Foreshadowing 100

WINNER: “I couldn’t shake you awake,” I say. “Look, if you wanted to be BABIED, you should have asked Peeta.” (Catching Fire, Chapter 1)

You know exactly what he said in the interview.

“Maybe I’d think that, too, Caesar,” says Peeta bitterly, “if it weren’t for the baby.” (Catching Fire, Chapter 18, interview with Caesar Flickerman)

You know exactly what he said at the beach.

“You’re going to make a great mother, you know,” he says.

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And for another, if only one of us can be a parent, anyone can see it should be Peeta. (Catching Fire, Chapter 24)

You cried when it happens in the Epilogue.

Chapter 2 – Part 2

–          Peeta is always potrayed as the rock, warmth, the sun, golden hues, yellow, orange, gentleness and steadiness. I noticed the first fire when she told us in the flashback with Peeta. That particular time, the Everdeen ladies were in a tight spot. They ran out of coal and all she had was a smoky fire from damp branches. She was losing hope. She went to the public market to try to barter the baby clothes but ended up at the bakery’s backyard. There was a glow, fire, the smell of breads. A baker is someone that controls and manipulates it to make bread, food for sustenance. Curiously she mentioned in the Games that Peeta is a whiz with fire, coaxing fire out of damp branches. He was hope. He coaxed hope out of her damp soul. When she said she didn’t want to lose the boy with the bread she meant that she doesn’t want to lose hope.

She also mentioned that the baker, Peeta’s father had burnt scars all over. She did not mention anything of the sort about Peeta, just ‘arms that made her feel safe’. She mentioned that she trusts Gale’s hands. I love hands (I normally judge people by looking at their hands. Guilty pleasure!) so I think Collins is up to something but I think I have a theory coming.

Well, it’s a shallow one. You normally shake hands with a friend but arms are more private. Not everyone can wrap their arms around you. It’s saved for someone intimate or special. In the baker’s case, his wife ‘burned’ him. That’s all.

I noticed that when the Prep Team came to style her for the wedding dress she casually mentioned that she felt like a dough (Chapter 12, Catching Fire) being kneaded and reshaped again and again.

Well played, Collins.

–          Peeta always talk fondly about his father and they seemed quite close. I wonder how Mrs. Mellark felt when Peeta announced that Mr. Mellark had a thing for Mrs. Everdeen on national television. Must be really awkward for the 3 of them back home. Mrs. Mellark probably got that figured out long before. Maybe that is one of the reason why she was so bitter. I picture this man was just as kind as his son and would not treat him like his mother. I think he always brings a pack of biscuits for the child who has been reaped. It’s the last thing he could do – to cheer them up. He gave them to Katniss anyway as if saying that it’s okay. It’s not her fault. Whatever happens, he would not hold grudges, he would not think of Katniss as the murderer of his son.

–          Peeta, being abused since young probably grew up idealizing a loving mother and wanting a loving spouse/mother for his children. He did not have a good role model but why was he so convinced that Katniss would make a great mother? We did not have his point of view but this much we know is true. Katniss took care of Prim and she’s determined to do anything for her. She’s loyal and fiercely protective. Like the Mockingjay, (as forshadowed by Rue) is very protective of her nest.

We didn’t know if Peeta was close to his brothers but their love didn’t surpass Katniss’s for Prim. She was willing to die for her. Besides unconditional love for Prim, what else that might trigger love for Peeta? Apart of the singing that he declared ‘he was a goner’?He declared that he was infatuated by the little girl who sang the valley song, the one his father pointed out. Will he still like her if Mr. Mellark failed to do so? We will never know. I can safely say that he admired her, how she singlehandedly turned to be the head of the family (breadwinner, pun intended) and she continued to impress him.

It was lovely when he told her about his father and him taking their time admiring her squirrels (Mellark men and Everdeen ladies. It’s genetic!) I remember his expression when Mr. Mellark told him that Mrs. Everdeen ran off with a coal miner. It’s as if that’s the most ridiculous thing in the world. He probably wondered why and ended up watching the Everdeen family and saw love. Maybe that was how he learned about love.

It’s amazing when you realized that both Katniss and Peeta never put themselves first. It’s always the others.

I try to imagine being in Katniss shoe. It’s family first. I would be very touched to know that a stranger had made me a priority. A debt must be paid. I try to be Peeta. A tragic case of unrequited love. I would never believed it that the girl of my dreams decided to sacrifice her life for me. That’s my job!

Conflicting values, complex characters and odds that favors no one.

Well, actually it favors love 🙂

Chapter 2 – Part 1

A bit of Chapter 1

–          I don’t know what the goat, Lady symbolizes. It must symbolized something; if not Suzanne Collins would not spend a few pages of a story of Katniss telling Peeta about how she got it for Prim. The same story repeated during the anti-hijacking session with very little success on Peeta’s behalf and the goat probably died in the end. I just don’t get it. Why? Does it represent Prim? Or was it Peeta? Was it a take on sacrifice? Was it just demonstrating how Katniss try to justify her action without success?

I hope someone would be able to help me to understand the goat.

Chapter 2

–          The first unity declaration by District 12 done was on the day of the reaping when Katniss volunteered. It was the first step to defy the Capitol on national television: silence, not clapping and the silent admiration salute. All of it changed in Catching Fire when the majority barely supported Katniss at the square when Gale was whipped. It was all downhill after that. It’s as if they blamed her (and Peeta) for all the bad things that happened in District 12. This was a complete reversal of attitude from the first book. It doesn’t change much in Mockingjay when they are all in District 13. District 12 was not very keen on violence though the face of rebellion originated from their own Seam.

–          Peeta haven’t spoken to Katniss until they were on the train. 11 years passed since he noticed her and he didn’t even say a word, not even after he gave her that bread 5 years ago. She noticed him glancing her way at school several times but both have this unspoken rule about not approaching each other. Why? It could have been a very easy/nice way to start a conversation. All of a sudden, ‘How was that bread?’, ‘are you okay?’, ’how’s everything with your family?’

O.K. That was awkward. A bread and now we’re like, friends?

The obvious issue was class separation between the Seam and merchant kids. The tesserae severed the little trust that they have for each other besides living in separate part of District 12. Katniss does not belong in Peeta’s circle and vice versa so they let it be that way.

I also think that Peeta is a kind boy and he helped her without expecting anything in return, maybe because he loves her, maybe because he’s just being kind. Maybe the combination of both. He doesn’t seem the kind of person that will let injustice prevails or ignore people suffering. He was disgusted at Capitol’s party in Catching Fire and had the idea to fan the fire of the rebellion. He is genuinely a good person with a big heart.

Unfortunately that fated day, Katniss saw him got beaten by his own mother. She called him a ‘stupid creature’, for God’s sake! Not a boy, but something less than that. Almost like an animal. He already liked her since forever and finding his own mother calling him such a thing in front of her did not help with his confidence. I highly doubt it if he ever thought to confess his love (or even get the girl.) He did it because he was convinced that his death would benefit Katniss somehow, in the term of sponsors. His sole life purpose was to die in order to keep Katniss alive. That was his ultimate plan.

If we look on the other side, we know that Katniss was never good with words and seeing Peeta being with other merchant friends would make her nervous since she doesn’t really socialize well. She doesn’t even consider Madge her friend although she was the one Katniss end up with every time. That’s how slow she is with feelings. So we could assume that it would be out of character if she suddenly approach Peeta to say thank you and left.

Taking note of what Peeta said in the cave about the bakery making apple and goat cheese tarts but they only eat stale ones, Katniss realized that she was wrong about the baker family. She thought they had a ‘soft’ life and silently thought that it was not fair. Also, this means that the bread Peeta gave her was expensive, even the family cannot afford to eat it, let alone waste it. That was why he was punished dearly for being so careless.

This act of kindness saved his life. She was touched by it and I consider it the most crucial and important moment of the book.

If he didn’t throw her that bread (he could have ignored her since he knew what’s coming), she would have not owed him nor paid attention to him (although he had a serious crush on her.) She would never realize that fact ever. Furthermore, she would not feel as guilty and might take him out easily but the whole thing with the bread make her think and feel. It’s against her instinct for survival, against her stoic expression and many attempts to feign indifference towards her competitors.

Her alliance with Rue made her feel more. She was almost like her sister, Prim and her death was one of the most ‘despicable‘ quoting Peeta. After that, Katniss realized what Peeta said on the roof was true. They are not pieces of the Capitol’s game. This journey from being a person who refused feelings and thought that being expressionless will gain her more sponsors changed to another person capable of mourning and crying. The interesting part was that when she started to embrace her feelings (singing for Rue’s death, caring for Peeta), and that is when the people of Panem responded better. These feelings kindled her fire.

Still, she has no idea the effect that she can have, how she can move the districts by a song, a handful of berries and several chosen words for Thresh and Rue.

The feelings grew when she met Peeta and it has been growing ever since.

Chapter 1 – Part 3

Moving on with Chapter 1.

In the first book, The Hunger Games, Gale has suggested to Katniss that they could have ran away (was it in an indirect way saying that he loves her and wants to spend his life with her? Was it for the safety of their families? Or both?) and in Catching Fire vice versa (Snow was not convinced of the romance and Katniss could not think of anything else better than running away) which did not help in any way possible. In both situations they would end up dead or being turned into Avoxes. They are brave hunters and survivors but choosing to avoid the big theme was in no way guarantees their safety.

The story would be much shorter and Panem would always be oppressed by the Snow’s regime. Gale cannot provide the spark though he has the full strength of the wind to blow it.

Strangely, Peeta, the boy with the bread, (who is a whiz with fire. He coaxed fire out of damp branch and even Katniss can’t do that although she is the Girl on Fire) the one that had no knowledge of hunting or killing, started the ball rolling by confessing his tragic love story on national television which resulted to a chain of very strange consequences, uprisings included. He didn’t even expect to live in The Hunger Games, didn’t expect to win the girl in Catching Fire and went crazy in Mockingjay. This is the price he paid for being in love. 

I know Gale too, is in love with Katniss. It would be unfair to compare the levels of love professed by the two men since we know so little of Gale. Glimpses of this and that (stolen kiss, whipping, hunting flashbacks) doesn’t provide us with the full detailed story. I know they had a lot of happy moments and she remembered it fondly.

Both men are strong and smart in very different ways. Gale knows how to hunt, kill, good with traps and snares and a fine soldier, very much like Katniss herself. Peeta on the other hand is very domesticated but he’s kind, warm, has the ability to think straight in the midst of chaos and understood the big picture.

The kids issue came up early and Katniss clearly stated that she doesn’t want any. Her constant reasoning was the Games. She reinforced the idea in Catching Fire while considering Gale. She even said that it was ‘a mistake’ if she and Gale had children but convinced that Peeta would definitely be better parent. Since Peeta cannot procreate alone, it’s quite safe to assume his choice had always been Katniss. Peeta, on the other hand thought Katniss would be a great mother seeing her fierce love with her sibling and how she protects her anyway she could. In a way they both see the full potential the other could grow into. Her little imagination in Catching Fire brought the reality in the Epilogue. I think she never subconsciously considered Gale as her romantic partner.

In the first book, The Hunger Games, Katniss made it clear that she doesn’t have anything romantic between her and Gale. But towards the end she was not very consistent with her affirmation in the first chapter. Not that I don’t trust her but she’s very slow in processing feelings or meanings. I think she was not ready to like Peeta or to feel something towards him but she did anyway despite all of her reminding herself not to.

Since the triangle theme came up only after she met Peeta (not Darius, though we can safely say that he liked her), I think she tried to set her mind against him. The topic might not come up if Effie reaped someone else. She might go hunting merrily for years later until confronted by the love topic when she’s older. Marrying Gale or ending up with him is the right thing to do (everybody expected her to do that, it’s the norm) but she was caught by surprised when she couldn’t after Peeta declared his love. Since debt is Katniss’s favourite subject I think this is one of her reasons to choose Gale. They’re best friends and had been through a lot. Both have experienced lost, both born rebels, survivors, main family breadwinners though not having enough food. Their family knew each other and they’re used to each other’s rhythm until she volunteered for Prim. Although many people would claimed that she fell in love with Peeta in Catching Fire or by the end of the Quarter Quell, I think she had set her eyes on him since they were eleven, when he tossed her that burned bread.

As a person who treats any relationship as a transaction (Gale and her has a symbiotic kind of relationship, both benefit from the other) she cannot comprehend kindness and that focused her attention to him, subconsciously. She had wondered why since then. If we examine her relationship with Gale, she actually didn’t trust him immediately. It took her months to return a smile. They weren’t even in a life and death situation, not even in a competition and there were plenty of preys abound in the woods. What took her so long to trust Gale? Was it because he’s a stranger? But the funny thing with Peeta was that he was also a stranger and a very treacherous one at it, too. They’re in a game to fight to the death and she has to remind herself to not trust him again and again.

Many times that she caught herself surprised with her actions towards Peeta. The obvious one is the kind warning before the private session, other times how she subconsciously look at Peeta though regretting in almost immediately. Note that they were actually joking when they met in the train at Haymitch’s expense. She smiled. She warmed up to him a lot faster when she knew very well that he can spin a very convincing lie, planning a strategy and this is before Haymitch ordered them to be friends. She told him about the Avox and counted her debts owed to the boy with the bread. I don’t think she ever meant debts. That was the moments that pulled her heart towards him.

I think she has a special spot for him since they were young, that day when she was sprawled under the apple tree waiting to die and that was what she meant by ‘it would have happened anyway.’ It has always been him.

It has always been Peeta.

Chapter 1 – Part 2

A bit longer than the last time. 3 things nonetheless.

1) Apples. There was quite a lot of it. Why the author mentioned apples? What does it represent? Brave souls sneak in the woods the collect apples, meeting Peeta under the old apple tree, shooting the apple in the roast pig’s mouth, eating apple (with goat cheese and lamb stew) in the cave with Peeta, apple and goat cheese tart at the bakery, Peeta’s first meal while being clean up after discovered in the mud was dried apple, Katniss’s first meal after the Games was a bowl of applesauce, kids running with cans of applesauce on Parcel Day, Gale coring apples at the small hut when she suggested that they run away in Catching Fire, tossing apple on the roof with Peeta, etc.

Was it just a fruit/food? Was it bravery, brashness maybe? Was it food for celebration, gratitude, survival? Was it a reference to Adam and Eve? Was it another version for the forbidden fruit? Was it a symbol of love and sexuality as referred by the secular art? Coincidentally ‘Alma’ means ‘apple’ in Turkish and Hungarian Language but I think mostly agree that ‘Alma Coin’ has a double sided soul. The Portuguese/Spanish translation of Alma said so.

I can’t figure out the apples.

2) Berries.  There were 3 kinds of berries.

i – The blackberries, the ones she ate with Gale on the day of the reaping. Sign of home, safe and everlasting friendship. The berries were mentioned twice. First, on Chapter 1 in The Hunger Games, on a picnic and the last time in Mockingjay when Katniss was trying to re-establish her friendship with Gale.

ii – There were Rue’s berries, the ones she introduced to Katniss when they were allies. The same one she mashed with cold water to feed Peeta and drugged him before going to the feast. Sign of trust & survival.

iii – Lastly, the nightlock. Katniss’s father had an important knowledge about the berries and managed to tell his daughter before he died. Deadly and treacherous fruit, it worked as a kind of weapon (for Foxface) and to the Capitol. Updated version of the berries was a pill with the same property. Katniss and Peeta tried to use nightlock berries as a last resort when forced to kill each other in The Hunger Games and in Mockingjay though in separate occasion Peeta asked and was given the pill (though he didn’t use it) and avoided Katniss’s suicide attempt successfully. The berry trick was done the first time to protect Peeta (despite of her confused musings of defiance of the Capitol, unpaid debts and being pariah in her own district) and the last time it was Peeta who protected her (despite of being hijacked, scarred and a burn victim, lost his family and most friends, both possibly punished by the new government, unrequited love). They protect each other. The berries/pills were the ultimatum. Life or death. It’s all or nothing.

3) I understand the separation of class; Seam and merchant. At the Seam, the people has dark, straight hair, gray eyes and olive skin while the merchants that live near the square have blond hair, blue eyes and pale skin. How the tessarae system made the gap larger and how both class cannot seem to put this separate features aside and live together.

Katniss’s family (her father being from the Seam married a merchant wife) had broken the pattern but see how in the epilogue, Katniss’s children broke the mould. It could have happened with Katniss and Prim but since the oppressive regime and injustice system was still there, both girls retained the character of separate class despite having mixed class parentage.

Katniss and Peeta is just history repeating itself and this time without The Hunger Games, the author made it clear that the new system is just. The girl has dark hair and blue eyes while the boy has blond curls and grey eyes, representing attributes of both parents and class. We can safely conclude that there were no more tessarae and there’s no separation in the society.

What do you think?

Note: You may find the answer to the apples here, a brilliant post by Ms. lost-on-cloud-9

Chapter 1 – Part 1

There is a lot of things to discuss and I might as well start the ball rolling on the very first page.

3 things.

1) I have read in certain website discussing the same matter that Katniss waking up not finding her sister close by is foreshadowing something already. I don’t know if it’s the reaping or someday she will leave her (dead) along with her mother (to District 4)

2) Buttercup was mentioned very early in every book. Surely the author meant something. There might be no love between Katniss and Buttercup but surely he is important. There is an interesting theory that Buttercup was Katniss’s alter ego (link provided) Well the name already suggested cat-like, also she was nicknamed ‘Catnip’ by Gale and remember who provided shelter for Katniss in the Capitol in Mockingjay? Tigris, the cat. It’s Buttercup’s presence that made Katniss came to terms with Prim’s death.

3) I always have this impression that The Meadow is deemed as a beautiful place by Katniss. A place she was able to play and be a child for once.The story started with a picnic with Gale overlooking the Meadow (last look on her childhood) This is also the place where she hid (a place for refuge) when her mother was angry when she sang The Hanging Tree (her father knew exactly where she was), a safe place for the people from District 12 to be when Capitol brought the bombs, for a tiny moment the author mentioned the tiniest detail about a place Meadow-like, where the hummingbirds were studied at Beetee’s work place in 13. Note the color mentioned. She saw a spring-green (her favourite colour) hummingbird (a bird, she’s the mockingjay) feeding an orange (Peeta’s favourite colour) blossom (a flower, as represented by dandelion) That was how the bird survives. At the same time, Gale was putting on an idea how to snare hummingbirds and playing up to their instincts. Here she find some of his ideas conflicted with hers.

The Meadow Song was sang to Rue, the same song she sang to Prim. Both very innocent, loved and dead, under different circumstances and both affected her differently. One towards the Capitol and another towards the Rebels/Coin. This simple song actually started her fire, made her act upon her hatred towards the Capitol (wreathing Rue in flowers)/Rebels (shooting Coin) and also when she realized what Peeta said suddenly made sense after all.

And of course, The Meadow was also the place where her children play in the Epilogue, happy like her many years ago. The epilogue would not happen if she chose Gale and Panem would still have The Hunger Games.

What do you think?

Little Announcement : Group Discussion of The Hunger Games by chapter

Dear all,

I wanted to discuss The Book/the trilogy for some time and I hope to find some likely minded people who are willing to share their knowledge and opinion regarding the book. All thoughts are welcomed.

I am interested in dissecting the bits of foreshadowing written by the author. I think she’s fantastic and also an evil genius. I wish more books could rise up the bar and carry the story like Suzanne Collins did with the trilogy.

Please, no bashing, virtual hair pulling or something of the sort.

Thank you!