by Suzanne Collins
Courage Quotes in Catching Fire
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
Because I'm selfish. I'm a coward. I'm the kind of girl who, when she might actually be of use, would run to stay alive and leave those who couldn't follow to suffer and die. This is the girl Gale met in the woods today.
No wonder I won the Games. No decent person ever does. (8.82-83)
Katniss criticizes herself harshly for what she sees as a lack of courage, saying she's both "selfish" and "a coward." She berates herself for not being "decent" or good, the proof being that she won the Games. If she were really good, unselfish, and decent, she would have lost the Games, which are designed to reward the strong, strategic, and selfish.
"Okay, I figured out what I'm asking," I say. "If it is Peeta and me in the Games, this time we try to keep him alive."
Something flickers across his bloodshot eyes. Pain.
"Like you said, it's going to be bad no matter how you slice it. And whatever Peeta wants, it's his turn to be saved. We both owe him that." My voice takes on a pleading tone. "Besides, the Capitol hates me so much, I'm as good as dead now. He still might have a chance. [...]" (13.27-29)
Katniss hasn't instantly flipped her courage switch on like Peeta did after hearing about the new Games. But just a few hours later she's as ready to sacrifice her life for Peeta's as he's ready to sacrifice his life for hers. We could interpret the last part of what she says in two ways. Is she calculatingly using this "pleading tone" to bring up her inability to survive in order to convince Haymitch why he should work with her to save Peeta? Or is it easier for her to sacrifice herself because she believes she's in so much danger anyway?
"The point is that two of us are coming home from the Capitol. One mentor and one victor," says Peeta. "Effie's sending me recordings of all the living victors. We're going to watch their Games and learn everything we can about how they fight. We're going to put on weight and get strong. We're going to start acting like Careers. And one of us is going to be victor again whether you two like it or not!" (13.58)
Peeta's courage here is galvanizing: it gives Haymitch and Katniss courage too. Now it's Peeta who's the driving and encouraging force. He's courageous enough to be part of a team even though he knows that means he might not survive. In fact, he's planning to die, in order to save Katniss' life.