The Hunger Games
How we cite our quotes:
“I don’t know how to say it exactly. Only…I want to die as myself. Does that make any sense?” he asks. I shake my head. How could he die as anyone but himself? “I don’t want them to change me in there. Turn me into some kind of monster that I’m not.”
I bite my lip, feeling inferior. While I’ve been ruminating on the availability of trees, Peeta has been struggling with how to maintain his identity. His purity of self. “Do you mean you won’t kill anyone?” I ask.
“No, when the time comes, I’m sure I’ll kill just like everybody else. I can’t go down without a fight. Only I keep wishing I could think of a way to…to show the Capitol they don’t own me. That I’m more than just a piece in their Games,” says Peeta. (10.71)
Peeta wants to die as himself – not as one of the Capitol’s pawns. Can holding onto Peeta’s identity be a kind of power for him? Does he achieve this in the end?
The attack is now over. The Gamemakers don’t want me dead. Not yet anyway. Everyone knows they could destroy us all within seconds of the opening gong. The real sport of the Hunger Games is watching the tributes kill one another. Every so often, they do kill a tribute just to remind the players they can. But mostly, they manipulate us into confronting one another face-to-face. Which means, if I am no longer being fired at, there is at least one other tribute close at hand. (13.16)
Katniss reminds us again that the Gamemakers are the ones moving them around like chess pieces. Notice how the firestorm is their way to move the players around on the board. How does this reinforce the idea that the government is powerful?
I want to do something, right here, right now, to shame them, to make them accountable, to show the Capitol that whatever they do or force us to do that there is a part of every tribute they can’t own. That Rue was more than a piece in their Games. And so am I.
A few steps into the woods grows a bank of wildflowers. Perhaps they are really weeds of some sort, but they have blossoms in beautiful shades of violet and yellow and white. I gather up an armful and come back to Rue’s side. Slowly, one stem at a time, I decorate her body in the flowers. Covering the ugly wound. Wreathing her face. Weaving her hair with bright colors. (18.38-39)
After Rue’s death, Katniss decides to place flowers all over the dead girl’s body. The act of honoring Rue in this manner reminds Katniss – and anyone watching – that Rue was an actual person worthy of dignity and respect. Rue’s death means something more to Katniss than just televised entertainment. Why do you think the government censors this image in the final broadcast?