By the end of chapter 2, we got a glimpse of the kind of family Peeta and Katniss grew up with.
We can assume that the Mellarks are blond, pale and with blue eyes. They are of the normal merchant class family but did not have an easy life since Mr. Mellark had to trade squirrels from Katniss (he could have had bought beef from the butcher if they were doing fine) and eat stale breads to survive.
Katniss mentioned the burnt scars she saw when Mr. Mellark came to say goodbye. I had a little theory that this is foreshadowing his private struggle with his wife. Mrs. Mellark seems to be the total opposite of Mr. Mellark. While her husband is generous and kind, she failed to offer any sympathy for Katniss or anyone from the Seam and had been abusing her son emotionally and physically since he was young.
The witch, as Katniss refers to her.
Katniss does not like Mrs. Mellark but I think Peeta care a lot about his family, even after all he’d been through. He visits them and regularly has lunch with them. I think there is no way that he would register hatred for his mother.
And mothers usually have big influence in their sons’ life, positive and negative ones included. Little boys often grow up subconsciously looking for the same quality in their wives.
Do you think it’s logic, that maybe Mrs. Mellark and Katniss Everdeen had more things in common than meets the eyes?
Let’s think about it.
1) Both are fire women. Well, Mrs. Mellark’s fire ‘consumed’ Mr. Mellark. She’s the kind of fire that destroys things in her way. Strong, but destructive. Katniss’s fire is the opposite. Her fire is more like a catalyst, an element for chemical reaction that catapulted change.
2) Both are committed to the survival of their family. O.K. You have a lot of room to argue in this one. Here’s what I think. Mrs. Mellark was furious when Peeta burnt the bread because it was expensive; she doesn’t want anything to go to waste since their life is already miserable, they don’t make much and even surviving with meager meals so it was quite a commotion on her part. She was willing to hurt people (even her own son), use angry word to chase away hungry strangers and chose not to feel sympathy at all. Being kind has a cost and her defense helped her to cope.
Katniss, on the other hand broke a handful of laws to put food on the table but was lucky since a lot of people needed her service and was not punished for that. It was important for her to brush away feelings and she sees it as a form of weakness. You might not realize this but she does push people away in her own little way. Also, you have to admit that Katniss we first knew was not a kind person.
The women both did what it takes to make sure their families are fully provided. Both women chase people away. Both treated their relationship with others no less than transactions. You give therefore I take or vice versa.
3) Both are fierce women. It must have taken Mrs. Mellark a burst of powerful emotion to react in such a way. Normal, considerate people would just let it go but she decided to act upon it – strike her own son. She undoubtedly has strong feelings but channeled it in a negative way. Her anger translated as punishment to her children and intimidated other people. She also didn’t care about other people’s feelings. That woman is quite fierce, if you ask me. In the book she doesn’t really sound like she was a good mother, just a horrible person because we saw her from Katniss’s point of view, the victim. But to be honest, insecurity does many things to people so it’s not fair to judge her that way. We knew that she guarded her house/family from the people from the Seam and stayed with the same man until her death. Whatever her reason doing so, we will never know.
Remember how Katniss deal with Rue’s murder? She killed and determined to kill more. Her instinct was to protect. We can see that in how she acted at the reaping, how she reacted to Gale’s whipping and Peeta’s abduction. She has strong emotions too but her anger usually translated as impulsive actions that mostly got her into trouble. When she decided to love someone, then it’s until death threw them apart. I would say that’s a fierce lady, right there.
Maybe these were the reasons why Peeta had paid more attention to her though you can argue that with the singing. I’d say it’s something inside of her that reminds him of his mother, the kind of love that he wished he had. As Peeta had been installed with hope, he had no qualms that one day this strong, fierce and fiery woman, or so-called The Girl on Fire would be a great mother to his children.
So as written by fate, he decided that the poor little soul deserves his death, that’s the least he could do. If his own mother did not love him, then why should Katniss?
I am glad that he was wrong.