Study Guide

The Hunger Games Chapter 16

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Chapter 16

  • Katniss is contemplative: she's happy to be teaming up with Rue, but knows in the back of her mind that both can't survive. She's also excited about the plan they're forming to take the Career Tribute's food.
  • Katniss falls asleep, but is jolted awake by the shot of the cannon. Another tribute down.
  • The two eat breakfast (raw eggs! yum) and then devise a strategy as they hunt. Rue tells Katniss that the Career Tributes have their base down by the lake and that the food stash is right out in the open and guarded by only one person: the boy from District 3.
  • This is all very interesting to Katniss. They must have it rigged somehow.
  • As the girls forage for food, Katniss learns more about Rue: she is the oldest of six kids and loves music more than anything else in the world.
  • Rue sings with the mockingjays in her district, who carry musical messages for her and spread them around the orchard. Like when it's quitting time for the workers.
  • Katniss tries to give Rue her mockingjay pin, but Rue says no. She has her own token, a grass necklace with a charm.
  • The two eventually come up with a plan and Rue teaches Katniss the mockingjay signal. If she hears it from the birds, she'll know that Rue is OK. Rue hugs Katniss and the two part ways to execute the plan.
  • What's the plan, you ask? OK, OK, fine. The first part: Katniss is going to spy on the Career Tributes at their base from a copse at the edge of the woods.
  • She does this. There are four tributes at the base: a boy from District 1, Cato, a girl from District 2, and a guy from District 3. The supplies have been put in a pyramid far away from the camp.
  • Katniss finds this all kind of puzzling. What is protecting the pyramid of supplies? Must be booby-trapped.
  • Now, the second part of the plan gets underway (you knew there was a second part, right?): Rue sets a fire some distance off to lure the Career Tributes away from the camp.
  • They take the bait and head for the smoke, leaving the camp empty. As they head out, Katniss hears Cato say that Peeta, a.k.a. "Lover Boy" (16.60), is probably hiding in the woods somewhere but is too wounded to be a threat to the supplies.
  • Katniss tries to figure out what to do – shoot an arrow into the supplies – when another tribute appears: the fox faced girl. She runs an intricate path around and then up to the pyramid, fills her pack, and then – doing the same weird dance – runs away.
  • That's when Katniss figures it out: there are landmines around the pyramid. The tribute from District 3 is from a factory region and must know how to use explosives. She guesses he got the mines from the ones that were used in the arena by the Gamemakers on the first day. He must have reactivated them.
  • Katniss sees Rue's second fire and knows her time is running out. That's when she sees a bag of apples and knows that if she shoots it, the whole thing will fall and set off the mines.
  • Three arrows later, the apples are spilling, the mines are exploding, and Katniss is blown back into the air.

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