers have a different idea, once again they change the rules. They reinstate the old rule of only one victor, which means Katniss and Peeta must try to kill one another. They are not willing to give the Gamemakers their wish, instead they come up with an alternative ending. They have some poisonous berries and decide to eat them in a double suicide attempt. This will either force the Gamemakers to declare them both winners or they both will die. It is a risk they are willing to take, they are counting on the Gamemakers caving into the popularity the two have built among the citizens of the country.

They are proven right, just as they are about to swallow the berries, they are declared the winners. The Games are over, but they have made the Gamemakers look like fools, and they do not like it at all.

" 'Listen up. You're in trouble. Word is the Capitol's furious about you showing them up in the arena. The one thing they can't stand is being laughed at and they're the joke of Panem,' says Haymitch." (Haymitch Abernathy, Chapter 26, pp. 356-357)

Haymitch is warning Katniss she is in grave danger, due to the double suicide attempt. The Capitol is upset with her for making them look foolish and they will try to punish her for it. Her only way of saving herself, is to say she was so overcome with love for Peeta, she didn't know what she was doing. All she could think about was she couldn't live without him, so she was willing to die with him.

She explains herself during their post Games interview and it works. Even though the Capitol is furious with her, if they punish her it will mean a massive public outcry, which the Capitol cannot afford. She and Peeta are put on a train and taken back home to District 12.

" 'One more time? For the audience?' he says. His voice isn't angry. It's hollow, which is worse." (Peeta Mellark, Katniss Everdeen, Chapter 27, pp. 373-374)

Peeta, who is really in love with Katniss, has found out she has been playing a part in the Games. She doesn't love him. He is heartbroken by the discovery, because he truly believed she loved him. She doesn't know how she feels about him. In the arena, she did have deep feelings for him, but as they draw closer to home on the train, those feelings become more confused. She needs time to understand herself and her relationship with Peeta.

Peeta is resigned to the situation, as they are about to step off the train onto the platform in District 12. He knows what the crowds want to see and so he is willing to give it to them, even if it is for the last time. He isn't angry any more, he is just sad.

Related Links:

The Hunger Games Summary
The Hunger Games Quiz
The Hunger Games Chapters 26 - 27 Summary
The Hunger Games Chapters 1 - 3 Summary
The Hunger Games Chapters 4 - 7 Summary
The Hunger Games Important Characters
Literature Summaries

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