The novel captures timeless themes that are relevant to us today. Numerous quotes bring out the predominant ideas in the novel, some of which have been listed below.
Illusion and Reality
Having been brainwashed by the Capitol, Peeta has a hard time distinguishing reality from his delusions. After his rescue, he is under the impression that Katniss is a mutt created by the Capitol to wipe everyone out. It takes a long time for the doctors in District 13 to treat him, and he slowly begins to distinguish between reality and illusion. However, he continues to have trouble with doing so, especially when it comes to Katniss.
“Ally.” Peeta says the words slowly, tasting it. “Friend. Lover. Victor. Enemy. Fiancee. Target. Mutt. Neighbor. Hunter. Tribute. Ally. I’ll add it to the list of words I use to try to figure you out. The problem is, I can’t tell what’s real anymore, and what’s made up.”
To distinguish what is real and what is an illusion, Peeta comes up with a system. He decides to ask Katniss outright whenever something feels fuzzy or unreal. At one point, he realizes that Katniss is trying to protect him, but is confused by the false images of Katniss that have been inserted into his brain by the Capitol. This is when he puts his system into practice.
“You’re still trying to protect me. Real or not real,” he whispers.
“Real,” I answer. “Because that’s what you and I do, protect each other.”
As he tries to figure out the confusing and conflicting set of images in his mind, Peeta remembers giving Katniss some bread when she was starving. This is when he realizes how much he used to love her.
I must have loved you a lot.
Love and Relationships
Katniss and Peeta have an extremely turbulent relationship, which is further complicated by the brainwashing that Peeta undergoes at the Capitol. However, the two of them continue to love each other and end up getting married.
“You love me. Real or not real?”
I tell him, “Real.”
When Peeta doubts Katniss’s depth of affection for him and is trying to figure out her feelings for him, Katniss makes several observations about him. These observations are simple but would have gone unnoticed by someone who did not hold deep affection for Peeta.
“You’re a painter. You’re a baker. You like to sleep with the windows open. You never take sugar in your tea. And you always double-knot your shoelaces.”
Katniss is traumatized by the events of the previous Hunger Games. She can never sleep without experiencing nightmares and is dazed by everything that has happened. She is deemed mentally disoriented by the doctors in District 13. However, Katniss can get a hold of herself without falling apart by making a list in her head of what she knows to be true. She starts with the small things such as her name and her age and then builds up to the bigger and more difficult things.
My name is Katniss Everdeen. I am seventeen years old. My home is District 12. I was in the Hunger Games. I escaped. The Capitol hates me…
When Finnick realizes that Katniss is falling apart from the horrors that are occurring around her, he tells her to do whatever she can to keep herself together. He speaks from experience as he tells her that it is much more difficult to put oneself back together than it is to break down.
It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.
…what I need to survive is not Gale’s fire, kindled with rage and hatred. I have plenty of fire myself. What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again.
Katniss realizes that hope is what she needs for the rest of her life. This hope comes in the form of her co-tribute, Peeta Mellark who had long ago provided her hope when she and her family was on the brink of starvation. The bread that Peeta gave her helped sustain her family until the dandelions began blooming in the spring – which she used to make dandelion soup. Similarly, after the horrors of the Hunger Games, the Quarter Quell, and the rebellion, Katniss needs Peeta as a source of hope for a brighter future.
In the end, Katniss and Peeta get married and have children. This is when Katniss thinks to herself that she must one day tell her children the source of her nightmares. However, Katniss continues to be hopeful as she invents a new game for herself to replace the horrors of the Hunger Games.
I’ll tell them how I survive it. I’ll tell them that on bad mornings, it feels impossible to take pleasure in things because I’m afraid it could be taken away. That’s when I make a list in my head of every act of goodness I’ve seen someone do. It’s like a game. Repetitive. Even a little tedious after more than twenty years.
But there are much worse games to play.
Mockingjay outlines the rebellion that the districts wage against the autocratic Capitol. Katniss is the face of the rebellion and she sets the spark to the fire that spreads to the rest of Panem. In one of the propos she films for the rebellion, she tells the Capitol that destroying the districts would spell the destruction of the Capitol too. This is because the people in the Capitol depend on the districts for food, resources, and labor.
Fire is catching! And if we burn, you burn with us!
The Consequences of War
Katniss faces several losses in the war between the districts and the Capitol. However, the loss that affects her the most is that of her sister. She doesn’t process this loss until she sees her sister’s cat in the house, at which point she breaks down.
“She’s not here,” I tell him. Buttercup hisses again. “She’s not here. You can hiss all you like. You won’t find Prim.” At her name, he perks up. Raises his flattened ears. Begins to meow hopefully. “Get out!” He dodges the pillow I throw at him. “Go away! There’s nothing left for you here!” I start to shake, furious with him. “She’s not coming back! She’s never ever coming back here again!” I grab another pillow and get to my feet to improve my aim. Out of nowhere, the tears begin to pour down my cheeks. “She’s dead, you stupid cat. She’s dead.”
What is the famous line from The Hunger Games?
The famous line from The Hunger Games is “May the odds be ever in your favor.” This line is usually told by the people from the Capitol right before the Hunger Games begin, most of whom do not realize how hypocritical these words are.
What is the last line of Mockingjay?
The last line of Mockingjay is “But there are much worse games to play.” Katniss says this in the epilogue when she compares the game she plays in her head (of counting every act of goodness she has seen someone perform) to the Hunger Games.
Who does Gale end up with?
We do not know who Gale ends up with. All we know is that he got a “fancy job” in District 2 under Panem’s new government. Katniss is relieved about this and is sure that he is going to be “kissing another pair of lips soon.”
What is The Hunger Games about (short summary)?
The Hunger Games is about a 16-year-old girl named Katniss Everdeen who starts a rebellion against the autocratic and totalitarian regime in the post-apocalyptic nation of Panem.