by Suzanne Collins
Competition Quotes in Catching Fire
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
If it were up to me, I would try to forget the Hunger Games entirely. Never speak of them. Pretend they were nothing but a bad dream. But the Victory Tour makes that impossible. (1.3)
Usually winners enjoy the glory and recognition that comes with taking first place. Given the nature of this competition, though, which involves killing innocent teens in order to win, Katniss finds no joy or glory in what she has done – only relief that she made it through alive.
[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. (1.24)
In the first Hunger Games book, few characters thought Haymitch would be a good mentor or that he would really be able to help Katniss and Peeta. Yet he turned out to be a great mentor by keeping them both alive – a hat trick that would have seemed impossible to anyone. Of course, Katniss and Peeta stayed alive because of their own smarts and manipulation too, but that doesn't mean they "owe" Haymitch any less.
"I have a problem, Miss Everdeen," says President Snow. "A problem that began the moment you pulled out those poisonous berries in the arena."
That was the moment when I guessed that if the Gamemakers had to choose between watching Peeta and me commit suicide – which would mean having no victor – and letting us both live, they would take the latter. (2.13-14)
Katniss is good at short-term strategy. She's fast, too – she thinks on her feet. At the climax of the last book, she came up with this plan on the spot to save both her life and Peeta's, and it worked. But she's a warrior, not a politician. She was so focused on saving their lives in the arena that she didn't think ahead to what problems they might face once they got out.