by Suzanne Collins
Warfare Quotes in Catching Fire
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
Well, what did I think? That the victors' chain of locked hands last night would result in some sort of universal truce in the arena? No, I never believed that. But I guess I had hoped people might show some . . . what? Restraint? Reluctance, at least. Before they jumped right into massacre mode. And you all knew each other, I think. You acted like friends. (19.47)
It's one thing to act like friends in a time of peace, but how do you keep that up when those same "friends" could turn around and kill you at any minute? In the war the tributes fight in the area, it's everyone for himself. There's no common cause, and there aren't supposed to be comrades. There's definitely no "universal truce."
"Oh," I say under my breath. "Tick, tock." My eyes sweep around the full circle of the arena and I know she's right. "Tick, tock. This is a clock." (22.96)
The arena is designed like a clock and operates with military precision. Every hour, on the hour, some new horror strikes. When that hour's over, the horror is replaced by another incredible trial. It's mechanical. It's false. It's orchestrated. The question is, does that make it just like all the other wars on the planet, or completely unlike them?
And there are six of us now. Even if you count Beetee and Wiress out, we've got four good fighters. It's so different from where I was last year at this point, doing everything on my own. Yes, it's great to have allies as long as you can ignore the thought that you'll have to kill them. (23.25)
In normal wars, you don't turn on your own side after you've vanquished your opponent. You'd celebrate victory and look forward to a time of peace. In the arena, though, war is constant. Each person in the arena represents an eventual enemy and an imminent new battle, even if you are temporarily allied against a third party.