The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games Chapter 2 Summary
How It All Goes Down
- Katniss is stunned. Likewise, the crowd is displeased to have a twelve-year-old girl chosen as the tribute.
- Prim approaches the stage, but as she does, Katniss darts in front of her and volunteers to take her sister's place. Volunteers are allowed, but they don't usually come forward – seeing as how most District 12 tributes bite the dust in the Games.
- Prim freaks out. Gale grabs her, allowing Katniss to take the stage.
- The people of District 12 do not clap; instead, they are silent. They then give Katniss the three fingered salute of the district, a gesture rarely used, meaning thanks, admiration, and good-bye to a loved one.
- Haymitch stumbles drunkenly onto the stage, yelling about the scene, and then falls off. The whole thing is caught on camera, of course.
- Next up is the selection of the boy tribute, which turns out to be Peeta Mellark.
- Katniss is shocked, though doesn't exactly explain why. Though he has two older brothers, no one volunteers for Peeta.
- Flashback: Katniss then relates the story of her only encounter with Peeta. It was after her father died, when her mother was suffering from depression. Katniss was – as she is now – the sole bread winner, but was not old enough yet for the tesserae.
- The family was starving – a not uncommon fate in District 12.
- One evening Katniss is in the Hob to trade some baby clothes for food. Unsuccessful, she is wandering behind the shops when she smells the bread of the bakers'. Delicious.
- Katniss lifts the trash can lid to scavenge, when the baker's wife appears out of nowhere to scream at her and shoo her away. She sees a little blond boy peering at her from behind his mother.
- Hiding behind the pig pen, Katniss, sick and weak, slumps down defeated. Soon, though, the blond boy appears with two loaves of burned bread. Katniss notices a red welt on his face, probably from his mother. He throws a loaf of bread in her direction and returns inside.
- Katniss runs home with the bread and eats the loaf with her family.
- The next morning she realizes that the boy probably burned the loaves on purposes – so he could give them to her.
- That day at school the boy does not acknowledge Katniss. She does, though, see in the schoolyard a dandelion and remembers her time in the woods with her father – and that there she can find food for her family.
- End of flashback. Katniss tells us that Peeta has always reminded her of hope, and that she is thankful for what he did – but how can she thank him now that he is her enemy?
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