The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins
Competition Quotes in The Hunger Games
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
I feel like I owe him something, and I hate owing people. Maybe if I had thanked him at some point, I'd be feeling less conflicted now. I thought about it a couple of times, but the opportunity never seemed to present itself. And now it never will. Because we're going to be thrown into an arena to fight to the death. Exactly how am I supposed to work in a thank-you in there? Somehow it just won't seem sincere if I'm trying to slit his throat. (2.48)
The competition of the Hunger Games stamps out any potential feelings – gratitude, love, whatever – between Katniss and Peeta. They're going to be trying to kill each other, after all.
I can't win. Prim must know that in her heart. The competition will be far beyond my abilities. Kids from wealthier districts, where winning is a huge honor, who've been trained their whole lives for this. Boys who are two to three times my size. Girls who know twenty different ways to kill you with a knife. Oh, there'll be people like me, too. People to weed out before the real fun begins. (3.13)
Much like the reaping, the Hunger Games favor the rich: those who can afford the time and training it takes to compete.
The exceptions are the kids from the wealthier districts, the volunteers, the ones who have been fed and trained throughout their lives for this moment. The tributes from 1, 2, and 4 traditionally have this look about them. It's technically against the rules to train tributes before they reach the Capitol but it happens every year. In District 12, we call them the Career Tributes, or just the Careers. And like as not, the winner will be one of them (7.51)
As Katniss explains here, the Career Tributes have the leg up in the competition.