Catching Fire Quotes

‘Catching Fire’ by Suzanne Collins has several quotes that are highly intriguing.

They perfectly reflect the themes of the novel and capture the essence of the characters. These quotes are more than enough to get a gist of the plot, and they help to understand the novel on a deeper level.

Catching Fire Quotes


Love and Relationships

Despite the barbaric “to each their own” attitude that the Hunger Games has inculcated in the people of the districts, Katniss is still able to form and maintain meaningful relationships with the people around her. The same can be said for Peeta as well, who has loved Katniss from a very young age. He continuously has nightmares about losing her, something which stems from the previous Hunger Games, where the possibility of Katniss’s death was very high.

My nightmares are usually about losing you. I’m okay once I realize you’re here.

Although Katniss is distant from Peeta at the beginning of the book (after Peeta realized that her romance was a farce for the Capitol), she gets closer to Peeta as they are thrown back into the arena once again. While she is confused about her feelings, she is sure about one thing: she needs Peeta to survive. 

I realize only one person will be damaged beyond repair if Peeta dies. Me.

Because of the incredible amount of love that Katniss and Peeta hold for each other, they both take a vow to keep each other alive in the arena, even if it spells their own deaths.

Rebellion

Catching Fire spells out the beginning of the rebellion in the nation of Panem. Katniss has sparked off something uncontrollable, and the fire of rebellion has spread to the rest of the districts. Surprisingly, the symbol of the rebellion is a songbird called a Mockingjay. However, it is not long before Katniss figures out the weight behind the Mockingjay bird. She understands that they represent the failure of the Capitol to exact control over every aspect of life. They also represent the people’s will to live – to stand up and fight against the autocratic rule of President Snow.

“But Mockingjays were never a weapon,” said Madge. “They’re just songbirds. Right?”

“Yeah, I guess so,” I said, But it’s not true. A mockingbird is just a songbird. A Mockingjay is a creature the Capitol never intended to exist. They hadn’t counted on the highly controlled jabberjay having the brains to adapt to the wild, to thrive in a new form. They hadn’t anticipated its will to live.”

Soon, Katniss herself becomes the symbol of the rebellion by embodying the bird, the Mockingjay. Everything she does is similar to a Mockingjay’s life – as she mocks the Capitol with her stubborn will to live, and lends a voice to the people by echoing their concerns.

The bird, the pin, the song, the berries, the watch, the cracker, the dress that burst into flames. I am the Mockingjay. The one that survived despite the Capitol’s plans. The symbol of the rebellion.


Mortality

Life in Panem is always laced with the threat of mortality. Even more so when one is picked as a tribute for the Hunger Games. Katniss and Peeta find themselves in the same dreadful situations as they were in the previous novels as they are picked as tributes once again. But this time, instead of fighting the possibility of death, they decide to accept it. 

So I only say, “So what should we do with our last few days?”

“I just want to spend every possible minute of the rest of my life with you,” Peeta replies.

Katniss and Peeta almost welcome the fact that their days are numbered, which allows them to appreciate the beauty of life. Katniss says,

Because I can count on my fingers the number of sunsets I have left, and I don’t want to miss any of them.


The Passage of Time

Tick, tock.

It takes some time for the tributes to figure out that the arena in the Quarter Quell is rigged like a clock. Each hour brings upon a fresh horror upon them, wiping them out one by one. This is symbolic of the Hunger Games in general, which is a death sentence in itself. As a part of the Quarter Quell, it is almost certain that the arena is ticking away the lives of Katniss and Peeta.

By late afternoon I lie with my head in Peeta’s lap making a crown of flowers while he fiddles with my hair claiming he is practicing knots. After a while his hands go still.

“What?” I ask.

“I wish I could freeze this moment, right here, right now, and live in it forever,” he says.

Peeta knows that his days are numbered, which is why he wishes to freeze time – to be able to live blissfully with Katniss for a little while longer.

Power

“Katniss,” Gale says softly.

I recognize that voice. It’s the same one he uses to approach wounded animals before he delivers a deathblow. I Instinctively raise my hand to block his words but he catches it and holds on tightly.

Don’t,” I whisper.

But Gale is not one to keep secrets from me.

Katniss, there is no District Twelve.”

These are the very last words of the novel. Here, Gale informs Katniss that her hometown has been bombed by the Capitol. Thus, it seems like the Capitol – all-powerful and ruthless – still has control over everything she does, whether she decides to rebel against it or not. The Capitol sends a clear message to her, telling her that every transgression will result in a loss of lives.

Manipulation

Catching Fire is all about manipulation. Everyone has to lie as a means to their end. This is not just true for the people in the districts, but even for those in power. However, the most classic form of manipulation occurs when Peeta decides to play the pregnancy card for Katniss. He lies and tells the public that Katniss is pregnant in the hope that more people would help her stay alive in the arena.

“But I have to confess, I’m glad you two had at least a few months of happiness together.”

I’m not glad,” says Peeta. “I wish we had waited until the whole thing was done officially.”

This takes even Caesar aback. “Surely even a brief time is better than no time?”

Maybe I’d think that, too, Caesar,” says Peeta bitterly, “If it weren’t for the baby.”

Unfortunately for Peeta, he falls prey to his own manipulation. He gets everything he wants – to marry Katniss and be with her forever – but not in the way he desired. The duo gets engaged only as a ploy to subdue the rebellion, and not out of love. They only do it out of an obligation to keep their loved ones alive. This is why Haymitch utters the below words when Katniss wonders why Peeta is upset about the wedding.

Not like this. He wanted it to be real.


FAQs

What is the main message of ‘Catching Fire?’

The main message of the book, ‘Catching Fire,‘ by Suzanne Collins is that power is fragile. No autocratic ruler should ever assume that their rule is absolute because the people can rise against them at any point in time.

What did the dummy say in ‘Catching Fire?’

During the pre-Games evaluation, Katniss comes up with an idea to make herself stand out and unnerve the Gamemakers. She hangs a dummy with one of the knots she learned in practice and paints the name of Seneca Crane, the Head Gamemaker of the 74th Hunger Games on it.

Who wins in ‘Catching Fire?’

The 75th Hunger Games which occurs in ‘Catching Fire‘ does not have a victor. This is because Katniss electrocutes the force field and blows up the arena when there were still many tributes left alive.

What does the reaping symbolize?

The reaping in the Hunger Games trilogy symbolizes the power of the Capitol. The Capitol has absolute control over the Capitol, so much so that every year, they get to decide which child goes off to their death and which child stays.

About Neesha Thunga K
Neesha graduated in 2020 with a degree in MA English. Before that, she has spent several years teaching English and writing for various organizations. As a lover of English literature, she truly believes that crafting stories through words is the greatest achievement of mankind. She is now pursuing her passion for literature as an Expert on the Book Analysis team.
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