The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games Chapter 4 Summary

How It All Goes Down
  • A very drunk Haymitch, the former champion who is supposed to be mentoring Katniss and Peeta, slips around in his own vomit.
  • Peeta offers to clean Haymitch up, which Katniss wonders about until she realizes that Peeta is being kind. Kind?! This could be bad for the Games since kind people have a way of "working their way inside" Katniss and "rooting there" (4.10).
  • Alarmed at her tender feelings, Katniss throws Peeta's father's cookies out of the train window, but wouldn't you know it, they bust open right beside of a patch of dandelions. Which of course just remind her again of Peeta's kindness back in the schoolyard. Sigh.
  • Flashback alert: Katniss tells us what happened those many years ago after Peeta gave her the bread and she saw the dandelion.
  • She and Prim go to the Meadow where they gather enough dandelion greens for a huge salad. Katniss realizes she could scavenge for even more food with her mother's book from the apothecary.
  • Katniss also begins going under the fence surrounding District 12 and out into the woods to hunt. She uses the small bow and arrow that her father had made for her and hidden in a hollow tree. Katniss kills a rabbit on her first day and the family has meat for the first time in months.
  • Over the course of time, Katniss is able to use the woods as the family's main food source: eggs, fish, rabbits, squirrels, and plants.
  • Eventually Katniss is old enough to sign up for tesserae. She doesn't stop hunting though, but begins to trade the bounty from her hunting and gathering at the Hob (the city's black market).
  • Later that summer, she finds potato-like bluish tubers growing around a pond. She remembers that they're called "Katniss." And that her father had said: "As long you can find yourself, you'll never starve" (4.22). (Double meaning alert! Remember this for later!)
  • With the food and the hope, Katniss's mother begins to come out of her depression. Katniss, though, can't ever completely trust her.
  • Flashback over. Now we're on the train with Katniss who is staring out of the window thinking of her home and family. All of that seems so long ago. She decides to sleep and even though she decides to allow herself to cry: she can't.
  • Katniss wakes and dresses (green outfit, gold mockingjay pin). Breakfast is huge: "eggs, ham, piles of fried potatoes" and delicious hot chocolate (4.34).
  • Also at breakfast? Haymitch, the drunkard. Katniss realizes that she kind of hates Haymitch because he's apparently not very good at supporting his tributes – or getting them sponsors (the people who give aid and supplies to the tributes during the game).
  • Katniss asks Haymitch for advice, and he says "stay alive" (4.40) and then laughs. Ha?
  • Peeta is ticked off by this and knocks Haymitch's glass out of his hand. Haymitch punches Peeta. Katniss stabs a knife into the table.
  • A little surprised, Haymitch wonders aloud if he has fighters on his hands this year. Katniss throws a knife into the wall to prove that he does.
  • A deal is made: If no one interferes with Haymitch's drinking, he'll stay sober enough to help. But! Peeta and Katniss must do exactly as he says. All are agreed.
  • The train pulls into the Capitol and people are on hand to gawk. Katniss backs away from the window, but Peeta smiles and waves. "Who knows?" he says. "One of them may be rich" (4.61).
  • Katniss realizes that maybe she has underestimated Peeta. Maybe he does have a plan – and that plan probably involves killing her.
Next Page: Chapter 5
Previous Page: Chapter 3

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