The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins
Identity Quotes in The Hunger Games
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
Then something unexpected happens. At least, I don’t expect it because I don’t think of District 12 as a place that cares about me. But a shift has occurred since I stepped up to take Prim’s place, and now it seems I have become someone precious. At first one, then another, then almost every member of the crowd touches the three middle fingers of their left hand to their lips and holds it out to me. It is an old and rarely used gesture of our district, occasionally seen at funerals. I means thanks, it means admiration, it means good-bye to someone you love. (2.17)
By making a huge personal sacrifice, and taking her sister’s place, Katniss has changed the way her community sees her. They give her respect, admiration, and love for the choice she has made.
It was slow-going at first, but I was determined to feed us. I stole eggs from nests, caught fish in nets, sometimes managed to shoot a squirrel or rabbit for stew, and gathered the various plants that sprung up beneath my feet. Plants are tricky. Many are edible, but one false mouthful and you’re dead. I checked and double-checked the plants I harvested with my father’s pictures. I kept us alive. (4.19)
Before the Hunger Games, Katniss fills her father’s shoes by acting as the sole provider and bread winner for her family. Every moment of every day revolves around the survival of her family. That’s all she knows, and the only way she sees herself.
I knelt down in the water, my fingers digging into the roots. Small, bluish tubers that don’t look like much but boiled or baked are as good as any potato. “Katniss,” I said aloud. It’s the plant I was named for. And I heard my father’s voice joking, “As long as you can find yourself, you’ll never starve.” (4.22)
Katniss’s name comes from the plant growing beneath the pond. How do Katniss’s father’s words have a double meaning? Why is finding herself so important for Katniss’s survival?