The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games Chapter 3 Summary
How It All Goes Down
- Katniss and the other candidates are taken into custody. They are divided and taken into fancy rooms with plush carpets and velvet chairs where each are allowed to say their farewells.
- Prim and Mother visit Katniss. She gives them instructions for her absence. They are not to accept tesserae for Prim, but instead get by selling goat milk and Mother's apothecary business. Gale is to supply the herbs.
- Katniss warns her mother that she can't become depressed again and "clock out," leaving Prim on her own (3.8).
- Prim makes Katniss promise to try to win; despite Katniss's doubts about her ability in the competition, she agrees.
- The next visitor is, to Katniss's surprise, Peeta Mellark's father, the baker. Without his witchy wife around, he's much nicer. He offers Katniss a white paper package of cookies and promises to keep an eye of Prim.
- After the baker leaves, Madge, the mayor's daughter enters the room. She offers Katniss a circular gold pin to wear as a token of District 12. On the pin is a small bird. Katniss agrees.
- The last visitor is Gale, who hugs Katniss in his arms. He advises Katniss to get her hands most immediately on a bow during the Games – even if she has to make one. It's her best shot.
- Katniss wonders if there will even be wood. She and Gale recall previous Hunger Games: in one, the tributes froze to death at night because of lack of wood. It was boring, so there probably will be wood this time.
- The peacekeepers arrive and force Gale to leave, but before he does, he says "Katniss, remember I –," but isn't allowed to finish that thought. Suspense!
- At the train station, cameras are everywhere and Katniss is grateful that she knows how to mask her emotions. Peeta, on the other hand, has clearly been crying. Katniss wonders if this is a strategy.
- The train whisks the tributes away and Katniss tells us more about her country: the Capitol was constructed in a place once known as the Rockies. District 12 was a region formerly called Appalachia, a coal-mining region.
- Katniss showers in her own private car and dresses in a dark green shirt for dinner. She puts on Madge's gold pin with the mockingjay.
- Katniss tells us that mockingjays are hybrid animals, a cross between a jabberjay and a mockingbird.
- The jabberjays were genetically mutated animals engineered by the Capitol during the rebellion. The birds could spy on people and memorize whole conversations. People eventually realized what was going on and fed lies to the birds, so in the end, the whole plan backfired.
- The mockingjay species were created when the abandoned species started mating with female mockingbirds. Now they repeat not words, but human melodies and can recreate songs.
- Katniss's father, a great singer, would always sing to the birds. She finds the pin of the bird comforting, like having a piece of her father with her.
- At dinner, Katniss and Peeta eat course after course of rich food. Effie Trinket comments on their polite manners, different from past Seam tributes, which only infuriates Katniss. She then eats the rest of the meal with her fingers.
- The party watches on television the rest of the reapings in the rest of the districts. A few tributes stand out: a "monstrous boy" from District 2, a "fox-faced girl" form District 5, a crippled boy from District 10, and a small girl with "dark brown skin and eyes" from District 11 (3.67). She reminds Katniss of Prim.
- They also watch the recap of the reaping in District 12. They broadcast the silent salute. Effie is agitated by the spectacle of Haymitch falling drunk off the stage.
- Peeta and Katniss make a few jokes at Haymitch's expense when he staggers through the door. And vomits!
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