How we cite our quotes:
However, the true atrocities, the most frightening, incorporate a perverse psychological twist designed to terrify the victim. […] The smell of Snow's roses mixed with the victims' blood. Carried across the sewer. Cutting through even this foulness. Making my heart run wild, my skin turn to ice, my lungs unable to suck air. It's as if Snow's breathing right in my face, telling me it's time to die. (22.46)
What kind of war are Katniss and the others fighting, when their opponents are so cruel and inhumane? The kinds of "atrocities" they face are stunning. In their context, it's a little more understandable how someone like Gale could be pushed into devising inhumane traps himself.
The little girl who was watching me kneels beside a motionless woman, screeching and trying to rouse her. Another wave of bullets slices across the chest of her yellow coat, staining it with red, knocking the girl onto her back. For a moment, looking at her tiny crumpled form, I lose my ability to form words. (24.51)
This is a taste of the awfulness of the battle that's about to come. Innocent people are dying. Children are dying. And Katniss can't do anything to stop it. To make matters worse, there's no one side of the fight that's good and one side that's evil. Both sides are acting without compassion and are using inhumane tactics in their attempts to win the war.
A hovercraft marked with the Capitol's seal materializes directly over the barricaded children. Scores of silver parachutes rain down on them. Even in this chaos, the children know what silver parachutes contain. Food. Medicine. Gifts. They eagerly scoop them up, frozen fingers struggling with the strings. The hovercraft vanishes, five seconds pass, and then about twenty parachutes simultaneously explode. (24.74)
Help and aid turn into injury and death. This is one of the cruelest twists of fate presented throughout the war as more innocent people die yet again. This time, the children are tricked into accepting aid that turns out to be lethal. The incident seems to suggest that, no matter what, no one is ever safe.