The Hunger Games
How we cite our quotes:
Taking the kids from our districts, forcing them to kill one another while we watch – this is the Capitol's way of reminding us how totally we are at their mercy. How little chance we would stand of surviving another rebellion. Whatever words they use, the real message is clear. "Look how we take your children and sacrifice them and there's nothing you can do. If you lift a finger, we will destroy every last one of you. Just as we did in District Thirteen." (1.76)
The districts all pay a yearly sacrifice to the Capitol in the form of their tributes – children who will die in the Hunger Games. Katniss also mentions District 13. This region was completely destroyed in the uprising and was also a kind of sacrifice to the government.
"Prim!" The strangled cry comes out of my throat, and my muscles begin to move again. "Prim!" I don't need to shove through the crowd. The other kids make way immediately allowing me a straight path to the stage. I reach her just as she is about to mount the steps. With one sweep of my arm, I push her behind me.
"I volunteer!" I gasp. "I volunteer as tribute!" (2.5-6)
Always the protector of the family, Katniss offers herself instead of her sister as District 12's tribute. She is making a double sacrifice: one for her sister, the other for her community.
"Because, of course, Haymitch hasn't bothered to tell me your strategies. But I've done my best with what I had to work with. How Katniss sacrificed herself for her sister. How you've both successfully struggled to overcome the barbarism of your district." (6.4)
Though it was an honest gesture full of emotion, Katniss' sacrifice becomes a way to market her to the audience. Sacrifice sells!